Published July 27, 2021
Chalk Zaldivar likes a good joke. And he is becoming a master at telling them through his art. Like any good pop artist, Zaldivar takes mass images from art history, vintage photography, film, and religious idols and parodizes them, vandalizing with cheeky humor and a smiley.
Zaldivar’s work explores irony, contradiction, the rhetoric, and the questioning of long-established institutions and social conventions as he frees visual art from the shackles of aesthetic taste. Many of his artworks are an ongoing engagement with iconic paintings in history, levelling their sacred contemplative aura and modernist originality with the scrawling and doodles found in a schoolbook. This is evident in more modest but impactful projects like “Lolo mo conceptual” and “Environmentalist pero artwork mo basura”. Either way, these parodies are things that most if not every Filipino can relate to, recognize, and sympathize with.
Through installations such as his acrylic-painted Santo Niño or what he calls “Santo Ninyo” sculptures, Zaldivar is able to communicate his brand of social critique. However, this perhaps is only scratching the surface of his real intention or purpose which ironically could be a mere representation of a memory like having a makeshift altar in his home (which most Filipino homes have). Interestingly, Zaldivar removes meaning where it is necessary and by doing so, the cloak-and-dagger approach to art bares itself to reveal the subject and mood in all its meta glory.
Chalk Zaldivar is a Filipino contemporary artist whose drawings, paintings, and sculpture are centered on satirical imagery and text. He uses various media such as acrylic and oil paint, graphite, and resin among others. He has participated in multiple group shows across prestigious local galleries including Vinyl on Vinyl and Blanc Gallery and was part of ALT Philippines 2020.
Note: This feature was written and posted before the opening of Chalk Zaldivar's exhibition entitled "Itaga Mo Sa Bato". We do not support hate, we support growth. We do not support homophobia nor statements that condemn others. We would like to extend our thoughts to those who were and are affected by the artist's show.