In Dark Purity

5.4″ x 8.5″ . Watercolor with Dr. Ph. Martin’s bleed-proof white . 2022

The Civilization Series is a bunch of Rorschach tests, so naturally one sees oneself in them. Because of my liberties in painting-in the things I see in the blots, anyone can diagnose me. But don’t forget that I’m diagnosing you too.

The most obvious things in this hybrid painting are:

  1. A “Manananggal” (Philippine mythological creature)
  2. 2 ripped executioners
  3. 2 great white sharks
  4. 2 really tiny gargoyles
  5. Venus flytrap humanoid/mutant.

Back when I was younger my dream was to make metal related art, particularly album covers but any kind of merch would have sufficed. Before this very digital age, cover-art alone would make one want to buy an album. I still miss those days when I would scrutinize the design of a booklet, the inlay, the way the lyrics were integrated with the design, + the spines of a cd.

Over the years, I’ve learned that making my own “stuff” where no one tells me what to do is more gratifying. However, having metal related projects on the side is always icing on the cake! I’m bringing all of this up because Alexander Dela Cruz was my first official patron. He was a complete stranger who wanted to feature me as a guitarist, and have me design a cover for his zine! This is the notorious In Dark Purity, which I created Implanting the Mythos for. Woohoo! Metal is special like that because it’s a common denominator for bringing people who are not quite the norm together. And this was also the beginning of our ongoing metal adventure, now more than two decades long.

Over the years we’ve practically become family, and back in 2018, I made this small tribute to Alex’s life’s work –His contribution to metal in its entirety: Snail mail correspondences with bands, cassette exchanges, his influential zine “In Dark Purity”, the forum, being an upholder of the underground philosophy, being a fellow guitarist, Berdugo Records, and by not feeling obligated to please everyone. People like him keep the standards HIGH.

I’m also quite sure we’ve both forgotten about this artwork which was finished in 2018. It was incidentally found while rummaging through my prints cabinet 2 days ago. This current productive streak has made me want to color some of the parts in hence the “pigmented facelift”. Aaaaand as usual, I forgot to take a picture of its original black and white state. Good thing there was this cropped bit in my hard drive.

So Alex, Here’s the one and only work from the Civilization series I’m giving away –First for a first! This painting is already marked with a red dot even before it has even been exhibited. Just write it down somewhere lest we forget again, and I look forward to more metal shenanigans in the years to come like *cough* when we pretended to be American while we were in line to meet Obscura and Toxic Holocaust! LAWL! Cheers!