Eugene Jarque and Mac Valdezco Ride In Circles

Mac Valdezco and Eugene Jarque call this exhibit Riding In Circle, an awkward title for a wonderful display of their latest work.  Unfortunately, the show ends in a few days.  This post comes a bit too late, but I thought it a pity to let the show pass and allow

Mac Valdezco, detail, "Mini Rider", monoprint on bed of strings

it to simply disappear, swallowed up by the general chaos of the holidays.

Eugene Jarque, "Untitled (Vessel)", acrylic on wood, 48 inx80 in

Eugene’s works take off from the series of painted aluminum strips on canvas that he has been producing for the last two years. For this show, he opted to use thin bands of wood instead of metal.  This allowed him to layer strips atop each other and  render portions of each piece in relief.  He completed Untitled (Rays) and Untitled (Vessels) in this manner.

Eugene Jarque, "Untitled (Rays)", acrylic on wood, 73.5in x 48in

Relief detail, "Untitled (Rays)"

This experiment with wood revived his interest in printmaking techniques, and led him to conceptualize the other pieces in this show.  He etched patterns on wooden slabs just as a printmaker would create engravings.  Eugene, however, stopped short of transferring his patterns onto another medium, and, instead, used the wood as his ground, staining his slashes with resin for Unprocessed 1 and Unprocessed 2, and utilizing acrylic and graphite to add color to Structure With Fungus.

Eugene Jarque, "Unprocessed 2", resin stains on etched wood, 22.5in x 48in

The show also includes several of Eugene’s

Eugene Jarque, "Unprocessed 1", resin stains on etched wood, 48in x 48in

wall-bound works in metal, which he again approached as a printmaker creating plates.  The squares of steel don’t come any larger than 24 inches x 24 inches and he wrapped these around  canvas and wood, brushing their surfaces with acid or primer and allowing their effects to interact with his acrylic, ink, and graphite patterns.

Eugene Jarque, "Things Fall Apart 2", metal primer, acrylic, printing ink, aluminum on wood, 12in x 12 in

Mac, on the other hand, has found herself a new medium to play with.  In her hands, plastic bag handles, which she christens “syrups”, take on forms that resemble her graphite doodles on canvas (of which she has

Eugene Jarque, "Kite 1", 24in x 24in and "Untitled", 24in x 12in, aluminum, acid, graphite on canvas

two on display).  She has mounted them hanging from the ceiling; I thought they gave off a very Christmassy vibe.  Mac sought to project their star-like patterns onto the gallery’s walls, but unfortunately, I viewed the show in the middle of the day when only the faintest shadow could register.

She has also put another spin on her series of thread monoprints.  This time, Mac cut the printed paper into strips and wove them to look like the rattan balls used for the Southeast Asian sport Sepak Takraw. She displays them nestled in thread inside plastic receptacles, or hanging cradled in canvas slings.

Mac Valdezco, detail, "Black Syrup", plastic bag handles

Mac Valdezco, "Yellow Syrup", plastic bag handles

The show has three days left to run, enough time for those in search for something to see beyond the malls.  When Mac and Eugene let their creative geniuses loose, they never disappoint.

Riding In Circle runs until 30 December 2010 at Blanc Peninsula Manila, Peninsula Manila Hotel Arcade, Makati Avenue, Makati City. Phone (632) 752-0032 or visit

Detail, "Yellow Syrup"

Mac Valdezco, "Black Syrup", plastic bag handles

Mac Valdezco, "Mini Rider" display, monoprint on thread in plastic receptacles

Mac Valdezco, "Black Rider", monoprint, canvas carrier

Mac Valdezco, "Untitled", graphite on canvas, 48in x 72in


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