MARK ‘KIDLAT’ COPINO
Mark Copino, more popularly known as ‘Kidlat’, was born in 1981. He is a contemporary artist living and working in Cebu, Philippines.
After leaving art school, the streets became a recreational ground that paved way for Kidlat’s socio-political art to be viewed by the masses. He, along with other street artists, founded Cebu’s most active street art groups at the time ‘Ubec Crew’ and the Junks Collective. Well-known as a conceptual artist, KIDLAT’s thought-provoking work shows off symbolic subjects in minimalist compositions. This establishes a mysterious yet straightforward dialogue with anyone who dissects his art.
After mounting his second solo exhibition in Qube Gallery in 2017 and having joined group shows with notable entries in Art Apart Singapore 2015 and Art Kaohsiung 2016, Kidlat has now carved his name in the local contemporary art scene with a growing follower base.
The synthesis of stencil work and painting in Kidlat’s process spawned the telling silhouettes of the cast that play his art’s narrative. It was the street artist’s confidence in stencil that revealed the genesis of his work as an exhibitor. At times set against ornate patterns, these silhouettes, hinting certain personas, creatures and things, become the embodiment of meaning and lessons brought about by our habitual actions. The work he feeds to the public is then an interpretation of these day-to-day observances -- mostly of the community he dwells in. This brings the natural conversationalist in Kidlat, who exposes highly relatable notions of society, taking into account his home, his neighborhood and this country.
Translated on canvas, predominantly in acrylic, with limited palettes that distinguish statement colors from the monochromes, Kidlat’s reflections as an observer are articulated by way of presenting simplified depictions of domestic elements and culture that, according to him, affect the quality of life for this generation and the coming. The artist is sometimes prompted to chart the interlinked lives and present general theories to where he attributes these effects to. More than autobiographical, Kidlat’s social commentary art is a trigger that traces viewers back to the root, using the impact and the results seen currently in our daily living as a people.
“ And because of our daily engagements, we realize our common necessities as human beings and create a powerful link amongst ourselves. You see, I am convinced that this link is made up of the mundane things in our lives –the things we disregard or the things we overlook. But what we rarely admit is that these ‘insignificant’ habits lead to create a bigger part of us. We are made up of our own clichés.”
--Kidlat, “Retaso: Of Salvage Stories and Articulated Cliches,” August 2015