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While his persistence in life’s tough challenges has transported him from one realm of art to another, artist John Paul Duray finds his niche inside the lush meadows of an unforgettable dream—propelling him to an unimaginable reality he continues to embrace consistently with unabashed honesty, child-like curiosity, and admirable humility

The journey was long and tumultuous. And the unpredictable twists and turns of life proved to be an unrelenting mentor. All these, however, did not give any reason for this archetypal struggling artist to pursue his dreams and find success in the path he willingly chose. JP, as he introduces himself, who has gone from café barista to talent show contestant, to art enthusiast, and eventually landing in a highly-coveted dedicated space of his own in the industry he so wanted to be part of, has now become a sought after artist for his witty collection of self-made idiosyncrasies, his artistic ode to his slice of life.

John Paul Duray
JP at the backyard of his dreams: his studio located east of the fringes of Manila provides him the much-needed isolation to contemplate and reflect on the next impalpable dream.

This month, Salcedo Auctions is housing an exclusive set of curated pieces from JP’s backyard of caricatures at its NEX Tower, Ayala Avenue gallery, from October 10 to November 7, 2020. The one-man exhibit is entitled, ‘You Are/Pagkatao‘. JP is ecstatic, telling us that he’ll be the first sculptor to do this show with the team. It is a historic feat for the talented ingenue, and although bearing the pressure of it all can seem daunting, he is admittedly thrilled and excited to showcase what he can do.

John Paul Duray
The well-rounded cast of enigmatic figures to be exhibited display the artist’s uncanny wit, humor, and magnetism towards familiar figures.

The enigmatic set of peculiar characters are full of wit and humor. It is JP’s reimagination of the figures we know so well—the neighborhood gossip, the couple next door, endearing personalities with stories that beg to be revisited. JP considers his works as reflective of the realities he faces daily. And though these offer social commentary and particular attention to local flavor, he admittedly avoids the seriousness of perception and prefers the view from a more laidback lens.

John Paul Duray
Melo, depicts not only JP’s running theme of giving a significant part of one’s self but also depicts local scenery via details—such as a sampled slice of fruit offered in the wet market.

‘You Are/Pagkatao’ runs as both an online and physical exhibition. The theme is JP’s retelling of his fresh harvest of well-thouoght-of characters. JP surmises that many people, regardless of their varied experiences, can relate to his sculpted set and can find pieces of themselves, as he did. And more than uncover something deep within the fruits of his labor, JP hopes that, like him, many will find inspiration, dream big, and connect these perceived aspiritions to embraced realities.  

John Paul Duray
Dreams, figuratively and literally, paved JP Duray’s road to creating these figures he envisioned to tangible works of art.

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