Two Pinoy artists were chosen to be part of the Singapore Biennale 2011, and while this might seem like a quirk of fate that’s like most of the grants and awards they’ve individually received before, there is much to be said about the fact that these two artists are Louie Cordero and Mark Salvatus.
In an essay written for the Biennale on these two artists, Dr. Patrick D. Flores (Curator, Vargas Museum) draws similarities between Cordero and Salvatus succinctly: These two are masters of living in these spaces that are theirs, both imagined and real. The former via popular culture that’s crass and painful and class-based, the former based on the streets we walk, the poverty that’s normal, the deprivation that’s default. With eyes wide open, Cordero and Salvatus are able to live here, even as they elude it, escape it, and find a way for it to become the subject of art without romanticizing it.
I might not be doing justice to Flores here, of course. But there is much justice in the works of Salvatus and Cordero.