I set out early from Makati on the day I caught West Gallery’s opening of four shows, one for each of its exhibit spaces. I arrived
just as they set up the coffee station, the aroma of freshly-brewed beans keeping me company as I criss-crossed the gallery’s rooms, taking in the works on the walls. Quite a melange from relatively young artists with very distinct styles and subject matter.
Jonathan Ching continues his series on immortality which he first explored in his show in KL a few months ago. In the main wall of his space, three portraits lend their
titles to the show, If Its White and In a Bottle, It Must Be Milk. These paintings depict Princess Diana and the late rap superstar Francis Magalona in life, and the last, the Dalai Lama. As Jon explains, the title comes from the words of Alexandre Dumas as he delves on the difference between perception and reality, especially the reality that these immortals had to contend with vis-a-vis their high profile lives.
I thought that the mixed media piece, Deja Vu (After Edouard Manet), which combines a cast iron bull positioned above Jon’s depiction of Manet’s slain matador came off as the most interesting. It may even have the potentials of spinning off into another show, perhaps the beginning of a series of similar mixed media wall works.
Lawrence Bersoto and Dennis Gonzales stick to what they’ve done before. Lawrence captures photographic moments with his usual skill. Dennis reveals hidden lives and desires.
You can just imagine how much work Kaloy Olavides puts into his collages. He begged, borrowed, and, maybe, stole magazines from family, friends, and strangers to gather enough photographs to complete his pieces. Kaloy works with repetitive images painstakingly put together. In his Need Extension series, he has hundreds of hands appearing to reach out to man’s three basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. In Etherealscape, the eyes have it. As with the hands, he cut, pasted, and lacquered more than 100 eyes for this one piece.
If Its White and Its in a Bottle It Must Be Milk by Jonathan Ching, Chaotic Serenity by Kaloy Olavides, Nothing New Under the Sun by Dennis Gonzales, and You Are A
Moment by Lawrence Bersoto runs from 13 August to 14 September 2009 at West Gallery, 48 West Ave., Quezon City. Phone (632) 411-9221 or visit