© 2019 by NOVA Gallery Manila

"Slight of Hand" - Miggy Borja, Marius Dideles, Julius Dimanlig, Dave Lock, Venus Mar, Expi Perez, Raha Rodriguez

Feb 24, 2018

Sleight of Hand conveys skillful deception, primarily used in magic to entertain and/or manipulate the viewers. The show will feature the dexterity and cunningness of seven different artists and their visual representations of deceit. Much like the popular trick, the works are injected with themes of concealment, censorship, sugar-coating, and revelation, individually orchestrated to explore the theme. They present a commentary on popular culture and the contemporary paradigm. It is a virtual escape where the fibers of art and magic are woven together to delve into the massive as well as the personal deception within and around us.

Working across drawing, painting, and modified found objects, Dave lock explores the primal and the obsessive. He often builds his work around his complex fixation with detail and its paradoxical marriage with the primitive. Most of his painting are portraits, which he regards as the simplest, most natural way to express the subconscious of an individual-or rather his own. In extension to these portraitures, he sometimes works on discarded mannequin heads and plaster masks. The constant anxiety of death has been a prevalent theme with his work, concentrating on the feeling of dread it evokes, and the beauty of our persistent denial that surrounds it. In line with the show, his works extract a deception of images, an optical illusion from an amalgamation of different forms. Conceptually, his large piece for this show is the modern deception of religion and how it plays like a magic trick for easier absorption for the masses.


Venus Mar’s works have focused on her observation of the collective behavior in terms of how we import and absorb stimuli. Merging with introspection, she has come up with works on mass media, technology, and the surreal experiences from the banal and trivial day-to-day encounters. For this exhibit, she delivers a mere reflection of the instability of language and a suggestive visual impairment that collaborates with the viewer’s perception. Conceptually, it elicits semantic satiation which consequently or simultaneously results in an abrupt fall back in linear thinking.


As we move towards a society of neutrality and singularity, we leave behind remnants of the human animal. We inhibit anger, sadness and rejection for the convenience of agree-ability. Miggy Borja’s body of work deals with the everyday deceptions of personality that come from this compromise. Layers of paint represent levels of our filth and the ways we hide it. Nothing is as it seems.


Expi Perez works with paintings of war-trodden and post-apocalyptic landscapes consolidated by inspiration from his personal experiences. For this show, he transforms the ordinary with a brush of surrealism and a touch of reluctance of the unfamiliar. He explores the embodiment of metaphor in deceit exemplified in war with his blatant depiction of its elements masked with a rose-colored vision of trickery.


From being unsure of what you dreamt of from the night before, you suddenly question the uncertainty—shuffling images and exchanging the possibilities of events. With an interest in how memory suggest movement, Julius Dimanlig offers an attempt to document that fleeting image by combining multiple layers of imagery using collage and screen printing.


There’s always a tendency to hide what’s real while there’s also comfort in living an illusion to live lives every day. Reality can be such a dreadful way of existence and people tend to live through the comfort of making things up. Marius Dideles is constantly bombarded with such notions and keeps his thought on pieces of papers and small notebooks. He sometimes employs the use of photographs, objects, imprints, and splashes of paint, as some of his ways to introspect and contemplate.

Episode 02A: Miggy Borja, Julius Dimanlig, Marius Dideles, Dave Lock, Venus Mar, & Expi Perez

  • Black Instagram Icon