Winning Bid: 680,000 HKDSotheby's Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings
Hong Kong, April 5, 2009Lot: 88Oh Boy!
274 by 202cm.; 107¾ by 79½in.
oil on canvas
The indefatigable crusader against the forces of evil, with super strength and rocket-powered flight, now rests. Astro Boy, who failed to replace Dr. Boynton's dead son, is now turning human. Finally. Ventura draws him a human face and two hands with lined palms, wherein a fate is marked and will be lived to a definite end. He draws Astro Boy a crimson heart and a smear of blood. And everywhere on the wee boy's body, he puts scratches as badges of countless battles won. Astro Boy sleeps amidst thunder and lightning, a screaming Betty Boop android, a fallen angel trampled by some masturbating bastard, plunging missiles and dead branches that look strangely like frayed nerves.
We now see Astro Boy for what he was actually created for?a human substitute for a lost love. Like a damned reincarnation of Pinocchio, Ventura bestows upon Astro Boy the gift of being human after much suffering. By altering the corporeal qualities of a well-loved pop icon, Ventura asserts that survival in the modern dissonance requires android qualities, without which one becomes too weak to weather the chaos. To be human is to succumb.
On the other hand, the sleeping Astro Boy could also be Ventura's rendition of the prolonged transformation of a human into a machine. Long before a son was killed and a father decided to create an android to fill the void in his heart, there was already this world of conditioned longings, irrational desires and sheer discontent, whose intense yearning for an abstract perfection finally bore an inhuman creature.
Whichever way, Ventura paints a powerful narrative of human alienation with one deft stroke. Astro Boy rests to accept transformation. From person to android or otherwise, Ventura shows us in realization, being human is so heartbreakingly fragile
Galleries showing Ronald Ventura
Solo Shows with Ronald Ventura
|A Thousand Islands at Tyler Rollins Fine Art||Sep 8, 2011||-||Oct 22, 2011|
|Ronald Ventura’s highly anticipated second solo exhibition at Tyler Rollins Fine Art opened on September 8, 2011. Entitled A Thousand Islands, the show features a new series of paintings and sculptures focused on the motif of floating islands, combin...|
|Ronald Ventura: Metaphysics of Skin at Tyler Rollins Fine Art||Sep 17, 2009||-||Oct 31, 2009|
|Tyler Rollins Fine Art is pleased to present the first solo exhibition for Ronald Ventura in the United States. One of the most acclaimed contemporary artists from the Philippines, Ventura has garnered significant international attention in recent ye...|
Group Shows with Ronald Ventura
|Alter Egos at Tyler Rollins Fine Art||Jun 5, 2012||-||Jul 31, 2012|
|Tyler Rollins Fine Art is pleased to present Alter Egos, a group exhibition of works that center on icons of the artist’s own self. Whether literally depicting alternate personae of the artist, or more obliquely referencing motifs central to the arti...|LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION?
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