mike chavez

just this afternoon i popped into iain dawson gallery at 443 oxford st paddington to view the last days of live fast - die young by australian/fillipino artist mike chavez.  the body of work on show was outstanding.

silkscreened, spray painted and hand painted elements make their way onto perspex to produce a polished series influenced by chavez' recent move back to the phillipines and his observation of the cultures obsession with roosters, while, as the gallery has put it, exploring "various concepts of youth, entertainment and death in the culture."  in a short film about the exhibition and his work (accompanying the work at the exhibition) chavez states that every day he sees the rooster positioned as a glorified object, whether it be in someones back yard or in a cock fight.  Extensive emphasis is placed on the roosters grooming and sometimes they even eat better than their owners.

accompanying the portraits of roosters are portraits of children, holding the roosters, and being used as a tool by chavez to make a political comparison, or likeness, of the short lives of the roosters to those of the children living in the phillipines.

the technique and materials used in chavez' process promotes the subjects to a higher status, simply glorifying the roosters in his own way.  the use of perspex awards the work with a much composed and beautifully solved outcome, while the application of spray paint gives the subject an uncontrived aura and the colour choices illuminate it.

i loved it.

read more about the exhibition on the gallery website here or even better, go visit it before it finishes up on saturday.  chavez will also be there to do a talk about the show.  check the website for more details

live fast, die young
screenprint, spraypaint and acrylic to perspex
100 x 200cm

screenprint, spraypaint and acrylic to perspex
100 x 100cm