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Saturday, February 27, 2010

BLACK TENDENCIES


About the exhibition:
In his most recent collection of eerie, patterned portraitures, Andres Barrioquinto suggests the alternate possibilities of things, and the brittle, fragile fulcrum that lies between the extreme polarities of good and evil. His paintings reflect the presence of tendencies, as a clean, white canvas has a natural inclination to turn black with just a few unconscious strokes of an artist’s restless brush. According to the artist, these self-contained imageries depict “dark” people living in a blissful, colorful world, a surreal paradise of falling flower petals and drifting kaleidoscopic butterflies. More like early repentant sinners who try (desperately) to live against the temptations of both flesh and soul. Barrioquinto explains that the figures were intentionally depicted in a crestfallen, monochromatic state, to emphasize the emptiness of the soul, or perhaps their utterly hopeless longing to have one. Around these characters is an explosion of decorative fragments, forcing in a cacophony of screaming colors. Flowers, birds, black trees with golden leaves, cats, butterflies — everything cries in a visual noise of three-dimensional sensory overload, which is impressively contained inside the four, flat closures of the artist’s square canvases. Each painting is coupled with a poem written by Andres’ good friend Dave Lock, who has been doing essays for his recent one-man shows. The words are portraits frozen in a narrative state, hiding in each a story of their own. “It’s the innate order of things. If you’re good, then your tendency is to turn bad, and vice versa.” Barrioquinto says, referring to the simple, yet complex reality of things. Iconographies and subtle representations of evil lie afloat inside his present batch of paintings. Skull-mark repetitions, dead trees, black sheep, and even oversized sumos are found drifting along with his portraitures. These representational designs may refer to a summary of the seven deadly sins or more simply, the things that wickedly turn tendencies into stark realities. “What happens when you mix all the colors in the background?” Barrioquinto asks, as we end the interview.

I thought for a while, and I realized, “Black”.


About the artist:
Andres Barrioquinto (b. 1975, Philippines) graduated in Fine Arts (Painting) from the University of Santo Tomas in 2000. A prestigious recipient of the Thirteen Artists Award (2003) bestowed by the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, Black Tendencies is his 18th solo exhibition and 5th in Singapore. The exhibition introduces a new, deeply layered and patterned style into his genre.

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