For the Pintô International show in Milan, the artist came up with eight paintings on 10 ½ inch-by-15 inch pieces of wood that came from an old bookcase that he had in high school. This series is supposed to be his love letter to old stories that he read and liked in his younger years — everyone from Dante to Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco. Those books have been consumed by termites and destroyed by floods back in their old house in Malabon. This suite of paintings (designed to be mounted together) was inspired by fables, parables, allegories, myths, as well as current events — spectres of violence and foreshadowing of doomsday sweeping across Europe and the rest of the world. Most of the artworks will appear quixotic or hint at horror and sci-fi. “Exquisite Toxins” also gives a subtle nod to the paintings of masters (with its thick soup of glazing and chiaroscuro) as well as a multiplayer fantasy video game played by his girlfriend: Defense of the Ancients (DotA). Our structures are crumbling, a gunman is on the loose, it’s every man for himself, and something filled with venom is slouching toward somewhere. We remember reading Boccaccio and dread living harrowingly ever after.