As a child growing up in downtown Manila, Tatong Recheta Torres would escape into the world of movies. Enveloped in
the darkness of Recto Avenue cinemas, his imagination transported him from the bustle of a congested city. Off he went, out into the realm of Bioman, and Godzilla, Darna and Valentina.
In this show, Odeon Universal Galaxy, Tatong teams up with Leeroy New. Their first exhibit together takes its name from the most well-known movie theaters in Avenida. They take us into a flick of their own making, one that brings us to the world of sci-fi, horror, and Japanese anime they devoured as kids.
When you walk into Blanc Compound’s main exhibit space, you feel just like Obi Wan and Luke as they enter the cantina in search of Han Solo. Only a bit less PG. Tatong’s painting on the center wall, All Star Cast, depicts backstage of a beergarden somewhere across the Milky Way from Pluto. Leeroy’s human-sized creatures mill around, enjoying the entertainment.
Leeroy, himself reared on Blade Runner and The Thing, allows his imagination to take flight once more. This time, his fiberglass and polyurethane sculpture have more detail. You can’t help but scrutinize and enjoy the clear figurines he piles atop two of his works, like some sort of space age barnacles.
It would’ve been good if Tatong had one other painting. But perhaps that couldn’t have been helped. Tatong and Leeroy should make movies more often. This was so much fun!
Odeon Universal Galaxy runs from 24 August to 10 September 2009 at Blanc Compound, 359 Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong City. Phone (632)750-0032 or visit http://www.blanc.ph