• Southeast Asian Modern and Con auction at Christies

    Sale 2721

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1115

    RONALD VENTURA (b. The Philippines 1973)

    Danger zone

    Price Realised  


    RONALD VENTURA (b. The Philippines 1973)
    Danger zone
    signed and dated 'Ventura 2009' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    96 x 60 in. (244 x 152.5 cm.)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The decayed, almost skeletal figure that is captured in side profile in Ronald Ventura's Danger Zone is a continuation in the artist's concern with skin as an surface and a rhetorical device, an entity for expressing ideas related to identity, be in personal or allegorically relating to the Philippines. Somber and serious in its mood, the sheer technical virtuosity Ventura rendered to realize the figure is awe-inspiring. The magnitude of the canvas is brought into play by Ventura's chosen range in depicting the figure - essentially only the enlarged head and shoulders, or the bust, in sculptural language. Every small detail is meticulously painted; the picture seeks of its viewer a second or even third look.

    An intense encounter with the work reveals the skin of the depicted figure as a kind of allegorical platform. Images of tractors traversing the terrain of the skin works in Ventura's playful and slippery language of painterly symbols. They may, on the surface, stand for destruction but are equally symbols of development and exterminators of the old and the worthless. Read in this manner and with an understanding of his continuing interest in thinking about the socio-political state of Filipino life, Ventura teases with the viewer's capacity to render meaning of his work and makes a complex commentary on Philippine life.