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Putting G on the spot

October 18, 2019 - Friday 4:10 AM by Eva Aranas Angel

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While the other artists have moved forward and dusted everything off their aprons or swept everything under the proverbial rug, I, a non-artist, have not. While most artists I know have learned to ‘charge it to experience,’ I, a non-artist, have not.

While there was a long thread about this circus that I chimed in, the commenters have since abandoned it and gone about their creative lives. 

But I am a writer too. And the (read slowly) pen is mightier than the smouldering sword.

This is not the first time he did this. Last year, a similar piece, signed as ‘Goma,’ was showcased by Secret Fresh which housed his works. This year, yes, he did again.

He posits that the penis represents ‘lust, pleasure, and power,’ With these words, the personification of a ‘misogynist’ jumped out the canvas and into our collective senses. Such exactly is the tenet with which Richard Gomez explains his outrageously priced work in the recent Manila Art Fair.

I have invested too much emotion, time, passion, and money on real art that, yes, I am not over Goma’s penis painting to just let it go even if others have already dismissed it with almost docile civility, I have my two cents.

I know this is one of those issues that qualify for hashtag ‘dedma’ but the thing is, if left perpetuated and unchecked, would likely to proliferate.

Art critic De Witt Cheng said, ‘Good visual art looks stunningly right and, in retrospect, obvious, or inevitable – yet it’s also continually surprising. It is a powerful paradox. How can someone have possibly made this? How in the world could it not have been made?’

To the uninitiated, Goma’s painting is a two dimensional yellow erect penis with gravity defying seminal emissions. If it had not been on a black canvas in an art fair, I’d say I’ve seen better graffiti in public restrooms, with clever, witty captions.

Titled ‘ Ooohhhh,’ Gomez succeeds in translating into canvas what others would have considered ‘orchestral maneuvers in the dark.’

In a blog devoted to art by Dielle Ciesco, he ponders, ‘What makes art bad? The old saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. What one person finds dull or even ugly, another may find interesting or wonderful. So, what, exactly, are the parameters available to us for classifying art as “bad”? And is any art really “bad”?

His exploration on the aesthetics takes him to ask two questions: ‘1) why the art was created (in other words, the motivation and intention behind it) and 2) is it an authentic expression?’ which behoves me to ask myself the same questions. 
‘Do the rules change when we move into the professional art world? What if someone wakes up one day and decides, “I’m going to make money selling art.” He splashes some paint on a canvas until it appeals “interesting” to the masses and then slaps a price tag of $300 on it. Is the art beautiful? Or maybe there is a highly trained artist who follows all the formulas for a masterpiece. Is it a masterpiece? It may look like one. It may be priced like one. But is it? In the case of the former, the reason for painting lacks integrity and in the latter, the passion has given way to rules and techniques.’

By putting Goma’s work on the spot, gimmickry, shock and jaw drop, cringe worthy moments and show business clout aside, what is he telling on the canvas that we don’t already know?