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Thursday, December 9, 2010

HOMAGE TO THE END OF THE EQUINOX




HOMAGE TO THE END OF THE EQUINOX
Latest Paintings by Mideo M Cruz
Gallerie Anna, 4th Floor, SM Megamall A, Mandaluyong City Philippines
Opening reception on December 1, On view until December 15, 2010

DESTRUCTION OF THE SACRED by Dave Lock

Apart from his well known shock-performances concerned with fake gushing blood, viscerals, and other familiar mutations of revered Gods and Goddesses, Mideo M Cruz also considers painting as another chief art form. And on his most recent display of works, he has basically chosen to spend months on the confines of his studio, working in a painstaking involvement of detail to finish the pieces that he has prepared for this exhibition. This further reinvents his exciting, intellectual imageries into something that is orderly fixed on a gallery wall, like a memory coarsely nailed inches deep into the head of it's viewer.

Despite the extensive difference in medium, the artist was able to retain his incorporation of organic entrails and his love for detail through the embodiment of repetitive patterns embedded as the background of his works. It's also quite noticeable that the artist has used the imageries of varied animals that are usually worshiped and regarded as divine by different religions and cults, such as the tiger and the elephant. Of course he has included the most respected and exalted of them all, in terms of both time and numbers, which is the fish. Ichthys, or more known as ichthus can be read as an acrostic, a word formed from the first letters of several words. It compiles to "Jesus Christ, God's son, Savior" in ancient Greek. From the strong controversy of this matter, audiences may definitely be not surprised because through the years of his steadfast career as an artist, Mideo has already been strongly associated with presentations regarding the paradox of religion, and eventually leading to the questioning of its major role in the brainwashed, metaphysical construction of society itself.

With regards to visual aesthetics, the artist has depicted the mood in a manner that creates a certain atmosphere of Asian art, because compared to westerners, Asians are more inclined and are possessed with the natural tendency to pledge loyalty to gods, whereas what their foreign counterparts would only consider as pieces of literature and mythology. This strong Asian feel, associated with ornamental patterns, creates the perfect aura for the paintings to sound more fit to what the artist wants to present. The parallelism of figures is also very noticeable, with the other side showing the internals of the chosen animal the artist wants to represent. This somehow creates an illusion of separation and disassemblement, as if the mass of flesh was sliced into two halves, with one side showing what it looks like on the outside and the other, inside. This can also imply them of being stripped off their sanctified qualities, turning them into mere, fleshly constructs, something that what they really are supposed to be.

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. So basically, this may symbolically refer to a transitory period, a time when a huge, valuable amount of change is bound to happen. And since the age of the fish is fast approaching for the second time (the first being Christ's birth from a human mother), this may be interpreted by some as another apocalyptic warning of our own impending doom, the end of the world, or perhaps just a brief cycle of change, playing a central role in man's evolution and existence as an individual. This, according to the artist, is left to the audience's perception and personal judgment.

This is a homage to the end of the equinox.

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