de Chavez , Leslie b.1978 / Malevolent Reality
about this work
Sinister spectacle, at once a source of fascination and unease, can be felt from Malevolent Reality. A work that attempts to situate issues pertaining to poverty, the powerful controlling the voiceless majority by inflicting fear, and the preservation of the elite status quo by subjugating the poor. What appears to be an initiation rite and card game is set in a flooded tropical island. Night is about to set and the gray, emaciated figure seated on a chair made of bones is exhausted, on one hand a burning Ace card and on the other, he is made to drink a cup of what seems to be blood, based on the stain on the pink mantel. Two barong clad figures wearing red hoods and suits (made comical by yellow and red polka-dot bowties) seem to glean amusement in this spectacle, with their cards hidden and the other wielding a phallus-shaped club. The emaciated figure also wears a crown of white thorns, perhaps to signify the martyr character given upon him by his current situation. The burning Ace cards also indicate that this oppressed figure, representing the poor and marginalized, actually possesses power and riches that are usurped by those seated in offices (wielding spiked phallus clubs of violence and terror) and by members of the corporate and landed elite (large hand on oppressed figure’s shoulder: a play of deceptive and manipulative “friendship”), represented by the large hooded figures. But with the three figures all possessing the same claw-like fingernails, at once an indication of subversive power and threat, also implies that given the chance, this martyr-like figure could be like his tormentors. The shape of the canvas proves itself to be an important aspect of the work too: its shape serves to symbolize the vicious cycle that the three figures are part of and also appears to be a hole from which the viewers can “watch” this spectacle unfold.

Leslie de Chavez (b.1978, Philippines)

Malevolent Reality , 2006

Oil on canvas
dia: 195 cm.
dia: 76 3/4 in.
Provenance:
Arario Gallery, Seoul, Korea Current Location:
Hong Kong - S PaintingSouth Asia

exhibitions

Red Eyed Brother
Arario Gallery, Seoul, South Korea
July 2007 - August 2007

Leslie da Chavez
Arario Gallery, Beijing, China
April 2007 - May 2007

publications

Leslie de Chavez
Arario Seoul (Catalogue), 2007

Artwork History
  • artist origin
  • provenance
  • current location
  • exhibitions
  • multiple

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