I like it when my parents’ gallery opens exhibits. Aside from the obvious reasons (e.g. convenience,
relentless bias), it’s always enjoyable because there are usually four shows up for display and consumption. Last Tuesday, four amazing artists—Mark Andy Garcia, Jigger Cruz, Dexter Fernandez, and Bjorn Calleja—had their works up! And I was pretty excited.
My favorite of the bunch were, predictably, Jigger’s and Dex’s. I don’t know if it’s because I’m most familiar with their work—it’s probably not—but I just felt so excited looking at their work.
The one on the right is called “The Extremist,” and it’s a portrait of Jacques Derrida. My brother thought it was Freud. At one point Jigger was telling us the story behind it, and it fascinated me that there even was a story behind it.
Jigger’s work is the most aesthetically appealing to me, though, I like his old colors better. Comparing these pieces to his old works, there’s a lot more figurative images at play (vague but more pronounced renditions of what seem to me to be flowers?, for example) and a lot more paint. His applications are more liberal and seem more deliberate.
Dex’s work is so cheeky to me. Looking through these works (I think there were about 40), I giggled and chortled so many times. In the words of someone that was there that night, but whose identity I have conveniently forgotten, to Dex, “Mabait ka kasi, kaya dinamitan mo sila.”
It made me think about subliminal messages, and what image our brains process, even when there’s nothing really obscene about what we see. Strictly speaking, Dex’s images are a bunch of people, with lots of different photos and colors strewn about around them. What’s funny is that even though those images and colors are loud and sort of in-your-face, it’s hard to keep your mind away from what you’re supposed to be seeing but aren’t (i.e., pornography).
I think it’s pretty clever, too, that these cover-ups actually somewhat calls to attention the lack of obscenity that you kind of expect. You end up filling in the blanks, whether you like it or not.
My favorite pieces were the ones with illustrations, and the one with cut-out holes that form a pattern. Optical illusion, sure, but you kind of know what you’re supposed to see anyway.
Acquainted with the Night
Mark Andy Garcia
All shows will be up until the 8th of October.