Filipino artist Leslie de Chavez explores imperialism and religion of his native country in his distinct oil paintings. These textured scenes carry both a bleakness and arresting luminosity, with a tone that tethers the allegorical to the gritty. A recent show at Arario Gallery Shanghai offers both installations and canvas work from the artist.
There’s a palpable darkness that permeates the surreal oil paintings of Philippine artist Leslie De Chavez. Rendered on large, black canvases, the shadowy landscapes are home to ghoulish, distorted figures and act as settings to various scenes of violence, corruption and suffering. Born in Manila, De Chavez uses his art to reflect upon current socio-political issues that affect his homeland. Through use of powerful text and imagery, his works explore religion, national identity, global capitalism, power struggle, and corruption within modern government. While the works appear dismal and often sinister, De Chavez is driven by the hope that his art can create awareness and inspire positive, progressive change within his community.