We don’t see enough Filipino art in Dubai. It’s a known fact. Aside from the annual Art Of Can event or the recent I Am Robot event at the thejamjar, where we’re suddenly faced by the overwhelming mass of Filipino Dubai-based artists, this huge community of artists and designers just don’t get enough exposure.
While it’s hard to generalise about the Filipino artists based out here, there is a tendency towards the dystopic in the works we see. Half-human, half-machine monstrosities, mechanics spilling into everyday life, an obsessive use of mixed media to create three-dimensional canvases are often found in the art coming out of the Philippines. And Darwin Guevara’s first solo show in Dubai is no exception to this.
Guevara was billed for this show late last year but it’s been postponed until now, and the works that he’s produced in the time since show a significant progression in style. Moving away from the impressionistic, contorted bodies that were set to appear last year, Guevara has gone full throttle into his obsessions – machinery melds with man, there’s an unbearable detail to the works, they hum with layers, intricacies and an apocalyptic, doom-laden fearfulness of something that we just can’t pinpoint. It’s partly futurist, as man is subsumed by machine, but it’s also a fear of decay and what that might mean when wrought over metal. Guevara seems to suggest that, unlike the natural world that fades, dies and is replenished; metal just decays and we, as we connect ever further with the mechanical, might go the same way too.
Tashkeel (04 336 3313) Until June 11.