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The superficial as spectacular

By CARLOMAR ARCANGEL DAOANA, The Philippine STAR Published Sep 05, 2022 5:00 am

Artist Lindslee, whose brash, eye-popping sculptures belie a reticent demeanor, launches a salvo of works that will lure throngs of viewers into the glass structure of ArtistSpace in Greenbelt as they marvel at the scale, the perspicacity, and the utterly confounding nature of what’s on display. Opened yesterday, his exhibition, cheekily titled “The Mind Crossed the Idea,” presents sculptures and paintings of everyday objects writ large, menacing the viewer with their unavoidable, powerful presence.

No doubt the superstar of the show organized by Pintô Art Museum is “The Tale of Fatima,” which features an obese woman straight out of an ‘80s aerobics class, garbed in sweaty Spandex and finished with blue eyeshadow. Holding what appears to be a yoga position, she lifts her tremendous arm to balance an actual taxidermized bird on her index finger. The sight is at once disconcerting and strangely seductive, not only because of the sculpture’s striking verisimilitude, but how it teeters oh-so-subtly into the fantastical.

No doubt the superstar in Lindslee’s ArtistSpace show, “The Mind Crossed the Idea,” is “The Tale of Fatima” — a sculpture, mesmerizing in its verisimilitude, featuring an obese woman straight out of an ‘80s aerobics class; holding what appears to be a yoga position, she lifts her tremendous arm to balance a taxidermized bird on her index finger.

Unlike, say, the gargantuan works of Pop artists, particularly Claes Oldenburg, whose usual choice of subject matter involved consumer goods and fast food, or perhaps the early works of Jeff Koons with his basketballs and vacuum cleaners, Lindslee teases with the surreal, nudging the meaning of the work toward the absurd, in which a cross becomes studded with rotting teeth and molars (“Bite More than You can Chew”) or a chorus of fishes reveal their tiny, gaping mouths as if about to break into an aria (“Something Fishy”).

Those who have been to Pintô, the organizer of the exhibition, may recognize “Bread and Butter” as kin to the moldy version in the museum, which has served as background to many a selfie.

Some of the works are totems to what we imagine as the good life: the butter on toast, the shucked oyster, the ability to choose our version of physical hardship through the lens of fitness. Some serve as objects of critique, assuming the mouth-watering quality of the food that they depict. Embedded in the tantalizing veneer of these works is a commentary on consumerism, middle-class fantasies, and the failures of neo-liberalism, all the more heightened by the context of the gallery which is situated within a luxury shopping complex.

Lindslee teases with the surreal, nudging the meaning of the work toward the absurd.

Bite More Than You Can Chew” is as much dental as it is divine.

In the cake paintings, for instance, Lindslee wielded acrylic pigments like a pastry chef, applying them to a palette board, approximating the process of cake decoration. They bear the quips that the artist — or any artist for that matter — routinely hears with regard to their work: “I don’t get it.” “I like the colors.” “Please explain.” The works’ primary attraction is their recalcitrance to give anything away. “The Mind Crossed the Idea” must be experienced in the flesh.

A print version of Sabel by National Artist BenCab is one of the highlights of works on offer in the fundraising exhibit, “Explore Art,” organized by the Philippine College of Surgeons (PCS) from Sept. 11 to 25 at the Pintô Art Museum.

The exhibit, which will have an artist’s reception this Friday, Sept. 9, will be on view at ArtistSpace until Sept. 14. The gallery is located at the ground level of Ayala Museum Annex, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City. For details, contact Jenny Villanueva at +632 8697 1015 or [email protected]

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National Artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera leads the more than 100 artists who will be participating in the fundraising exhibit, “Explore Art,” organized by the Philippine College of Surgeons (PCS) and its foundation from Sept. 11 to 25 at the Pintô Art Museum. Funds raised during the event will benefit the Surgery for Underserved Regions and for Education (S.U.R.E.), which provides, among other outreach initiatives, surgical treatments to those who otherwise would not be able to afford them.

Members from the Alitaptap Artists Community, homegrown Pintô artists, as well as other invited practitioners will showcase their works of varying themes, styles, and media in a group show that will be curated by Cris Villanueva.

Works by BenCab, Elmer Borlongan, Manny Garibay, Ferdie Montemayor, Othoniel Neri, and Orley Ypon will be up for bids in a silent auction. Successful bids will be revealed during the culmination of the exhibition. Other participants in “Explore Art” include Plet Bolipata, Jim Orencio and Jojit Solano.

Pintô Art Museum is located at 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo City. For inquiries on the purchase of works and the viewing of the exhibition, contact PCS at 0920-9119590 or email [email protected]