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Buen Calubayan (B. 1980)
Buen Calubayan (B. 1980)

Spoliarium XIII

Details
Buen Calubayan (B. 1980)
Spoliarium XIII
oil on canvas
200.5 x 200.5 cm. (79 x 79 in.)
Painted in 2013

Lot Essay

Buen Calubayan rescues two figures from the overwhelming abundance of Juan Luna's Spoliarium, a work whose gargantuan size reflects its mythic reputation. Spoliarium XIII, the last in a series that dissects Luna's magnum opus, focuses on two wizened spectators who, in the original, are hunched left-of-center, gaping at a pair of fallen gladiators being dragged toward the shadows. Far from being mere mimicry or imitation, Spoliarium XIII is an intellectual exercise. The painting, and the series it belongs to, is the result of a process-based approach that one would expect from Calubayan, a multi-awarded artist steeped in conceptual art and relational aesthetics. His "re-enactment of historical archives" is an offshoot of his desire to understand his own place in art history.

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