A solo exhibition by Angelo Tabije
On the Road
There is a surge of raw adrenaline as the roar of a motorcycle’s engine is revved into life. Monstrous and visceral in tone, it urges the senses to awaken, as the sound pierces through still air and the body jolts forward in eager suspense. Its rider is no longer simply a passive observer to his surroundings; atop a motorcycle, he is plunged into an almost overwhelming assortment of sensations, as the wind, noise, and speed pull him across infinite stretches of roads.
In “Beast Mode,” Angelo Tabije explores the thrill and almost blurred line between danger and the rush of raw adrenaline. Using motorcycles as his primary focus, he renders figures in the process of morphing with these machines, subsequently creating a animal-like hybrid that glides along the boundaries of human and inhuman. Each of his subjects are painted against a backdrop of soft and muted colours – blacks, blues, and greys – similar in composition to a rider in motion, whose immediate surroundings are out of focus as he speeds towards the distant horizon. Splashes of colour – bright, vibrant, and eye-catching – adorn the subjects’ bodies, bringing to the forefront every line and curve, as they twist, cross, and meet one another in a play of light and shadows.
Tabije’s fascination for motorcycles began out of personal interest. In “Beast Mode,” he strives to recreate the excitement and fear that comes with speeding along an uninterrupted road, untouchable even by the natural elements. Depicted as a raw and immersive experience, the rider is no longer a mere observer, but an active part of the journey. The senses are wide alert – conscious of the cool wind as the body speeds ahead, and acutely aware of the hard concrete only a few inches below. On the vehicle, everything is both beyond and within reach. It is, at its very core, an enthralling experience, where every lurch and whim is a response of the moment.
In “Beast Mode,” the figures alternate between human, animal, and machine. However, beyond its physical representation, Tabije also taps into the human psyche by establishing the ride as a means to let loose, let be, and run free. Akin to a wild animal on the move, the subjects are in a constant state of motion, caught only on canvas as a quick snapshot frozen in time. For a very short moment, the journey is paused, and the figures emerge as half-formed creatures that are both beast and machine – wild, dangerous, and ever in pursuit of the distant and unreachable horizon.
Words by Elle Lucena