This piece was borne from the works of Lucio Fontana whose most significant works rebelled against the two-dimensionality of the canvas. Though he focused on hacks and perforations, I felt that his thesis could be further developed by adding more context into the space interplay.
The original artwork is a carefully hand-cut pencil sketch in my journal, which I’ve altered for web purposes. This work was also featured in issue 5.1 of a local publication called Flow whose staff accommodated the painstaking die-cutting involved to faithfully represent my idea.
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People find solace through an entity that is not physically tangible — the “God” concept.
Because of its nuances and diversity, spirituality is often a personal and uncomfortable subject. Yet, on a grander scale, the idea of a supreme being is accepted. Interestingly, even to contradict the existence of such a being gives one a rationale to lean on.
One cannot help but feel that this social hesitance is due to people being embarrassed to express faith in the other-worldly, or what cannot be proven to exist. But, despite these reservations, many continue to find strength, reassurance, and comfort in ‘it’.
Because of the subject’s sensitivity, it felt appropriate to use an object from Philippine popular culture to satirically represent it. The “barrel man” is a small statue found in souvenir shops and literally comprises a man covered by a barrel –which upon removal reveals nudity and grossly enlarged genitalia. Similarly, faith is widely recognized, just not often discussed.
The barrel covers the statue’s nakedness, just as an invisible presence protects and helps us manage our experiences. This presence is concealed from others by our personal relationship with it, in spite of how much we rely on it to face the rest of the world. Through it we continue to find the strength to go on with our existence.