Ocampo
Back to Artists

Manuel Ocampo

Exhibitions

Bio

Manuel Ocampo is a contemporary Filipino artist whose works often juxtaposes secular, historical, and religious imagery to evoke socio-political criticism. In a similar vein to both Martin Kippenberger and Philip Guston, Ocampo challenges established iconography, as seen in his painting Virgin Destroyer (Ipis Ni Lupe) (1995), in which a cockroach is painted in the style of the Virgin of Guadalupe and accompanied by a vodka bottle, a plastic rosary, and a bloody knife. “There are a lot of ghosts in paintings,” he explained of the medium. “Paintings are not spectacular, they are not experience driven, they require a slow read.” Born in Quezon City, Philippines in 1965, he moved to Los Angeles at the age of 20 and briefly studied art at California State University, Bakersfield while working at McDonald’s. During the early 1990s, Ocampo had a number of solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, culminating in his inclusion in documenta 9 in Kassel, where he unintentionally caused an uproar by incorporating swastika symbols into his work. The artist currently lives and works in Manila, Philippines. Today, Ocampo’s works are held in the collections of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, among others.