Lives and Works: Philippines
Manila-born Filipino artist Leslie de Chavez (b. 1978) is a young artist who cautiously deals with sensitive subjects like Imperialism and the colonial history and religion of his country. He is also an artist who contemplates deeply about the function, influence and directivity of art in a society. Recognized for his distinguished talent and sensibility in painting, the artist casts a bitter metaphor on the society he lives in, suggesting a response to reality through reconstructing the icons and symbols of the times. All this is suggested by employing figures like Ronald McDonald, a mascot of Capitalism, who signifies depersonalization and corruption of commercialization, or casting a pessimistic depiction of soulless countrymen with deep sunken eyes, or frequently portraying banana, Philippine's main produce. The struggles of his country are also demonstrated through the title of his past exhibitions such as Banana Republic —a term describing an unstable and economically insufficient republic that relies on assistance from other strong nations— and Buntong Hininga (deep sigh) which is a response to the reality in which Filipinos are the victims of power conflict.
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