“The Originator of Tareptepism”
by Jennifer Bichara
Celebrated Filipino artist Sherwin Gonzales calls his style of painting “Tareptepism” in which he coined after his native dialect “Tereptep,” meaning “ripple of water.”
Tareptepism is an art movement that outlines the Filipino art style which aims to convert the ripple of Filipino art into waves in the national and global art scene.
Tareptepism recognizes that visual artists are exposed to multi-media in the information age; hence, they are open to many waves of influences.
Tareptepism is the dynamic art of fusing influences. It is an art of fluid movement ever changing and evolving through the environment where the art and the artist dwell. Like water it is ever malleable and ceaseless.
Many of Sherwin Gonzales’ pieces contain hidden political agendas.
Gonzales’ is also interested in the color effects that have universal meaning. How light and color can influence psychology and uses this to inform the color choices in his work. He often uses the color red because it’s favored by Mexican, Spanish, and Chinese including Ilongot cultures. All of which make up Gonzales’ multi-ethnic background. Like many ripples traversing, Gonzales’ work is a confluence of numerous influences.
The waves, the wind, the streams, formation of leaves, ripples of water are some of the elements that inspired Tareptepism. It is an artifice of motion. Tareptepism captures motion from environment and the dynamism of emotion. Tareptepism puts motion to visual exemplification of emotion and soul through manipulation of lights, colors, textures and lines.
Tareptepism, differing to futurism, is pro nature. Tareptepism compares to surrealism which is more on dream while Tareptepism is more on hallucination. It differentiates to realism’s imperfection to Tareptepism’s inconsistency.
Rendered in the Tareptipism style, Sherwin Gonzales’ “Abstract Acrylic on Canvas” satirizes the harsh national reality, a reflection of Philippine politics that is full of intrigue, seduction and mystery as embodied by his chosen ripple of water brushwork effect.
Today Tareptepism, which Gonzales started with his brother and two other artists, has over 3,000 practitioners worldwide— both born and raised in Baler, Aurora.