Friday, May 27, 2016

'Anito Kristo' by Ronald Ventura


I've never specifically asked myself what Jesus might look like as a bulul but I can't say I'm disappointed that Filipino artist Ronald Ventura made this mashup a reality. Anito Kristo, his most recent sculpture exhibition at Secret Fresh Gallery, reimagines Christ as the rice guardian of Northern Philippine tribes.

Traditionally, bulul are installed in barns to protect rice from pests, thieves and spoilage. They are also credited for an increase in harvest, or even magically increasing rice in storage. Now they have lost their ritual significance and have been relegated to souvenirs and decorations. I've come to expect the unexpected with mashups, but I'll admit—I didn't see this one coming.

Ronald is arguably the Philippines' most commercially successful visual artist. In 2011, he set a historic record at the Sotheby's Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings auction in Hong Kong when his piece sold for nearly 47 million pesos.




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