Raffy Napay first solo show at Blanc Peninsula

Raffy Napay mounts his first solo show “Nearest and Dearest,” which is on view until Oct. 30 at Blanc Peninsula Manila, ground floor Shops 9 and 10, Ayala Ave. cor. Makati Ave., Makati City.

Jeho Bitancor at blanc gallery -unBOUNDed

unBOUNDed
by Jeho Bitancor

How does space as a phenomenon translate to embodied articulations of
personal and social significance?

Referencing my condition as a migrant, I had to grapple with this
problematic and contemplate on other questions whether the space to
locate our bodies constricting or liberating or both? If so, how does
it manifest?  Is it of our own choosing and creation, or is it imposed
and inherited?

My inquiry was triggered by the tension I had to negotiate as a
transient body constantly relocating itself, from the “periphery” to
the “center”, and from the west coast to Midwest to east coast in
barely two years.  This would mean adapting to new circumstances and
unfamiliar grounds.  Or better yet, enduring/enjoying shifting working
conditions; from a huge garage space in California, to a freezing open
patio in Memphis, to a claustrophobic basement apartment in Jersey
City, and finally to a decent studio space in the suburbs of Central
New Jersey.

It is while working in a spare space in Jersey City measuring less
than 7 X 5 ft in floor area that I have come to question the nature of
my existence.  Does the space I occupy define me or is it in defining
myself that I inhabited it?  Similarly, is the decision to be “in” the
space and adhere to the condition it entails a result of my own
volition alone or a product of inherited values historically ingrained
within my psyche? It can be both in my case for there are a number of
reasons that may be politically in/correct or even romantic. It can be
the notion of growing artistically/ intellectually and recognizing my
battle as a post-colonial subject, while at the same time grazing at
my enemy’s pasture for which I am not yet guilty of.

For this exhibition, I have focused on subjects that are apparently
social in context and navigating through issues that affect me.  For
me, there is no dividing line clearly delineating the personal to
societal.  I believe that personal experiences transcend to if not a
direct result of the workings of society.

Age-old issues of vulnerability, conformity, dislocation, bondage,
greed, identity and struggle are presented in various reconfigurations
and re-contextualization. Utilizing as a device objects that contain
figures or figures that resemble objects, the works allude to feelings
of entrapment, enclosure and imprisonment. Others served as shelter
and recluse, echoing the duality and manifold definition of inhabiting
and identifying with a space.

Jeho Bitancor’s “unBOUNDed” Will be on view until September 18, 2009
at blanc Makati.  blanc is located at Crown Tower, 107 H.V. dela Costa
St., Salcedo Village, Makati City.  For more information, please call
or sms 752-0032 / 0920-9276436, email info@blanc.ph or visit
www.blanc.ph, www.blancartspace.multiply.com

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Leeroy New and Tatong Recheta Torres’ “Odeon Universal Galaxy”

Leeroy New and Tatong Recheta Torres’ “Odeon Universal Galaxy” opens
Monday August 24 at blanc compound 359 Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City.
For more information, please call or sms 752-0032 / 0920-9276436,
emailinfo@blanc.ph or visit www.blanc.ph,

The exhibit will run until September 10, 2009.

Frederick Sausa

After mounting his first solo effort early this year, Frederick Sausa
will be having his second at the blanc art space in Makati, wherein he
will present his latest pieces in new working mode of expression.
These are the accumulated images from various existing references. And
these thought-out processes inherently evident in some paintings and
the compositions were similar to that of sticker leftovers; there are
still pictures with punched holes. This approach was used in the
initial exhibit, stripped and out of focus photos from magazine pages
in appropriation. In this show, acrylic was mainly used as the vehicle
for antithesis of the much well-praised oil paints. Aside from being
industrial, synthetic and ordinary; these pigments were part of the
80’s once in-demand industry of giant movie billboards, also used by
graffiti artists, muralists, effigy makers and other forms of street
art.

Choices of images were of archetypal youth culture, rebellion, power
and failures, eccentricities of glamour era and documented works by
other artists. It is also a process of decoding redundant physical
beauty, demystification of sexual innuendos and unfinished words that
can be overwritten about stories left untold that we find in the
living rooms, hotels’ comfort room, one teenager’s bedroom wall, full
of posters and it’s about everyday boredom that indulges the viewers
to participate into somebody else’s privacy and solitude, yet masked
of narrative context that left viewers empty handed.

Frederick Sausa’s “Pretty Vacant” opens on Monday, 6PM, August 10,
2009 at blanc Makati.  blanc is located at Crown Tower, 107 H.V. dela
Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City.  For more information, please
call or sms 752-0032 / 0920-9276436, email info@blanc.ph or visit
www.blanc.ph, www.blancartspace.multiply.com

Pretty Vacant  will run until August 28, 2009

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invite

Reflections on Room Full of Mirrors – Art Sanchez

Reflections on Room Full of Mirrors

We, the spectators are an additional factor. Though greeted by that
gaze, we are also dismissed by it, replaced by that which was there
before we were: the model itself.

“Las Meninas”
The Order of Things by Michel Foucault

Using layered shifting narratives on one-way mirrors as thematic
device, it seems obvious and even compulsory for an architecture
graduate like Art Sanchez to explore the boundaries of this decorative
medium for his first solo exhibition at blanc.

One cannot wonder too long and not notice the extent of his intention
to instill biographical vignettes, critique on mass media and cultural
myths as seen with these recent works.  Meticulously transferring
random surreal-like images to collages taken from various printed
sources, etching further on an already established mirror cut out on
canvas which serves as base of familiar or familial representation.
Creating simultaneous contrast among the aesthetics of objects,
metaphors, irony with the given didactic nature of the superimposed
image, Sanchez displaces everything out of place.  At this point, with
the viewer’s obvious reflection on the mirrors, Sanchez extends an
invitation to his audience to exist with interchanging personas and
value laden symbols inherent in the works.  His thoughts could be our
thoughts.  This is the essence of what makes up Afterthoughts.

In Floating Mood Swings, the reverse mirror cut out of a
Rodin-inspired The Thinker presents a dark background of what remains
inside man’s emotion as he struggles for memory and pursues his own
volition as a human being.  They say beauty is the sum of its faults
however, the objectives in making mental pictures based on available
references will imply degrees of meaning on varied presentations.

This multi-sharing of similar but varied points of view to someone
from behind is commonly known as the Venus effect (from the earliest
painting of Venus looking at her reflection while angels hold a mirror
and while others keep looking at her).  The audience is more involved
in this context as one whose very reflection is captured in this
creative study of imaginative perception.  As one observes beauty in a
narcissist kind of way, one reflects and learns more of his
experience.

Indeed, objects in the mirrors appear closer than they really are.  As
mirror gathers light rays around the curved surface and reflect them
at varying angles, signs are said to be more compressed and provide
for an illusion of space as it amplifies the apparent size of any
room.  This is perceived in the emphatic piece Tests Subjects, which
features an illustration of how light is captured by the camera by the
man who pioneered photography.  Sanchez does with Walter Johnson in
art what Johnson contributed to science.

Saturation Point is a running commentary of the critical nature of
media particularly television.  The reverberation of all things good
and bad as glaringly represented by floating people with thought
bubbles shaped like mushroom clouds jutting out in explosion or
emptiness of the idea as presented on the tube.  Here, Sanchez becomes
a cynic or a romantic, depending on which side you are on.  His
depiction of this most used appliance rises to being an innovative
critique to the point of being graphically screaming.  Proving he is
not totally against the idiot box, his main concern remains on how
people have become too complacent as not to be scared with 99
channel-overload of information.  After all, as consumer culture
fetishes the dumb, refined, and modern individuals, television levels
the playing field depending on your need.

Sanchez remembers the only mirror in the house he grew up in, with
photos highlighting significant events and fun times as a family
inserted on the side like a makeshift do-it-yourself photo album.  As
the mirror eventually fades with the passing of time, the
irreplaceable photos are tucked in.  Taking on this experience,
Sanchez believes one grows every time we face the mirror.  Viewing his
works, metaphorically speaking, one gets the idea that art is itself a
mirror – a reflection of society with all its customs, beliefs,
folklores, superstitions, religions, and more importantly, of the
artist himself.

Coming from a family of tinsmiths, mirror reflections are nothing new
to Sanchez.  He invites the viewer to come closer and become a part of
his pieces. In Between Raindrops and Sun Showers series, the struggle
of memory against forgetting, Sanchez wants to relive the myths and
his play with the “demons” of his childhood.  Such as when it rains
while the sun is out, there’s a tikbalang getting married.  As varied
and multi-faceted as this mirror, the artist has found a comfortable
material to transform surreal phenomena in various dark metaphors with
layers of paint into haunting collages.

Lured by its beauty or in our quest for self-knowledge, we look at
mirrors more often than we expect.  Before it became known as mirrors,
it was referred to as “looking glass.” Event Horizon is about how we
look and are being looked at by mirrors in the context of a gallery
setting.  As we are greeted by gaze after gaze, coming from the
different reflections from the pieces in the exhibit, as viewers, we
all become part of every artwork – the mirror on canvas, the subjects,
the objects, the paintings and the viewers are placed in infinite
reversing roles.  The entire cast is molded together in pure
dysfunction; anachronism is now in full effect.  The installation of
blind spots absorbs the viewers with a closer look.  As a caution, one
need not get lost in them.  Are people imbibed and further tricked by
this nature of being seen by mirrors?  As the gallery is converted
into a room full of mirrors, a mirage is in place.  We are now inside
an illusion, where our own memories dictate our current state.

Like anything reflected on mirrors, Afterthoughts projects specific
images but invokes different sensations for each viewer.  A mirror has
two faces, but it may not always be the same face looking back at you.

Jay Bautista

Art Sanchez’s Afterthoughts on Monday, July 6, 2009 at blanc Makati.
blanc is located at Crown Tower, 107 H.V. dela Costa St., Salcedo
Village, Makati City.  For more information, please call or sms
752-0032 / 0920-9276436, email info@blanc.ph or visit www.blanc.ph,
www.blancartspace.multiply.com

Afterthoughts will run until July 24, 2009.

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