Published January 12, 2021
You park your backside on a chair and it becomes an object to carry the body as the mind contemplates, studies, ruminates, dreams. In the art of Filipino painter and sculptor Bayani Galera, the chair is a decorative motif and itself the object in contemplation. And like in abstract paintings, it's modular and repetitive nature on his canvases allows him to produce an endlessly expanding grid of paintings.
Search pile of chairs in Google images. You’ll find seemingly countless configurations, a taxonomy of creatures. Like chinese acrobatics, hanging Webs, vertical mazes, impenetrable static -- the chairs in Galera's paintings suggest endless possibilities. He empties the chair of conventions, turning collectors’ chairs, the kind yuppies drool over, into anonymous units like pieces of a puzzle or like Lego to be assembled in so many ways.
His chairs are units, bricks, in constructing meaning. They become faces in a crowd, a group of personalities, words that form a sentence, or demonstrations of a sentiment. Galera’s piles become pawns in bloated philosophical and aesthetic musings, just as easily as they become “capsules of memories and experiences.”
Bayani Galera is an award-winning Filipino contemporary artist. His notable awards include the grand prize in the sculpture category of the 48th Shell National Student Art Competition; semifinalist in the 2016 Metrobank Art and Design Excellence; semifinalist at the 2016 GSIS Art Competition for 2016; finalist in the 49th National Student Art Competition; grand prize winner for Pista ng Pangmalikhaing Pilipino 2017 in the mixed media category; and finalist in the 49th Shell National Student Art Competition in the watercolor category.
Source: Bayani Galera