1075
1075
Ronald Ventura
FOREST
Estimate
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 7,880,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
1075
Ronald Ventura
FOREST
Estimate
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 7,880,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale

|
Hong Kong

Ronald Ventura
B. 1973
FOREST
Signed and dated 2015
Oil on canvas
243.5 by 365.5 cm; 95 3/4  by 143 3/4  in.
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Catalogue Note

The Philippines is a country that is rich with cultural and religious ideologies that stem from the country’s interaction with other countries such as Spain, Japan and America. All these cross cultural relationships have had a lasting influence upon the local artistic expression. As depicted in modernist artworks the Filipino identity was centered on the natural landscape and local heritage, consequently the paintings from this period catered to a Western audience. However in a contemporary framework many local artists chose to look inwards for inspiration, revealing a divorce from their predecessors in artistic expression. These paintings explored the artists’ diverse heritage from an intimate perspective, notably each individual’s history as expressed through a vocabulary that was personalized to their experiences.

Ronald Ventura’s collection of artworks provides a visual guide into his identity as a Filipino artist whose frequent use of pop culture iconography is a fresh dialogue between old and new world imagery. He appropriates images from a variety of resources: religious symbolism, Western and Eastern mythology, comic books, old master paintings, as well as images that come from his personal relationships too. The current work entitled Forest shows the artist straying slightly away from his usual bedlam of cartoonish characters, and turning his painterly eye towards the psyche to reveal the creatures that run freely in the human unconscious.

The current piece shows the artist’s experimenting with linear patterns that create a prismatic, otherworldly light in the work. A new aesthetic found in the paintings created only few years ago, the presence of the lines and how they crisscross upon the canvas establishes a certain gravitas in the painting that is visually stimulating. In Forest the lines are reminiscent of the Greek myth of the famed labyrinth, the Minotaur and the hero Theseus using a ball of yarn to find his way out of the structure. Ventura’s use of the lines acts as a guide for the audience that arrests their attention, pulling them towards the fascinating group of creatures that govern the narrative.

Ventura’s well known appropriation of pop culture has established a certain tone within the paintings, one that is both chaotic while being simultaneously poetical as well. Light and darkness, silence and din, are all transformed in the narratives, abiding by the artist’s unique set of aesthetics and styles. Therein lays the artist’s creative genius to find the balance between these opposing forces, and relay them in new shapes and forms within his paintings. The present work perfectly exemplifies this dichotomy between the audience and the animals, both parties fascinated about the other while on edge about each other’s true intentions. Many paintings in the artist’s oeuvre follow in this vein of kinetic tension and overlapping of images to build up a specific mood in the works. He is respected for his vibrant play with imagery, casting an assortment of characters into universes that teeter between fact and fiction.

 Forest reveals a new progression in Ventura’s paintings. Together with the linear graphics that zigzag cross the canvas, the contents of the narrative are slightly different from the bevy of past animals that inhabited his oeuvre. Unlike earlier works that showcase imaginary beasts together with domestic animals, the present piece is grounded in a certain degree of realism that is a brand new element within Ventura’s body of works. While older paintings may have referenced cartoons and commercialism, it can be said that Ventura’s recent works have a quieter introspective feel about them. Far from the din of fantastical creatures that ran freely in earlier paintings, the animals in Forest have a haunting allure that is partly from their realist depictions, as well as the nature of their interactions with one another. The present piece references fairytales, notably with the presence of the wolf and sleeping woman grouped together by a random menagerie of creatures.

 By deviating away from commercial images such as Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty and Angry Bird, all who have coincidently passed through Ventura’s paintings, and choosing to embrace a more organic assortment of characters brings a special weight to the overall painting. Unlike the fictional pop culture images that inhabit another plane of existence, the audience can relate to the animals in the present piece, for there is a calming familiarity with the kitten, Chihuahua, and rabbit inhabiting the narrative. This new direction in Ventura’s oeuvre shows a softer and more introspective look from the artist that welcomes in new dialogue to his artistic expression. Forest can be seen as an exciting commentary on the role of a Filipino artist actively sifting through his culture affiliations to create works that are understood and resonate with a global audience.

 

 

           

           

Modern and Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale

|
Hong Kong