Lot #021

Jose Tence Ruiz

Bulakan
signed and dated 2009-2010 (bottom)
Oil On Canvas
73 1/2” x 93” (187 cm x 236 cm)
Starting Bid : Php 240,000
HP + BP : Php 700,800
Tence Ruiz’ social, angst-ridden visual tirades have remained consistent throughout the decades, but it is his use of different media — painting and sculpture, even performance art on occasion — which kept his crusade alive, kicking and had always kept the public on its feet. Tence Ruiz’ stately ballroom Doñas are replaced by three faceless female figures in swirling turn of the century attire, and the spiky frame of the painting seems to serve as a wicked halo for this female trinity which is anything but holy. His oeuvre, breaking down the artificial dichotomy of form and content, proves that form in all its concrete aspects actively and vitally produces meaning.
In his visual field, Tence Ruiz emphasizes both micro and macro; the tropical details proliferate in semiotic swarms in which significations are continually fluid and shifting. Tence Ruiz’ nihilistic oeuvre has, from the outset, dealt with issues that have since become a commonplace among protest artists; namely wealth and power bought at the price of environmental, social, cultural, and spiritual destruction.
Though his artistic contemporaries address these concerns through a more ‘mainstream’ visualization, Tence Ruiz assaults the viewer with a pomposity and baroqueness that he finds necessary for the task at hand: speaking out against the social and moral decline being witnessed on a national scale.