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Gorgeous Male Torsos Fall From The Sky In Christina Dy’s Latest Show

If you’ve been following the career of Christina Dy, artist and founder of pole dancing studio Polecats Manila, you would know that she’s not exactly a stranger to drawing images of naked men, or their hair which she depicts in amazing sensuality and detail. But all of that sex and sexiness disappeared from her work for quite a long period, somewhere around that time she went full on with pole dancing.

You may infer from that your own easy conclusions—all the sensuality went to the dancing? Her dance’s gain is her art’s loss? But after seeing her one-of-a-kind show at Space Encounters which opened two Fridays ago, her years of dancing, teaching and performing has clearly, wonderfully informed her drawings. Specifically her drawings of naked men.

Yes, they’re back in “Wild Orchids,” Christina’s naked men we mean. The last time we had the pleasure of gazing at them, they were printed on rolled yards of military green canvas (very homoerotic, right?) at Cecile Zamora’s long-defunct funky clothing store in Shaw Boulevard. Now they seem to be falling gracefully from the sky—it’s raining men! (sorry, we just needed to put that in)— all these beautifully sculpted torsos drawn on paper, splashed on the walls, and printed on upholstery fabric that covers pillows and mid-century modern chairs. And they seem to be sprouting, well, orchids: on their heads, from their back sides, and right on their middle parts. These flowers reinforce the elegance with which Christina depicts the male body. The images evoke strength and softness, an ideal but touchable beauty, a heavenly lightness that can only come from assured hands. “Being a pole dancer has led to a greater appreciation and love for the human body,” says Christina, “For forms and lines.”

The show’s setting—lovingly put together by Space Encounters’ creative duo Wilmer Lopez and Thor Balanon—is a boutique hotel with an eclectic feel, and it is lit like a Wong Kar Wai caper, which makes “Wild Orchids” all the more rife for sexual imaginings (orchids are also believed to be a symbol of fertility, so there you go). Christina’s images of male torsos—completed especially for this show—practically hold together vignettes of a lounge area, a bedroom with a vanity cabinet, a holding nook. “Since Space Encounters Gallery is also an interior design space,” the artist said before the show opened, “I wanted to make work specifically for this space, so I'm making…wallpaper patterns, or patterns that can be turned into furniture upholstery.”

And she did, and they’re lovely, and dainty but also very sexy and strong, these masculine forms. It’s like she never stopped drawing them. Or like they never left her thoughts.

 

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Space Encounters Gallery is located at Unit 7D, 7/F Padilla Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. The gallery is open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and 11am to 5pm on Saturdays by appointment. Email spacegallery.info@gmail.com or call 0917-7956739 for inquiries.

 

Photographs by Deiniel Cuvin