OpenSpace: Beast Watcher by Ronald Ventura

Ayala Museum, in partnership with Ronald Ventura Studio, presents its latest exhibition for OpenSpace, the museum’s public art exhibition program. This presentation, entitled Beast Watcher, features highly acclaimed and record-breaking artist Ronald Ventura, and is also part of the Art Fair Philippines 2023 10 Days of Art.
Beast Watcher includes two new sculptures and an art car which will be displayed outside the front and rear entrances of Ayala Museum. Anito Ape + Zoomanity (Beast Master) is a two-in-one installation of a creature with an ape head and an anito body accompanied by its bull sidekick. They lord over the space fronting Ayala Museum and survey Makati Avenue and The Link car park with a telescope. Hunter? Voyeur? Lurker? Sightseer? Is it a case of the artwork-as-view viewing the viewer? This work is reminiscent of Ventura’s Watching the Watchmen in 2012 where contemporary sculptures inspired by Ifugao rice gods stare at visitors with an air of divine reckoning. 
Choosing a palette of caution sign colors (yellow and black), Ventura meditates on NFT culture and social media, how images from the past (anitos, bul-ols) can be combined with their counterparts in the present (Bored Apes, anime, cartoons), creating a third entity. The ape is about to step on a banana peel which foreshadows the figure’s slapstick slip. The folly of slipping into a lurker’s mentality, perhaps? 
Another sculpture, Hyper Beast (Rhino), is that of a black rhinoceros with human feet and a yellow horn trudging toward its appointed end. Lastly, a Porsche 911 Cabriolet is transformed into an art car with paintings of a horse rider—juxtaposed with images of lightning, a pedestrian crossing, Richie Rich, and a myriad of other symbols—and continues Ventura’s exploration of art as an agent of motion and not just an object of stasis. The show is a combination of public art gravitas and contemporary art waggishness.
Ronald Ventura (b. 1973) is a Filipino contemporary artist who has had key exhibitions in museums and galleries all over the world. He is famous for his signature style of combining images from Philippine folk art, Asian symbols, pop culture icons, and historical references. Layered in a dizzying tableau or combined in playful, unexpected ways, images in Ventura’s art reflect the multiple facets of Philippine culture and identity. 

The exhibition is presented under Ayala Museum’s outdoor exhibition program called OpenSpace, which provides a public space for dialogue and interaction with contemporary art and artists. Previous exhibitors include Toym Imao, Leeroy New, Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, Plet Bolipata, Lilianna Manahan, Mark Justiniani, Allison Wong David, Alwin Reamillo, and James Clar.
The exhibition is open to the public and runs from February 15 to March 12, 2023 at Ayala Museum.
date_range 15 Feb 2023- 12 Mar 2023
location_on Ayala Museum OpenSpace Ground Floor Front and Garden Plazas
payment Open to the public
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