First, graffiti in a museum. Now, tattoos in a gallery. Witness as Bad Boy art turns legit, and Manila’s welcoming response to this development. A show that carries a title as provocative as Painting With A Hammer To Nail The Crotch of Civilization with artist Manuel Ocampo as the curator is bound to draw in the art scene denizens. Throw in work by his colleagues, the likes of international art superstars like Albert Oehlen, plus free tattoo sessions on selected days of
the show’s run, then you even get the dwellers of the alternative art scene to trek to Makati.
The show celebrates mural painting and tattoo imagery. Ten artists, all with international profiles, show pieces that have been enlarged onto the gallery’s walls. I enjoyed the show not for any particular piece that stood out among the rest, but more for the spectacle of seeing all the pieces fill up the walls of Manila Contemporary, one of the most expansive spaces in the city. Some of the artists could not come to Manila. So Manuel had their works projected onto the gallery walls, and young Pinoy artists painstakingly translated these images.
Curro Gonzalez uses The Artland Project to present his version of an imaginary theme park with amusements such as Kippenberger Bay and Fallingwater House that go through the gamut of art history. He has both his 1950 and 2010 versions up on the walls, by the gallery’s entrance.
Aside from Manuel, Albert Oehlen, and Curro Gonzalez, the exhibit features works by Goetz Arndt, Claus Carstensen, Gaston Damag, David Griggs, Dr, Lakra, Pablo Siquier, and Gerardo Tan. Gaston chose to do an installation on the gallery floor. A space had been sectioned off for hurt me! nicely so that two L-shaped walls face each other in a yin-yang formation. The walls within had been filled with slashes, one side finer than the other to denote the installation’s female component. Small-scale works on canvas by Manuel, Gerry, and David also hang around the gallery, interspersed with the murals.
On the second floor, the smaller space by the gallery’s offices had been set aside for Wall Works. Here, the young artists who assisted in the main exhibit get to show their own stuff. I think they held their own.
Painting With A Hammer To Nail The Crotch of Civilization: A Group Show of Wall Works and Tattoo Imagery runs from 13 November to 5 December 2010 at Manila Contemporary, Whitespace, 2314 Chino Roces Extension (Pasong Tamo), Makati City. Phone (632) 844-7328 or visit http://www.manilacontemporary.com
Artists for Wall Works are: Nemo Aguila, Bjorn Calleja, Rommel Celespara, Jigger Cruz, Don Djerassi Dalmacio, Bee Jay Esber, Dex Fernandez, Edric Go, Dave Lock, Jason Montinola, Epjay Pacheco