SILVERLENS is pleased to present A Lonely Picket in the Balcony, a solo exhibition by Leslie de Chavez. This is the artist's third individual presentation with the gallery, his previous ones being Buntong Hininga in 2010, and Nameless Presence in 2013. A diverse artist by practice, de Chavez features paintings, sculptures, and installations in his latest show. In keeping with his socio-political oeuvre, these works investigate the struggles and inequalities faced by the marginalised – victims of systemic injustice, brought about by political indulgences. Although de Chavez's art centres on Philippine themes and narratives, it has gained international recognition in the universality of his subjects: people in the shadows, of which the world is filled.
"Kailangang makiramay (We must commiserate)." Isolated, party to collective grief, and conscious of an artist's role in unprecedented times, Leslie de Chavez returns to commiseration as both impetus and goal.
A Lonely Picket in The Balcony is de Chavez's third solo show with Silverlens, and his second in this gallery's Manila space. It features over ten pieces created in what would turn out to be the gasp of air between two surges of COVID infection rates in the country. In A Lonely Picket in The Balcony, de Chavez continues a prolific yet always grounded two-decade run that has spanned art spaces from mercantile Liverpool to mystic Quezon, the artist's home province. This output is particularly important, produced as it was during the longest pandemic lockdown in the world.
de Chavez's latest works occupy a slipstream between the immediacy of the figurative and the gut punch of the metaphorical—the time between wound and scar tissue. Together, they highlight the tension between communal compassion and national necropolitics. There are no tidy resolutions here, no straight answers. Rather, through cold ironies and howling negative spaces, via installations and on canvas, in antiseptic acrylic as well as deadly ballistic lead, de Chavez truncates collective helplessness into a single line of inquiry: a line of lamentation as poured concrete, a call for reparation in metallic leaf.
Press release courtesy SILVERLENS.
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