oil on canvas 60" x 84" (152 cm x 213 cm)
Fantasy-weaver Andres Barrioquinto numbers among the country’s most sought-after artists. He is also poised to take his rightful place on the international stage. Primed by a hugely successful Portraits exhibition at the National Museum in 2018, he has recently exhibited at both the Volta/Art Basel and the Saatchi Gallery for the Start Art Fair in London this year.
Barrioquinto returns to his favorite themes in this masterwork: the peacock of immortality, the masked princess, the galloping white horse.
So legendary was the peacock that for the ancient Persians, the Peacock Throne—cast in gold and encrusted with precious stones— was the ultimate symbol of power and immortality.
The many eyes in the peacock’s tail feathers may symbolize the all-seeing God or a modern interpretation of omnipresent mass media. It portrays not just vision but also protection and watchfulness.
A mysterious royal figure is at the center of this piece, who sits in monochrome serenity, surrounded by her courtiers, guardianlike peacocks. She wears a peacock mask, suggesting her otherworldliness. The upright pale feathers of one form an embroidered parasol shading the princess. Another peacock looks backward as if to whisper conspiratorially into the regal ear.
Interestingly, peacock feathers are aphrodisiacs, and this may very well be a parable of love. The horse, after all, is a symbol of freedom without restraint, the ultimate representation of romantic desire.
(Lisa Guerrero Nakpil)