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    Sale 2616

    Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 November 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 378

    GABRIEL BARREDO (b. The Philippines 1957)


    Price Realised  


    GABRIEL BARREDO (b. The Philippines 1957)
    mixed media
    28¾ x 33 1/8 x 33 1/8 in. (73 x 84 x 84 cm.)

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    Gabriel Barredo is best known for the extraordinarily diverse and eclectic nature of his work from his monumental 'altar pieces' to the whimsical 'standing lamp', in which history and fantasy are richly interwoven to reflect his varied passions, which range from opera and classical ballet to the old and worn and all things that glitter and dazzle, and definitely includes the world of fairy tales and mythology.

    Barredo loves old television programs and contemporary soap opera, classical paintings, glitter, chandeliers and glamorous and rich interiors, and he takes all these and creates his own reality, where past and present dissolve in a world where magic is the key factor. His work is an animated representation of his interior life, and all his wishes, dreams and imaginations are gathered: suspended human figures, charming fairies, scary monsters, over-the-top velvety paintings of flora and fauna. One could assert that the artist is an incorrigible romantic, and through his work, gives us an impression that he still inhabits a world of childhood dreams and by fabricating a structure as delicate and intricate as his work commonly is, one could read the artist's mourning of the loss of a fictitious world of romance and beauty. Though often seen as blatantly beautiful and intricate at first glance, on closer inspection, Gabriel's work reveals a darker side and can be seen as a reinterpretation of our cultural history, reflecting his engagement with an assortment of archetypical cultural phenomena and popular culture.

    The present lot exemplifies the preoccupations of the artist. At a glance, one is dazzled by the richness and intricacies of the piece that is composed of aplenty of diverse formes and shapes that move and interact into a 'come alive' organic existence. This is precisely the intended effect that Gabriel wants the piece to have on his audience. It is supposed to be a visual feast for the audience, to intrigue and to dazzle with all its glitz and richness. Naturally the kinetics of the work would further fascinate the audience. The movement, however would accentuate the sense of diversity of patterns as one finds it difficult to focus on one focal point as it moves and interacts with its changing environ. In sum, once switched on, the sculptor becomes a moving visual equipped with a cacophony of effects characteristic of the artist's style.

    This development of recharging objects with a new existence has become a metaphor for Gabriel Barredo's work. His assignment of kinetic energy into the sculptural piece immediately converts and effectively liberates a staid and static sculpture, making it extremely interactive for the viewer.