Lot 238
  • 238

Ronald Ventura

480,000 - 680,000 HKD
4,820,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • Ronald Ventura
  • The Dive
  • Signed and dated 2010-12
  • Oil on canvas


Acquired directly from the artist

Private Collection, Singapore

Catalogue Note

Ronald Ventura’s uncanny latch on profanity, as literal and symbolic capital of his works, reveals a longing to escape. The prime target, always, is the numbing space of comfort. From religion to sleep to home—Ventura’s deconstruction of places of respite reveals a distaste for the standstill. The preference for mobility manifests in the progression seen in the artist’s body of works—each new creation always has an added element, whether it is another medium to better convey drawn up figures;  or another caricature to contribute to the growing density of pop images over his flawlessly-executed human anatomies. This is not a statement but instead, a letting go. The continuous evolution of Ventura’s creations is his mediated version of a continuing deluge—of changing images, sentiments, distractions, affections, and affectations of the modern world that condition his mode of art production.

This time, he fetishizes water—ubiquitous, life-giving, essential—by rendering it hostile. He divests the element of its kindness, conjuring its power to construct a present state of things. That water accommodates everything as a universal solvent, never pure in itself, speaks of a dissolved Otherness that modernity has fastened its identity firmly upon. From here, Ventura dives into alliterations rife with tautologies. The deluge is deluged. Recent monsoon rains have flooded the artist’s homeland, rendering more than a hundred dead and thousands displaced. The floodwater is flooded with trash of the society, its murky waters pockmarked with the colours of the commercial—from plastics to posters to pictures. The liberalism of the flow of the flow chooses no one and everyone, its direction determined by random surface structure, wreaking havoc wherever it chooses to go. Long has Ventura touched upon this sense of drowning under force majeur (acrylic/oil bodies buried by a wealth of drawings) but it is only now that he literally visualizes the tragedy, adding ripples to confirm that there is in fact water, and not just images, wherein he submerged the child.

The child is the proverbial masked hero—human, flawed even in innocence. He is endowed with a weary pragmatism, probably the only true legacy that can be bequeathed to those who will inherit this world that the universal myth says has once been cleansed from evil. The hero struggles through this deluge—informed by the artist’s construct of water set against the grand narrative of the flood--terrified and expectant at the undoing of the present system through its own doing.