Pop Idols • Raymond Legaspi

Jan 6 to Jan 28, 2012 • Upstairs Gallery

Icons of dogma and pop take center stage in Raymond Legaspi’s latest solo exhibition, Pop Idols. The exhibit features new acrylic on canvas paintings with Legaspi’s comically rotund figures: a collection of hybrid icons where religion, culture and commerce intersect.

Pop Icons is a humorous and satirical take on the objects of our devotion: religious icons, celebrities, and rock stars in today’s era of spectacle. Here, personalities and stars are transformed into saints, perched on the pedestal of public worship. Legaspi mainly centers on the lives of famous musicians as a target for idolatry. Here, the Beatles are represented as a collection of dismembered heads, crowned by halos like Christs crucified. Deceased music icons Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Michael Jackson similarly populate the pantheon of saints in this church of mass culture. Legaspi also portrays local celebrities: a Presidential sister-actress-product endorser, for instance, is repackaged by the artist as a suffering Mater Dolorosa, a lady of sorrows, both feigned and real.

This evolving assortment of icons is a reflection of our times. For as long as the promotional machines of industry and commerce prop up the cult of celebrity, Legaspi will never run out of modern-day Messiahs to portray.