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Arturo Sanchez (B. 1980)
Arturo Sanchez (B. 1980)

Episodic Memories

Details
Arturo Sanchez (B. 1980)
Episodic Memories
oil on canvas; collages on convex mirrors
152 x 213 cm. (59 7/8 x 83 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2013

Lot Essay

Over the past five years, Philippine contemporary art has rapidly risen to the forefront of the Asian scene. The developments from this region and the increasing support from collectors, galleries and museums have strongly increased the visibility of the contemporary painters, who have won recognition for their immaculate painting technique, progressive visuals and intelligent approach to their subject matter - whether that of the everyday, of imagination and fantasy, or of socio-political concerns. Artists such as Ronald Ventura, Geraldine Javier and the Salingpusa group, of whom Mark Justiniani is a member, have paved the way, closely followed by Rodel Tapaya, Marina Cruz, Arturo Sanchez, Andres Barrioquinto and a host of others.
Arturo Sanchez's prismatic universe is composed through painterly landscapes interspersed with his trademark and unique mirror-orbs. Episodic Memories (Lot 529) is a glorious vista of Sanchez's verdant imagination, depicting a Turner-hued vivid sunset against a wide beach as it gives way to the ocean. The undulating sand dunes with tufts of grass create an impression of horizontal infinity. The scene itself is absent of people. Instead the figures populate the floating mirror bubbles as though suspended within capsules of life, depicting little vignettes from our daily existence, and created through the nostalgia, memories and dreams of the artist's brush.
Within her breathtaking composition, Transcend (Lot 530) Marina Cruz depicts a lacy white child's dress in two different positions, which could possibly connote different interpretations depending on the viewer. Within the upper half, the dress is laid on a flat surface, yet its gauzy, translucent lace and the ripples of the fabric causes it to appear in motion. In the lower half, the same dress has been worn and left behind by the wearer. Cruz plays with the idea of opposites: front and back; inverse and reverse sides of the material; searching to examine that which is revealed and concealed while simultaneously displayed. In the artist's own words, the title Transcend means to rise above and go beyond the limits of just the object. Cruz attempts to breathe new forms, new interpretations, and new ways of seeing this textural fabric material. The child's dress acts as an anchor of past associations of memories and personal histories which are very tangible, sensual and real when recalled. The physicality of the dress juxtaposes against the absent wearer, and suggests the objects that we will eventually leave behind. Therefore to Transcend, in Cruz's world, means to rise above material existence, and deeply explore the untouched, unseen realities.
Critically acclaimed painter Rodel Tapaya's works depict piercing social commentaries on contemporary life. Winner of the prestigious 2011 APB-Signature Art Prize, the heart of Rodel Tapaya's work is his on-going amalgamation of folk narrative and contemporary reality within the framework of memory and history. His utilization of faces of ancient demi-gods and other archetypal heroes reference an era lost in the murk beyond history. Tapaya's unique ability to depict primeval figures in a contemporaneous manner sheds light into his artistic thought process, and his paintings reflect the artist's interpretation of the reality he experiences. The Secrets of the Forest (Lot 531) depicts a mythological fable drawn from Philippine legend; an enigmatic adventure for a viewer, a rare glimpse into a parallel landscape often hidden from our view and conjured only through Tapaya's vivid lens.

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