• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2616

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 November 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 377

    GABRIEL BARREDO (b. The Philippines 1957)

    Setting angels free

    Price Realised  


    GABRIEL BARREDO (b. The Philippines 1957)
    Setting angels free
    mixed media
    41 x 53 1/8 x 14 5/8 in. (104 x 135 x 37 cm.)

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    Gabriel Barredo's work could be easily seen as metaphors of romance, mystery and history. Nothing unfolds in lineal progression - "events" are memorialized, obscured and forgotten in equal measure as the sculptural piece moves continuously when switched on. Gabriel's repertoire of visual vocabulary: non-sequiturs of alternatively legible, incoherent but always elegant patterning of foliages - dissolve, sink and emerge an elegiac sculptural acknowledgement to the passage of time.

    The present work distills the impulsive spontaneity of Gabriel's raw imageries in his own mind, "You know it is never easy for me to discuss my works, all the imageries I use exist in my subconscious. It is like asking me to explain what I see when I look at the clouds, and you might not see the same thing as I have." (Artist's statement, April 2007) Floral, fauna, antiquities and quirky knick-knacks achieve visceral awakening through the personal vocabulary of the artist. At once lyrical and magical, transient and indelible, they intersperse in segregated communion and yet, astride a designated space, realize a delicate and febrile balance of perpetual flux.

    A curious sensation always emerges from oneself as one looks at the sculptural work of Gabriel Barredo. Magical as it could be evocative of the pumpkin carriage in Cinderella, mysterious as it could be reminiscent of the creaks of the door as Hansel and Gretel walked into the house that is made of chocolate and candy and unabashedly romantic as it is redolent of the enchanted forest where Princess Aurora slumbers for a hundred years, Gabriel Barredo manages to entice, to hint and above all to tantalize one's imagination beyond words.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Religion plays such a big role ... Anything I do, somehow, magagalit ang Divos. (Some people) think its sacrilegious.

    It's not.

    Like the suffering of Christ ... it's more powerful if I use him as my tool. It's really not Christ, it just represents the suffering

    Gabriel Barredo

    Quoted in Yvette Tan, Dissonance in the Key of B in Gabriel Barredo: Visions, solo exhibition catalogue, Soka Art Center, Taiwan, 2008, p. 2.