NEWS

Saturday, October 8, 2011

INTERVENTIONS





Ensnared in a Web of Gazing
by Reuben Ramas Cañete, PhD

Manichean is the world Grandier Gil Bella sees: the complexities of human existence, relationships, fate, and life’s decisions are reduced into the black-and-white starkness of choice or circumstance that assigns its requisite moral value as “good” or “evil,” depending on how the outcome affects one’s felt interests. Then again, it may also be Grandier’s realization that perhaps it is a human fantasy of wishing that there is a choice in the first place, when in fact stark reality is the only eventuality that stares back at one’s face. This dichotomy of destiny, of the cold statistical tumble of either-or, is what rationalizes and animates Grandier’s use of split complementary or monochrome color schemes in his canvases. The assignment of warm (red-orange) versus cool (blue) tones follows this dichotomic logic by bathing his human subjects and illusionistic textures with a felt polarity: negative and positive emotions and energies are directed and literally illuminated, making the task of comprehension simpler and more meaningful.

It is the search for balance and harmony within this polarized universe that Grandier thus privileges, one that is instantly observable in his compositions, with their mirror-effect of warm-versus-cool or black-versus-white symmetries. Codified into strips of illusionistically-painted paper (a leitmotif that Grandier locates within his own artistic biography), the human subject that is bathed in this dual light illustrates the ambivalence that results in our search for happiness: the intricate lace of half-truths, little white lies, and doubletalk that people inflict upon one another as they progress in a relationship, from a sweet crush, to getting-to-know-you, I’m-so-in-you, and then to what-was-that-all-about and that’s-a-new-side-of-you-I’ve-never-seen; eventually to let’s-cool-off-for-awhile, and finally I-don’t-love-you-anymore. Popular culture has gifted us with a hybrid term for such ambivalent relationships: the frenemy. The simultaneous complexity of social life versus the simpler impact of its effects upon the psyche is what Grandier exploits as he fragments the picture plane into scraps of torn and crumpled paper, re-assembled illusionistically into the canvas like an old, salvaged love letter full of regrets. The human subject is seen animating the spaces in between, and in some cases is caught within, this simulated pastiche of delicate paper and fraught emotion, like an avatar that gives cognizance to the violence that is wrought in the search for redemption.

This melancholic and yet cathartic reflection is given a more direct bearing in Grandier’s current set of works, which alternates between depictions of male and female nudes, as well as portrait studies that capture the internal duality of duplicitous characters as a veritable recreation of the psychotic double, as seen in the film Face Off, or if you prefer the more gentle world of Mike Myer’s Mini Me. The use of gold or silver masks for the female nude, as seen in Ensnared, The Offering, and To What End hint at a private game played dangerously by a lover using emotions like lust, submission, domination, and betrayal. The use of chains, alternating with roses that stretch taught, flail or hang limpidly in the contrasting light exemplifies these bonds to the heart and mind as both sadomasochistic as well as cheekily romantic. Also, the metaphor of the mask as hiding one’s real identity while giving the impression of another character magnifies the duplicity of human character, and implicates the act of gazing as the true source of human despondence and illusory desire, for one often chooses to see the farce of a surface character rather than come to terms with the real person behind the mask.

This anaphora between fake and real, mask and face, external versus internal, and chains versus roses shows Grandier Gil Bella’s mastery of reflecting on the compounded ambivalence of human nature through the act of gazing. Gazes Forbidden wraps up these contrasts with a sharp-edged depiction of the masked lady versus the blurred image of the real person behind the mask, and unites the contrast-coloured world of Grandier with the gaze-focused reality of the human subject as a parallel text. What we decide to do, or to accept as real in our daily lives ultimately revolves around the ability to see past the casual illusions, and focus on realizing the trap of seeing without knowing as the choice that we should deny.

INTERVENTIONS by Grandier Bella opens October 10, Monday, 6-9pm and runs until October 24, 2011. The show is curated by Reuben Ramas Cañete, PhD and exhibition design is by Eghai Roxas. For inquiries, contact Galerie Anna at The Artwalk, SM Megamall A, Mandaluyong City, 470-2511, 470-9869, 0918-9918031, or galerie.anna@yahoo.com. Gallery hours are 10am-9pm daily. For further information, visit: www.galerieanna.com, www.facebook.com/galerieanna, wwwgrandierbella.net.

BOSES

BOSES

IBALONG

IBALONG

THY WOMB

THY WOMB

PHILIPPINE ART PUBLICATIONS



About This Blog









SECRET FRESH GALLERY

SECRET FRESH GALLERY

DRAWING ROOM

DRAWING ROOM

ALTRO MONDO

ALTRO MONDO

SINDO ARTWALL

SINDO ARTWALL

OARHOUSE

OARHOUSE

AYALA MUSEUM

AYALA MUSEUM

BLANC

BLANC

GSIS MUSEO NG SINING

GSIS MUSEO NG SINING

MUSEO DE LIPA

MUSEO DE LIPA

NAGA CITY ART GALLERY

NAGA CITY ART GALLERY

GALLERIA NICOLAS

GALLERIA NICOLAS

WEST GALLERY

WEST GALLERY

GALLERY ORANGE

GALLERY ORANGE

40TH LIKHANG SINING 2013

40TH LIKHANG SINING 2013

ART FAIR PHILIPPINES 2013

ART FAIR PHILIPPINES 2013

RIZAL ARTS FESTIVAL 2013

RIZAL ARTS FESTIVAL 2013

CINEMA REHIYON 2013

CINEMA REHIYON 2013

VIVA-EXCON LOGO DESIGN COMPETITION

VIVA-EXCON LOGO DESIGN COMPETITION

2013 AMELIA LAPEÑA BONIFACIO LITERARY CONTEST

2013 AMELIA LAPEÑA BONIFACIO LITERARY CONTEST

ANIMAHENASYON 2013 POSTER DESIGN CONTEST

ANIMAHENASYON 2013 POSTER DESIGN CONTEST

  © Blogger template Brownium by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP