SEX (unbridled: works on paper— from the vaults)

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RM DE LEON
AUGUST 2 - 22, 2018

Continuing its commitment to probe and showcase long lost or previously unseen works by mid-career artists, Archivo 1984 proudly presents "SEX (unbridled: works on paper - from the vaults)”, a solo exhibition by RM De Leon. The exhibition trains its focus on two thematics: long lost homoerotic paintings which were first shown in Butterfly Bar and rarely seen transitory black and white compositions. The timeline covers De Leon’s black and white periods from early 1980’s up until late 2000’s, a stark contrast from his established unapologetic pop and graphic design-based leitmotifs. Rife with his signature mischievous humor, his intimate narrative is vigorously carried out by a single and continuous blotted line, a quintessential element in his image making. In recent years, LGBTQ rights and dialogues has advanced with a steady momentum globally. With the advent of the rising popularity to pass the Anti-Discrimination Bill locally, the exhibition offers such a rousing and timely examination of queer art in the current sociopolitical setting.

De Leon’s practice has often tackled established formal standards of painting and image-making. He explores the possibilities of crossbreeding painterly acts and graphic design sensibilities. Pop culture images, the cartoonish and kitsch, and even the banal are processed with a seemingly personalized Warholian approach. De Leon presented just that in his past Archivo 1984 exhibitions: “Dust Drawings and Other Works” (2015) which drew influence from American artist Mike Kelley’s animated and cynical take on abstraction. While “No Plans” (2017) focused on repurposing discontinued or unseen permutations archived through the years. In his practice, De Leon has mastered the cancellation of the obvious; the result is an amalgamation of images that straddle the boundaries between representation and abstraction; painting and graphic design. He creates works that seemingly embody the contemporary nature and obscurity of the overwhelming bombardment of fleeting images in today’s technological armageddon.

RM De Leon finished a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Major in Painting at the University of the Philippines in 1984. With an artistic practice that spans four decades, his work has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibition and group shows both in the Philippines and abroad. An accomplished artist, De Leon was one of the recipients of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Thirteen Artists Awards in 1990. He was the first Filipino awardee of the Vermont Studio Center, Studio Arts Program for Painting. He is currently an art professor at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.

Mark Arvin Patiag