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Art Essay

The urban vernacular landscape is built from corrugated GI sheets and concrete; its architectural philosophy, expressed by maximizing minimal spaces and improvising. Luis Santos takes the visual language of the streets into the gallery with Structures, his fourth solo exhibition. Born from his interest in random abstract forms, the show is a riff on patterns found in mechanically created assemblies. The starting point of Structures is a galvanized iron (GI) sheet—a ubiquitous roofing material in developing countries—that Santos has distorted, warped, and bent to his will.

Four twisted sheets lie on the gallery floor at the feet of a diptych, two square canvases that have been tilted and angled as a reference to construction poster boards, prefabricated tin tabernacles, and provisional lean-to shelters. The strength of Santos’s technique is evident in the three-dimensional quality of his work: the texture, metallic sheen, and rippling surface of the GI sheets are depicted in high fidelity.

Each crumple and crease is rendered in minute detail with utter care and attention. In this regard, Santos is comparable to a 15th-century artist obsessed with draped fabrics and communicating the physical properties of cloth—how it folds and falls over a human subject—on canvas. In Structures, the industrial polish of galvanized iron replaces the delicacy of silk and the rich heft of velvet. Structures meditates on many things: the unexpected tessellations arising rom mundane, overlooked objects; the improvisational ingenuity of urban vernacular architecture; and the expanded definition of painting beyond oil and canvas. My Feedback/Insight : For me when i say this work of art i was supprised and stunned cause i always see stuff like this when i go out of the house. So i was interested to know why he did it and what he thought about the artwork that he made.

Other people may think his art is made up only by a plain metal sheet and and wooden chairs but for me it offers a macroscopic view of the immense ocean of steel that rolls through the city, and captures the beauty of landlocked waves undulating and glinting under the sun. This piece of artwork is effortless but can go through the hearts of alot of people. For me it shows the hard life of the non wealthy people it reminds me of people who live near the bridges in paranaque and people who have no pemanent home and just build their houses or shelters using plain metal sheets.

It reminds me that alot of people struggle because of lack of money but also gives me the impression that even though alot of filipino’s are having a hard time living and even though they just have a small house to live in, even though its just made of plain metal sheets and wooded planks alot of families are still together yes some go seperate ways but most of them stay together cause thats what they have their family. If i put it to simple words, This work of art symbolizes the life of the penniless and their hard times as a poverty stricken person.

The texture of the art work is just metallic the shape of it a square actually its just a corrugated metal sheets mounted on wooden panel, the artwork is also shiny and curved like the usual roof you see in low class houses in the phillippines. I find it beautiful and misunderstood at the same time. The artwork puts alot of things in my mind and reminds me of the houses in the philippines. The color of the are just gray and fills me with sadness and reminds me of hard times. The lines of the artwork are curvy there is no space movement. It does not have to much color so the art work is just monochrome.


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