Saturday, December 08, 2007

Looking through the Trees for the Art

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat and stores across the nation have stocked their shelves to bursting point. In this season of good will, retailers both large and small facilitate the punters desire to part with their doh ray me to populate the space beneath the Christmas tree.

The blanc gallery has entered this fray with a wallpapered exhibition that is The December Show 2007. 120 works of art, all 16” x 24” in size and hung vertically, by 120 artists blanket the walls and spill out into the corridor leading to the gallery. Hung cheek by jowl it is a cacophony of anonymous voices that confront the viewer. For in this exhibition the works authors are unidentified, the pieces stand or fall on their intrinsic artistic merit.

Whilst this is the essence of what art is all about, it comes unstuck in this exhibition due to the sheer number of works in such a confined space. As you view one work there are at least 3 and up to 8 neighbors elbowing their way into the conversation. Highly recognizable derivative works can survive the onslaught whilst those who would speak with an individual voice struggle to be heard.

The hallmarkesque soulful hound of The Junior Boxer, the heavily Roy Lichtenstein influenced Pop Art Fiasco and the 60’s two tone piece, 7am all get a statement out within the 10 second sound bite before the neighbors demand your attention. The quietly spoken Cocoon #1, Idiot Wind and El Corazon are contemplative, individually stylistic works which struggle in vein to be heard above the clamor of their neighbors.

As the commodification of Christmas panders to instant gratification at the cost of its origins so the squeezing of this much art into such a small venue hinders the choice of a long term friend for the space above the mantle piece.

The December Show, 2007 at blanc gallery continues until the 16th of December at 2E Crown Tower, 107 H V dela Costa St, Makati City. Also see for participating artists.

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