Logronio, in his defecating sculpture series made of polymer resin and metal armature on wood, intends to make a pun to the one who disturbed his call of necessity. The artist once came home to Bohol and found that comfort rooms were occupied by visitors. When he could not use one, he went into the bushes, hid behind a big tree, and faced with a real dressing down: a girl saw him. ”I was very ashamed and ran as fast as I could, laughing”, he recalls.
Logronio wants to reminisce his experience by sculpting it—albeit, not himself, but the girl who saw him. The girl with a whole dress–rendered in a literal, figurative approach–sits with her buttocks open wiped with a leaf, mouth releasing breath for the coup de grace. Another piece shows one biting the edge of her skirt doing the same. The artist even used a manananggal symbol wearing high heels, wiping her dirt with a stick. The artist gives variety by showing a group of girls conversing casually while doing their private ritual together with panties taken off.
The artist also presents teenage boys in a series doing the same: one holding a slingshot with slippers tucked on both arms; and something else– pouring water on his exposed buttocks. The artworks relieve stress as they evoke fun about what is supposedly done in secret—but now made a public spectacle.
A significant piece abroad portrays the same theme that Logronio deals with, though it assaults by wit on the buffoonery of the aristocracy. It is Sam Mahon’s Nick Smith sculpture, highlighting a larger-than-life-size environment minister of France defecating into a glass of drinking water.
Defending his work, Mahon argues with Marcel Duchamp that the creative act is completed with the spectators’ interpretation and reaction. He is referring to Environment Canterbury’s (Ecan) attempt to intercede by way of court injunction running to 130 pages, amounting to an estimated legal expense of $30,000—a failed endeavor. Logronio may not elicit such legal warfare for his oeuvres; however, he can attract 500 peals of laughter.
Behind that laughter, though, the artworks indirectly mock society’s imbecility. An example is how the personalities cry “foul” or “EJK” to the way terrorists Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon in the battle of Marawi were killed—a fake news, but loaded with meaning as it satirizes how police operations in the drug war were demonized, even if they intended to cleanse the Augean stables and make society safe for everyone.
Nevertheless, as Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the US now reportedly want to model the “Oplan Tokhang” strategy of the Philippine National Police per the report of the Philippine News Agency, the critics of the drug war now see that the helm’s fight against the menace really works effectively and has become a much-admired model of what a leader should do. We begin to see what is real poppycock that becomes the object of satire that Logronio successfully presented in such context.
The viewer should correlate the artist’s sculptures with his decision to pursue a full-time art career. For Logronio, he had worked for companies, but did not last there. He later found satisfaction in sculpture more than monetary reward.
The artist shuns from news about calamity, politics, crimes and drugs in deciding his subjects. Instead, he focuses on alleviating humor. In a jungle of choices–and having experimented with 3D painting, other materials and techniques in art making–he found gratification in sculpture that entertains.
“Art and society go together,” the artist stressed. Thus, if society mocks common sense or go the way of Balaam in the Old Testament, creative works ply with parody. That is why “Shit Matters”.
Almun Logronio, Pagpahid Sa Kinalamiang Paagi (A Most Pleasurable Swipe), 2017