Lot 206
  • 206

Alfredo Esquillo, Jr.

90,000 - 120,000 HKD
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  • Alfredo Esquillo, Jr.
  • Garden Of Plastic Delights
  • Signed and dated 2013
  • Oil on ethylene-vinyl acetate panel, triptych
  • Each: 152.5 by 91.5 cm.; 60 by 36 in.
  • Overall: 152.5 by 274 cm.; 60 by 107 3/4 in. (3)


The work is in good condition overall, as are the rubber panels. There are indications of minor wear and handling around the edges. Under ultraviolet light inspection, there is no evidence of restoration. Framed, under Plexiglas.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Hieronymus Bosch’s 15th century painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights, was the inspiration for Alfredo Esquillo Jr.’s current triptych, Garden of Plastic Delights, a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the original work. The Filipino artist’s painting plays out as an imaginative sequence depicting a being that is undergoing what appears to be a rebirth of sorts. The top torso of the figure is an egg starting to hatch, while the lower body is made up of a hand where two fingers act as “legs”. A piece of black rubber tube coiling peeks out from underneath the figure’s skirt. In the second scene the egg hatches to reveal a plastic doll wearing a crown, holding a pill as if it were a scepter. The artist has created a new mythical figure that rules the realm of artificial objects, and manufactured realities.

However, it is in the third scene that reveals the horrifying truth: this world is a doppelganger of our own. The clouds bring forth a shower of baby pacifiers, a reminder of the artificialness that governs human experience from infancy. One plastic ball is revealed to be a woman’s silicone breast, absurdly swollen as per society’s “bigger is better” aesthetic. Flowers emerge as pills from the wallpaper, false nourishments and scientific innovations that extend life, however may not necessary improve it. Similar with the human colon, the black rubber tube expels black balls, filling the landscape with unwarranted waste, perhaps a reference to uncontrolled consumption.

The viewer discovers that the plastic legs are a pair of toy scissors, poised to cut the lifeline that connects to the ship sailing nearby the doll. Upon deeper analysis, it turns out that the ship is a statue of the Virgin Mary facing downwards. However, most ominous of all, is when the plastic doll reveals its true colors, for the beaming smile is now transformed into a wide monstrous grin.

The hand that acts as the doll’s “legs” is the only organic being that exists within the painting. It may be a visual interpretation of the expression “let your fingers do the walking”, which aptly describes human relationships in the digital age. Connections are merely built through clicks of the mouse, while online “likes” and “shares” pass for intimacy. The doll that personifies the artist’s god of artifice has a Wi-Fi antenna atop its head, as means to influence the other realms through viral propagation. Nearby a small cloud houses a switch with a plastic mask, proposing that deeper questions underline the artwork’s message.

Imbedded within each scene are textual clues that give way to disturbing answers: non-biodegradable, non-recyclable and non- reusable. Indelible reminders of what humans have wrought onto this world with little to no foresight, and cannot be reversed, undone or repurposed.