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Thursday, April 12, 2012

SURROGATES


THE REPLACEMENTS
Notes on Cris Villanueva’s Surrogates

Cris Villanueva Jr. used to work in advertising, and he draws on this, his tenure in the trenches, if you will, and whatever residual effects it might have had on his process, for the philosophical impetus of his latest show, Surrogates.

The current that courses through the show is this idea of surrogates, as more than mere replacements, but as substitutes that gain their own identity and resonance, and possibly even supersede the meanings of what they replace, re-encoding them with their own. The paintings here become surrogates themselves, of the photographs that served as its reference points and of the realities they represented.

Advertising is a surrogate craft , too, if only in the way it taps into the disciplines of literature and art and deputizes them with new imperatives, new thrusts, new codes. Broken down, though, advertising is ulitmately the curating of specific images to provoke the impulse to consume. Broken down, that’s what painting ulitmately is, too. And Surrogates is essentially an almost forensic examination of the point where his former career and his current art mesh.

Art and advertising tend to part ways on notions of purity, on issues of constraint. Villanueva has always recognized and even encouraged this dissonance. He still does, of course, but this time, he also navigates it.

Exhibition opening and Artist reception on the 14th of April 2012 at six o clock in the evening. The exhibition runs until 4 May 2012 at NOVA Gallery, Warehouse 12A, La Fuerza Compound, 2241 Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City.

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