‘A Lonely Picket in the Balcony’ by Leslie de Chavez – Silverlens Galleries


Silverlens Galleries

May 14 - Jun 19, 2021

Ang Pag-uyam sa Dugo ng Paskua, 2021, oil, metallic leaf on shaped canvas, 90.55 in • 230 cm (diameter)
All images by courtesy of Silverlens Galleries

SILVERLENS is pleased to present A Lonely Picket in the Balcony, a solo exhibition by Leslie de Chavez. This is the artist’s thirdindividual presentation with the gallery, his previous ones being Buntong Hininga in 2010, and Nameless Presence in 2013. Adiverse artist by practice, de Chavez features paintings, sculptures, and installations in his latest show. In keeping with hissocio- political oeuvre, these works investigate the struggles and inequalities faced by the marginalised – victims of systemic injustice,brought about by political indulgences. Although de Chavez’s art centres on Philippine themes and narratives, it has gainedinternational recognition in the universality of his subjects: people in the shadows, of which the world is populated densely with.

  • Talahib, 2019
    oil on canvas, neon light, 40h x 33.50w in • 101.60h x 85.09w cm

  • Kalakaran bilang Absurd Fascist Semiotics, 2021
    oil, metallic leaf on canvas, 47.5h x 47.5w in • 120.65h x 120.65h cm (each) (triptych)

  • Latigo at Tinik Nang Bitukang Halang, 2021
    FRP, bamboo, brass, rattan, iron, plaster of paris, installation size variable

“Kailangang makiramay (We must commiserate).” Isolated, party to collective grief, and conscious of an artist’s role in unprecedented times, Leslie de Chavez returns to commiseration as both impetus and goal.
“A Lonely Picket in The Balcony” is de Chavez’s third solo show with Silverlens, and his second in this gallery’s Manila space. It features over ten pieces created in what would turn out to be the gasp of air between two surges of COVID infection rates in the country. In “A Lonely Picket in The Balcony”, de Chavez continues a prolific yet always grounded two-decade run that has spanned art spaces from mercantile Liverpool to mystic Quezon, the artist’s home province. This output is particularly important, produced as it was during the longest pandemic lockdown in the world.
de Chavez’s latest works occupy a slipstream between the immediacy of the figurative and the gut punch of the metaphorical— the time between wound and scar tissue. Together, they highlight the tension between communal compassion and national necropolitics. There are no tidy resolutions here, no straight answers. Rather, through cold ironies and howling negative spaces, via installations and on canvas, in antiseptic acrylic as well as deadly ballistic lead, de Chavez truncates collective helplessness into a single line of inquiry: a line of lamentation as poured concrete, a call for reparation in metallic leaf.
Words by Paolo Enrico Melendez.

  • Postura sa mga Pagca Aburidong Ualang Casasapitan, 2021
    ink, gold leaf, FRP, aluminum, lace, dried pig intestine,51h x 60.50w in • 129.54h x 153.67w cm

  • Ombrophobia, 2020
    oil and gold leaf on panel, 52.5h x 44.75w in • 133.35h x 113.67w cm (framed)

About the Artist

Manila-born Filipino artist Leslie de Chavez has been widely recognized  for his incisive and sensible forays into history, cultural imperialism, religion, and contemporary life. Responding to urgent material conditions through his deconstructions of master texts, icons, and the symbols of his times, de Chavez strikes a balance between iconoclasm and an affirmative outlook to the relevance and accountability of art to one's milieu. Leslie de Chavez has held several solo exhibitions in the Philippines, China, Korea, Singapore, UK, and Switzerland. He has also participated in several notable exhibitions and art festivals, which include the Singapore Biennale 2013, 3rd Asian Art Biennale in Taiwan 2011, 3rd Nanjing Triennial in China 2008, First Pocheon Asia Biennale in South Korea 2007. A two-time awardee (2010/2014) of the Ateneo Art Awards for Visual Art, Leslie de Chavez is also the director/founder of the artist-run initiative Project Space Pilipinas, in Lucban, Quezon. He is exclusively represented by Arario Gallery (Korea) since 2006.

  • Proximity Series No. 1: Jomar, 2021
    charcoal on paper on canvas, 47.24h x 60.04w in • 120h x 152.50w cm

  • Proximity Series No. 2: Nora, 2021
    charcoal on paper on canvas, 47.24h x 60.04w in • 120h x 152.50w cm


Through its artist representation, institutional collaborations, art consultancy and exhibition programming, including art fairs and gallery partnerships, SILVERLENS aims to place its artists within the broader framework of the contemporary art dialogue. Its continuing efforts to transcend borders across art communities in Asia have earned it recognition from both artists and collectors as one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Southeast Asia. SILVERLENS was founded by Isa Lorenzo and Rachel Rillo
in 2004.

  • To the Persons Sitting in Darkness, 2018
    digital print on archival paper, found T-shirts, hangers, installation size variable

  • An Archaic Edifice to the God of Small Things, 2021
    found concrete foundation, FRP, cast resin, concrete, nylon string, 206h x 110w x 110d in • 523.24h x 279.40w x 279.40d cm

  • Korona at Kalasag, Kalasag ng Korona, 2021
    found acrylic shield, G.I. wire, decal, rotating platform, 30h x 60w (diameter) in • 76.20h x 152.40w (diameter) cm


A Lonely Picket in the Balcony

14 May - 19 June 2021
会 場
Silverlens Galleries
2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City 1231, Philippines
電 話
+63 2 8816 0044
8:30am - 4:30pm Tue-Sat

Editor: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation