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(Filipino, B. 1973)
signed and dated 'Ventura 2010' (lower left)
oil on canvas laid on board
62 x 92 cm. (24 3/8 x 36 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2010
Damiani Editore, Realities - Ronald Ventura, Bologna, Italy, 2011 (illustrated, p. 48).

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Marcello Kwan
Marcello Kwan Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art Department (Hong Kong)

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Lot Essay

As a contemporary Asian painter, Ronald Ventura has won significant recognition for his breadth of artistic vision, unique aesthetic metaphors and skill in photorealist brushwork. Within this present work, Messengers, Ventura fuses two of his predominant interests - Renaissance art and the phenomena of the media age in the 21st century. Drawing on visual punning, which is frequently encountered within Ventura's work, the artist plays with the idea of messaging - the transference of communication from one entity to another. Within art history, divine intervention often came in the form of an angelic messenger, an intercessory between the petitioner and God. However within this present day, our notions of communication lie within technology, for example the television screen which delivers messaging blitzes from the media, advertisers, and pop culture right into our living rooms. In an uncanny parallel, both angels and television screens are interfaces of messaging, albeit divine and mundane. Ventura's artistic depiction of the angels calls to mind the wrestling cherubs from Renaissance art, as portrayed within the Sistine Chapel and Vatican friezes. By contrast, the hues of the heavenly rainbows are actually those of television SMPTE colour bars, lending additional meaning and visual texture to this complex narrative.

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