For the first time, Singapore-based artist Eduardo Enrique will be showcasing selected pieces from his oeuvre at The Substation from 5 to 10 November 2020. Entitled New Painting, the exhibition will feature a mix of figurative, text-based and abstract works that satire society’s obsession with material goods and consumerism.
Despite this being Eduardo’s first venture into the world of contemporary art, he comes from a creative commercial background with a special interest in connecting big brands with their audiences through the lens of culture. With this strong attentiveness towards global culture, the artist felt an impulse to actively produce art which he believes is a timely and urgent commentary given society’s ever-increasing compulsion towards consumerism.
The combination of his professional experiences and artistic concerns enables Eduardo to occupy a unique headspace where he is both a marketer and a socialist, a connoisseur yet critic of culture. It is this tension that the artist attempts to make sense of in his ironically humorous artworks.
For me, New Painting refers to the idea that this is what art might look in the near future if auction houses continue to welcome consumer goods such as sneakers into their inventories.
For his show at The Substation, the artist questions pop culture’s fixation with brands. Though there has always been a tension between “art for art’s sake” and its commercial aspect throughout history, it can be said that the lines are getting increasingly blurred, and in fact, perforated all over as brands find their ways into established auction houses. Conversely, artists themselves are getting “branded” through their own work with commercial powerhouses. Just earlier this year, Sotheby’s —the world’s largest art business— set a new global auction record for a pair of sneakers, as well as launching initiatives such as ‘Cult Canvas’, their first-ever auction dedicated to entirely artist-designed Nike Sneakers. Eduardo therefore shines a spotlight on this phenomenon through his conceptual artworks, and playfully asks if the value of an artwork increases once affixed with a brand logo.
Eduardo also translates his penchant for dark humour in his figurative pieces — like Pink Peonies In A Nike Glass Bottle and Still Life with Bread, Lemons, Nike Wine and a Nike Fish — where he rebrands conventional motifs from the eurocentric art canon into “new paintings” once again with the Nike logo. Whereas for his text-based works, the artist makes bold statements, literally and metaphorically, to prompt thought and dialogue around the subject more directly.
Though his artworks lean more towards the conceptual realm, Eduardo nevertheless hopes that the exhibition can provide multiple pathways for appreciation and conversation in spite of the viewer’s level of visual art literacy. It is this part-enjoyment, part-criticality that he aspires to incite with his practice.
Venue: The Substation, 45 Armenian St, Singapore 179936
When: 5 - 15 Nov 2020, 2pm - 10pm
By: The Substation