The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2018

June 9,2018 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines

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Charlie Co  (b.1960)

Circus
signed and dated 2005 (lower left)
oil on canvas
54” x 19 1/2” (137 cm x 50 cm)


PHP 80,000

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Provenance: Private Collection, Manila

An explorer of socio-realist issues through surreal means, Charlie Co this time offers a whimsical, but no less cutting, work. Here, the viewer sees five acrobats in different costumes balancing each other in a kind of human pole — with the sixth figure suggested by a pair of feet perched on the shoulders of the topmost figure. Rather than in the tent of the circus, the figures are in the wide open, with clouds a swirl and an orange suggestion of a sun basking everything in warm light. One figure wears the insignias of a general, while the ballerina nimbly holds a dove of by a finger.

What could be their possible meanings when contrasted with other figures who are garbed for the occasion? What does it tell us about the hierarchy of individuals in society? These questions notwithstanding, the work, in its sheer verticality, underscores how power relations are precarious in their balance.

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