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Thursday, September 18, 2008

APHRODITE | ICARUS


Galerie Anna, a world-class service provider of Philippine and Global Art in the national and international market, proudly presents the two man-exhibition of Hermes Alegre and Ral Arrogante titled "AphroditeIcarus." The title takes on Greek mythological personalities to describe the individual showcase of both artists. Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, of sexual desire, eroticism, and female power. This feminine power and attraction characterizes the painted women of Hermes Alegre. On the other hand, Icarus, the winged male form, symbol of youth, virility and heroic audacity, is embodied in the “scrapological” sculptural pieces of Ral Arrogante.

In Greek mythology, two figures stand out in the modern mind as being the epitomes of the greatest aspirations of man. The goddess of beauty and love, Aphrodite, is the classic visage of the eternally beautiful soul linked with the always fascinating and perfected beautiful body. Icarus, on the other hand, symbolizes man's ultimate quest for freedom, and to reach the hitherto impossible dream of man-powered flight. In the exhibition AphroditeIcarus, these two aspects, eternal beauty and the aspiration for freedom, are intertwined and given meaning by the work of two contemporary meisters in Philippine Art: painter Hermes Alegre and sculptor Ral Arrogante. Alegre's paintings of women in a folk or mythical setting, utilizing nature as his source of inspiration and domicile of femininity, epitomizes the Filipino's ideal of the Ultimate Beauty. She animates our world in an almost mystical, goddess-like manner, coyly looking at the audience from her protective screen of foliage and fabrics like a precious flower in ephemeral bloom. On the other hand, Arrogante's sculptures of man-powered flight, and other beings and devices that zip across the heavens, made from recycled brass, cleverly conflates the child-like wonder that everyone has for the freedom of flight, and the realization of this fragile dream as based on material and ecological realities. Alegre's paintings remind us of the eternal values of art that ennoble and give value to humanity, while Arrogante's sculptures make us realize the fragility of humanity, and how our aspiration for freedom must be tempered by prudence, foresight, and practice.

This conjoining of two forces through the work of two figurative artists results in a synergy of values that speaks to the present about the need for both balance and risk, eternity and ephemerality, and stability and daring. Ultimately, AphroditeIcarus is also about two faces of the human condition seen within the perspective of a single exhibition, both contributing to the strength of the other, and reinforcing their message as a total statement of the condition of mankind in the contemporary and yet classic-minded age.

Hermes Alegre is a celebrated portraitist, painter of Filipina beauty, and follower of the modern figurative tradition in Philippine Art in the footsteps of Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi, and Benedicto Cabrera. Ral Arrogante is a sculptor who believes in the value of recycled brass as an ecological and yet long-lasting artistic statement on the need to conserve our resources, and maximize the possibilities of material through the unlimited potential of the mind to convert and transform the ordinary into the timeless. Arrogante is also currently the President of the Society for Philippine Sculptors (SPS).

"AphroditeIcarus" opens on Firday, September 19, 2008, at Galerie Anna, located on the 7th Floor, Ramon Magsaysay Center, Roxas Boulevard, Manila (beside Manila Diamond Hotel).The exhibition will run until October 3, 2008. For details an inquiries, please call Joffrey Baylon at Tel. # (02) 567-94-83, or mobile # 0927-462-7567. You may also visit Galerie Anna online at www.galerieanna.com.


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