Pop PolarJP Duray x Anoni Mouse 5 - 31 Dec 2020These are the days which will be written into history books. We will look back, ponder on the imponderables, and retrace the events as they came flooding in and overwhelming us, pushing humanity aside and tearing normality apart.
What then, the pandemic’s impact on art? More specifically, how did this horrific nightmare and its innumerable consequences affect Filipino artists?
JP Duray can be viewed through this lens. A study in contradictions, JP is apparently reserved, even aloof. But unlike introverts, he breaks out into song, dishes tunes from his portable piano, and jerks into dance moves at the slightest provocation. Good looking, one would have thought that klieg lights and glamour poses would hold more attraction for him than the more laborious and painstaking world of creating molds, sculpting resin, and applying war paint.
But this gregarious lad is now known for the most fantastic, beautifully bizarre pop sculptures. JP’s quirky sensibilities translate into figurines fashioned from his inexhaustible imagination.
Babies with insatiable hunger pangs get represented as diaper-clad tots, but gifted with gaping jaws that are embedded within extended bellies.
A representation of what seems to be Senator Leila de Lima gets sculpted into a Wonder Woman/Darna costume, with a wrist-cuffed hand pointed to the heavens.
White-coated surgeons are rendered with various body parts held in the palms of their hands - a representation that became especially popular with real doctors at the height of the pandemic, as though medical professionals needed artistic validation in JP’s figurines.
That was Face A. That was pre-covid. But JP has other facets to him, and this pandemic has enabled him to tap into those other dimensions, and reveal other creative directions he wishes to pursue.
In this show, JP intends to debut another of his facets. Christened with the moniker “Anoni Mouse,” this other artist within JP’s complex personae prefers works on canvas, peppered with orifices, lips and other sorts of appendages. Anoni amalgamates body openings into a striking assemblage of pouts, frowns, and grimaces.