PASSIVE AGRESSIVE, LEEROY NEW AT ART INFORMAL
Leeroy New takes inspiration from various sources: Greek Mythology, pop culture, science fiction, and his Filipino religious upbringing. All these disparate influences come together in the playful
and fantastic creatures he brings out, amalgams and hybrids of his multiple biases. How interesting to examine the thought process that results in these painted fiberglass figures, products of what must be an extraordinary imagination or deep reflection. Or, most likely, both!
His piece, Chimaera (Askal), perhaps illustrates this fascination with hybridity best: he brings a further dimension to a beast that already combines the characteristics of three other beasts, that of the lion, the goat and a snake. By painting it aqua and adding a dose of details, he creates an entirely new being. We see this again in Trinity as he questions our fundamental belief in three persons who make up one
God. If you really think about it, the only way to illustrate such a Supreme Being would be exactly as Leeroy depicts it, a multi-faceted, multi-legged composite, not unlike the way we portray aliens in sci-fi movies.
In Cosmic Cocophony we get a version of the many-legged Buddha intermixed with symbols of Christianity (cherubs), morphing and spewing out alien-like characters from a severed limb.
He adds a mischievous touch with his number of small (not more than six inches high) figures in jelly colors in which he alters
familiar Catholic relics, those usually found in our bedside tables, into entitities from outer space. He interchanges aliens and santos, making both creatures of faith who we have not seen but believe to be real. Or are the santos transformed into aliens?
Passive Aggressive by Leeroy New is on view from 18 March to 13 April 2009 at Art
Informal, 277 Connecticut St., Greenhills East. Phone (632)725-8518 or visit www.artinformal.com
SHE KEPT IT BLEEDING TIL THE SECOND ROUND BY JANET BALBARONA
In 2004, Janet Balbarona graduated from the Fine Arts program of Far Eastern University. From there she took herself off to Australia on an aboriginal arts project, did a stint in Beijing with a DJ friend, and now finds herself back in the Manila arts scene. In her first solo show at Blanc Art Space in Makati, she puts together pieces most of which she labels as “emo
paintings”. She draws on deeply personal experiences and puts them together in the manner of a scrapbook, something akin to a designer’s look book of fashion illustrations.
The Friendliest Thief, for instance, brings back a prediction made by a tarot card reader on the dangers that a long-haired girl poses in Janet’s life. She intends for The Captain at Rest and It’s Flammable to be viewed as a pair, both hark back to carefree times spent with an Australian artist. In It Will Never Be Free Taste, she relives a particularly rotten day.
Janet’s paintings look like collages on paper, ungrounded subjects
interspersed with random objects. We can also view her entire show as that, a collation of life’s snapshots put together for us to relive vicariously.
She Kept It Bleeding til The Second Round by Janet Balbarona is on view from 21 March to 10 April 2009, Blanc Art Space, 2E Crown Tower, 107 HV Dela Costa St, Salcedo Village, Makati City, Phone (632)752-0032 or visit
The Drawing Room finally allows Manila audiences to share in the talents of Nikulas Lebajo. A favorite draw in art fairs in Hong Kong, Miami, and New York, Nikulas clones multiples of himself in this series of large scale works.
Ako at Ako is on view from 21 March to 18 April 2009 at The Drawing Room, Metrostar Building, 1007 Metropolitan Ave., Makati City. Phone (632)897-6990 or visit www.drawingroomgallery.com