Saturday, May 12, 2007
48” x 48”
acrylic on canvas
This painting is the second version of a smaller piece of the same title. The first one is now hanging in the office of a podiatrist somewhere in Los Angeles.
1. Sex as Politics
“Come on pare. How can it be political? It’s all about the sensuality of massage like what I did with the first one. It’s all about sex, sex, sex… or the prelude to it”, said I to Jun as he was staring into the finished piece during a hot and humid afternoon where you can easily fry an egg on the hood of car.
“You have a funny way of looking into what you yourself have done. It is political hiding behind the veneer of a sensual act”, quipped Jun.
“Political? The only thing political I can easily identify with are those candidates parading like circus freaks everyday along Libertad. Now THAT’S political – circus politics.”
“Hay naku pare, look. I like the way you positioned the two figures behind the one in the lower foreground. The woman holds the hand of the man as if signifying she holds more the third guy than the other man does. The other guy is groping his back trying to find a sensual spot to tickle him, to find his weakness which he’d later on use to his advantage.. And the way they look out of the canvas, it’s as if they’re saying, “we’re in this game - this game where I take something out of the other to feed my own interest”. And it’s the man on the lower bottom who seems to be the source of whatever the other two wants.”
“But it’s a threesome of naked individuals.”
“And sex IS politics. Women and men use it not just for pleasure or procreation. It is used as a tool to get something from another. It’s a power play. It is the same way you described the politicians parading as circus freaks. These politicians along your street do it to entertain the people. Once the people get entertained, the politicians are remembered and they get their votes. They give something (the parading politicians) and they get something in return (the votes). It’s the same thing with sex. You give something, you take something.”
“Hmm, that’s an interesting thought. Oh by the way, you should see it in the semi-darkness. The eyes glow. It freaks me out at night when I close the lights. It’s like having three pairs of eyes staring back at me, teasing.”
2. Tissue Paper
“Tito Dan, why didn’t they simply use the red towel”, I heard Wiggy ask from the other end of the room while I was busy looking for some money to buy Andok’s chicken for him and his brother Deus.
“Huh? What were you saying” I lifted my head to look at him.
“I said why didn’t they simply use the red towel?”
“Who are you referring to?” I asked a bit bewildered.
“This big painting here of the three naked people and the guy with the exposed toto”, he said while pointing his lips to Masaje. His arms akimbo like a seasoned art critic, it was only then I spotted him intently looking at the piece.
“Why, what do you think?”, I finally found some money and now had my attention towards him.
“Well, I think they’re wasting too much tissue paper. They should have simply used the red towel.”
And Deus piped-in while watching Nanny Mcphee, “Yeah, we have these big white towels we use after we take a bath. It’s stupid to use tissue paper instead of towels.”
It was only then that I realized that I can never get more biting criticisms than from my two small critics.
Note: the word “toto” is what my two nephews use to describe the penis. Their parents forbid the use of Tagalog words for genitalia in their household. But being as they are, the two boys have found creative substitutes.