ART FAIRS / ART STAGE JAKARTA 2016

Manuel Ocampo and Jigger Cruz collaboration, Brown Dada: Series Goya 1, 104 x 103 cm. 2016
MANUEL OCAMPO AND JIGGER CRUZ COLLABORATION, BROWN DADA: SERIES GOYA 1, 104 X 103 CM. 2016

ABOUT THE ART FAIR

Brown Dada and the Bastard Medium

of Jigger Cruz and Manuel Ocampo

 

Navigating with mock-seriousness the theoretical minefield of

conceptual painting the collaborative works by Manuel Ocampo

and Jigger Cruz shows that there is no longer a viable either/or

condition between figuration and abstraction, between the

conceptual and material specificity.

 

What the two painters are trying to present is painting qua painting

as a conceptually medium specific practice, because that is the

only way to investigate painting’s true significance. The enormous

potential of what art can do as art only emerges when art deals

with the laws, limits and history of a specific medium. They argue

that the semantic depth of a painterly formulation can only be

adequately appreciated if it is understood as the result of a

process of dialogue with the medium. Furthermore, the artists

prove that any kind of art or art criticism that excludes all of that

must necessarily be superficial. And anyone who reduces art to

transferable concepts and readily comprehensible ideas has lost

sight of what art is, and what it can achieve by virtue of its nature

as a non-verbal language. Any art that defines itself solely in terms

of content, and not in terms of its medium-specific form, becomes

the kind of issue-related specialty art that critics and curators love,

because it always comes with ready-made categories to file it

under, such as “identity politics”, “institutional critique”, “critical

urbanism” and so on. No valid art or criticism can avoid dialogue

with the medium qua medium.

 

Ocampo starts with figures in his paintings to blur the distinction of

the narrative and the non-narrative, between representation and

abstraction. By constantly repeating a motif he enters into the

realm of abstraction. But the figure remains and we are left with a

conundrum.

 

Cruz’ thick impasto paintings mines the depth of the figurative

through abstraction. With his layering process he creates

landscapes and geological strata of paint. The paint itself acts as

it’s own figure in it’s own landscape with no illusions, paint exists in

it’s own reality.

 

Within Ocampo’s and Cruz’ own practice, however, distinct they

may seem the question of the medium’s specificity is still explored

for it’s cultural value and potentiality to act amidst and against this

intense field of our image saturated world.

SEE ALL ART FAIRS