When I thought I have cut ties with art, here comes an artist friend asking me to write for his show. And being the yes girl that I am, I agreed. Well, I do think it’s a good exercise to write about art once in a while. I can’t just put four college years aside, especially when I’m planning to make a comeback after n years.
It actually feels great that I can still write about art, and even articulate artists’ ideas after leaving a job involving such. Oh art, you really are my mistress! I can’t say no to your tease every freaking time.
Here goes the article:
Secrets, Dreams, and What If’s is a three-man show revolving around the imagination and the unconscious brought about by odd juxtapositions and dis/orders in everyday life. The artists attempt to illustrate a child’s vision hence the playful, bright, comical, cartoonish appearances. These images though do not render mere fun at all, but a rather light satire of society.
Genepaul Martin leads us to a hodgepodge of characters from our childhood – Ultraman and Alice (in Wonderland). It may look sweet, resembling Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory – colorful candies, donuts, gummies and other melted sweets. The characters, however, have a sad look upon their faces – Ultraman without his horn, cut, decapitated, devastated, Alice sitting on donuts, carrying a teacup yet with no one to share some afternoon tea.
Tawnie Tantay’s characters are reminiscent of dolls – bright eyes, flushed cheeks, tinted lips, pretty dresses. Just the way society wants its women to be. At an early age, little girls are aligned towards the epitome of a desirable female. The artist begs to look at the dolls’ faces, but viewers still tend to take more pleasure in staring at the body and its surroundings, hauling a more judgmental look at women, formulating a sexual connotation rather than an innocent interpretation.
JJ Zamoranos routed viewers to a seemingly unfamiliar dimension, or maybe actually a familiar one. He displays a colorful yet uncanny group of characters in between lego blocks, masks, toys, and dark castles representing perhaps how figures from television register in a child’s mind – a chaotic combination of childhood’s innocence, smothered with adulthood’s harsh realities.
Secrets, Dreams, and What If’s is a reaffirmation of Roland Barthes’ Toys (in Mythologies). This reflects, reiterates, and reinstates how society purposely yet unknowingly molds children into the harsh world of adulthood. This presents us once again what society has initially presented us in childhood – left unspoken and unquestioned.
After this trip back to childhood, how then are you going to see things?
*Secrets, Dreams, and What If’s is opening at the Secret Fresh Art Gallery at Ronac Center, August 19, 2012 at 6PM.