Red Genotiva: Pop surrealism as mind work

Mar. 31, 2019

Red “Oni” Genotiva during the opening night of his third solo exhibit, entitled “C h i l d r e N,” on March 22 at the Art Portal Gallery for Contemporary Art, along Pelayo St. in Davao City. (Ken E. Cagula/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Artists and art enthusiasts may want to check out the works of this budding visual artist, Red “Oni” Genotiva, who is starting to make his mark with unique, intriguing pop surrealist art.

The 25-year-old artist recently opened his third solo exhibition, entitled “C h i l d r e N” at the Art Portal Gallery for Contemporary Art, here in Davao City. The exhibit runs until April 4.

Anime (Japanese-style animation) shows in the local television were then popular to children. As a growing child, Red was one of those fascinated to it. But he didn’t stop there. He started sketching similar to those anime characters and had a collection of his little artworks.

After completing BS Information Technology major in Multimedia at the University of Immaculate Concepcion, he made this hobby into a serious career by pursuing Fine Arts at the University of San Carlos in Cebu. With a background in painting, he began to focus on creating artworks using his distinctive style.

Aside from painting, he is also into digital art.

Some of his artworks featured in the exhibit include Mind to Sorrow, Self Loathing, Uncertainly Gaze, and Delinquent Thoughts, with images of children (with surreal or amorphous heads) and symbols like weeping eyes, flowers, and clouds. Interestingly, there’s a feeling of melancholy, gloom looking at these paintings, contrary to its light, soft, pastel colors.

Red’s art is influenced by artists like Mark Ryden, Ron English, Charlie Immer, Naoto Hattori, Hikari Shimoda, and Yoko D’holbachie.

His other solo exhibitions include “Play House” (2018) in Davao City, and “Together We are Friends” at the Jose T. Joya Gallery in the University of the Philippines Cebu early this year. He also participated in some group shows in Cebu City (2015-2018), Art Portal gallery for Contemporary Art Davao (2018), and the District Gallery in Quezon City (2018).

Art enthusiasts flock during the opening of Red Genotiva’s exhibit. Red shared his favorite piece is the “Children of Gloom” (leftmost) which reminds him of his two close friends. (Ken E. Cagula/

Here are the excerpts of the rest of Davao Today’s interview with Red Genotiva:

Davao Today: Why did you choose pop surrealism for your artwork?

Red Genotiva: I can actually do some technical pieces, but [with this] I enjoy thinking concepts on how to truly express what’s on my mind. With surrealism, it is more on trying to express what is on the subconscious mind of a person. Though my works are more conformist, like using pastel colors or a relaxing approach but deep inside, there’s something different to it.

Davao Today: Images of young girls are mostly noticed in your artwork. Is there a reason for that?

Red Genotiva: In my work, I am inclined to do “genderbend”. I remember it being lectured by our mentor before: male artists do have that feminist side in them, as well as to female artists having their masculine side. I’m just trying to apply that belief, that’s why I’m “genderbending” in my artwork.

Davao Today: Can you choose one of your artworks displayed, and tell the story behind it?

Red Genotiva: My favorite is the “Children of Gloom.” Each time I look at that piece, I would recall an experience of me and two of my close friends before. There was a time when all three of us were busted in a relationship at the same time. We were in a room where we got drunk and poured out our emotions to that painful experience.

Davao Today: What are you up to at present?

Red Genotiva:I currently reside in Cebu City. It will be a while before my next shows, that’s why I am busy in producing more new artwork. I continue to improve my work, as I just started my career in the industry.

Check out Red Genotiva’s works on his Instagram @red.genotiva and Facebook page (

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