May 31, 2009 in lifeways
By ABIGAIL TORRELIZA*
Every spectator who happens to pass by and appparently stare at Ronald Ventura’s usual 9″x12″ oil, acrylic, and graphite on canvas paper is ultimately engulfed into a state of voyeurism. However, such enticement of gratification could only be partially sensual and initially sexual.
Projected through a canvass paper measuring 91 x 122 centimeters with the use of acrylic, and graphite, Basic I immediately reminded me of Gelacio Guillermo’s Working Clothes. This poem promulgates the poetic imagination of the male human body as the working clothes themselves. Parallel to this is Basic I entangling the spectator to interrogate fully the perspectives of the artist regarding the hegemonic intertextuality of the heterosexual female human body, the self, the commodity as both subject and object of a spectator’s gaze.
Fellows and lecturers with Benjamin Cabrera at the BenCab Museum at Km. 6, Asin Road, Tuba, Benguet. Photo by Brenda S. Dacpano
Two images are presented at equal measure by which the left shows the barenaked back of a female body and the right vulgar front top of the female body. There comes a disruption as the spectator gazes for amomentary diverting to admiring the artistic genius of Ventura’s hand’s play with the illusory, the imagined, and the real and put it on canvas paper through the use of three mediums.
And with such admiration leads to a sense of seeing perfection. But despite the perfect placement of body contours, depth and shade, the spectator obviously observes that the human skin is used as the pattern or cloth itself. There are straps to signify a sufficiency of a degree of fitness and comfort. The spectator is enjoined to work on the puzzle of combining the two images and to revaluate that being and becoming female might only be essentialized through using the quasi-perfect top.
With the background of uneven brown, line sketches, marks of body figures, the light of hop cast upon the perfectly essentialized upper female body begins to ironically trouble the spectators. Seeing the whole is a glimpse of an ordinary painting of a troubled figure; looking at the particulars shows pieces of truth.
This paintting of a seemingly perfect female body only raises questions on the essential and existential nature of a woman: How does the body wear the socio-political construct of labels such as ‘woman’, ‘female’, ‘feminine’?
Therefore, Ronald Ventura is once again successful in making the spectator think again of his paintings as versions of truth with regards to the Rennaisance nudes and to post-Marxism. #
(Abigail Torreliza is a student of UP Baguio who participated at a recent Arts Criticism Workshop. She was one of the two fellows sponsored by BWG. in the said workshop.) # nordis.net