In this present lot, Ventura borrows from one of the most popular cartoon characters of all time, Mickey Mouse, and assembles its iconic black ears onto the helmet of an astronaut. Creating a silhouette that is strangely unrecognisable yet familiar, Ventura renders this hybrid character with the faithfulness of a photograph; as such, this hyper realistic approach reveals the multifaceted nature of his broad imagination, giving way to a realm of both fantasy and conflict. Ventura explores the complex relationship between one’s external reality and internal reality, as a boy with sunken eyes stares blankly from inside the astronaut suit. Ventura often chooses children as the narrators of his artworks, as they lend the canvas an innocent sense of stability, which is aptly juxtaposed by the fictional forms of his creation.
Brimming with implicit social criticism, it is important to look towards the title of this present lot: High at Space I, which retains a balance between illusion and truth, as Ventura composes a dynamic melding of imagery and universes with a monochromatic palette that further accentuates its kinetic tension. With a visual vocabulary that is characterized by an expansive assimilation of fact and fiction, Ronald Ventura is a revered artist who continues to present a fresh dialogue to Southeast Asian contemporary art with his surrealistic and meaningful masterpieces.
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