Fun with Inflatables

BY MADS BAJARIAS | Lotsu Manes opened his second solo exhibit at blanc art space in Makati City, Philippines, last May 12. I've always been intrigued by this artist whose name is a play on "lots o' monies." One can imagine him chuckling at the pun as he counts his bank notes. In this collection, flashes of wit and humor sparkle within an atmosphere of intense and sober contemplation.

There is a sense of inward-looking focus like something one feels inside a hushed monastery. Maybe its the warm, muted earth tones. Or the downcast eyes of the kids in the pictures.

What kid doesn't love inflatables? Nothing is quite as satisfying as pumping air into them, isn't it? I love how the artist pays close attention to how the light crowns the boy's head like a halo.

But can the poor inflatable toy withstand the symbolic weight placed upon it by the artist? Or is it too much?

Sometimes the symbolism is laid on too thick and there's not enough humor and wit to help support the weight.

Poor globe--hostage to our symbolism-mad mindgames.

But that's just a small quibble in an otherwise satisfying series of works. This guy has lotsu talent (sorry, I couldn't help myself).

Lotsu Manes received early recognition when he won First Prize at the 1996 Shell National Student's Art Competition. He is a core member of TutoK, the initiative of visual artists formed in 2006. He has also participated in the restoration of masterpieces by Carlos V. Francisco, Juan Luna and Jose Joya as senior apprentice for Art Conservation and Restoration Specialists (ACES).

The confidence with which the folds of the fabric and the skin are rendered is amazing.

"Kamunduhan" is a project presented at blanc art space in cooperation with slash/art artists' initiatives. The exhibit is until May 31.

Blanc is located at 2E Crown Tower 107 H.V. De La Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City. For inquiries, contact tel. 02.7520032, mobile 0920.9276436, email info@blanc.ph.

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