Lot #037

Joy Mallari

Decoder
signed and dated 2016 (lower right)
oil on canvas
48” x 78” (122 cm x 198 cm)
Starting Bid : Php 400,000
HP + BP : Php 934,400
Provenance Private Collection, Manila
Exhibited Art Fair Philippines 2016, Tin-Aw Art Gallery, The Link, Makati City, Philippines, 17 February - 21 April 2016
Dr. Patrick D. Flores, the eminent art critic writes in the Art Fair monograph:
"In this visual story, a young girl on a horse forays into the woods, solitary but unafraid, reminding us of the words of the poet about fools rushing in where angels fear to tread. But this intrepid figure may well be both: fool and angel, at once rushing and treading. She holds a sword on which texts are written. A book unfolds, its texts and myths of creation dangling from the horse and spilling onto the ground where torn illuminated manuscripts gather. Birds in flight mark the background in this work that reveals the artist’s strongest suit: a fulsome graphic rendering of narrative, a sense of whimsy, and a keen eye on the language of dreams, the intimations of its seemingly discrepant minutiae. The dream is a confluence of divergent sources, encoding in the woman traces of Joan of Arc and Gabriela Silang, conjuring quiet fortitude, the kind that propels the inspired to foray into a firestorm. In another moment of scanning, the scene of skirmish could be a carousel and not so much a battle. It could be a fantasy and not an account of grisly war. It could also be of a utopian impulse, evoking that instant when struggles have finally achieved their designs. Whatever it is, the picture lives in enigma, a sensibility to be gleaned in the artist’s works in which there is much “loss and leaving,” the longing for meaning in a life of void, the constant search for the elusive vital energy that should finally animate fragile mortals wandering the labyrinths of either the cold city or the burning desire."