Michael Arcega | KQED Spark

Michael Arcega | KQED Spark


[ ♪MUSIC♪ ]>>FILIPINO AMERICAN CONCEPTUAL ARTIST MICHAEL ARCEGA HAS FOUND HIMSELF IMMERSED IN THE MIDDLE AGES.>>Michael Arcega: HISTORY TENDS TO KEEP REPEATING. SO I TEND TO MINE HISTORY FOR CONTENT AND TRY TO APPLY IT TO CURRENT EVENTS.>>MICHAEL, A GRADUATE OF THE SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE, IS A PAINTER, SCULPTOR, INSTALLATION ARTIST, AND SOMETIMES PERFORMER. HIS WORK IS WHIMSICAL AND POLITICAL. WITH JUST TWO WEEKS TO GO BEFORE HIS FIRST SOLO SHOW AT THE HEATHER MARX GALLERY, MICHAEL IS SPENDING NIGHT AND DAY AT WORK ON HIS DOGPATCH STUDIO. MICHAEL IS CREATING 11 NEW PIECES FOR THE SHOW. THE CENTER PIECE IS A 12 FOOT GOTHIC CATHEDRAL FACADE.>>Michael Arcega: THE SHOW IS CALLED GETTING MID-EVIL, AND IT’S GETTING SLIGHTLY EVIL, IT’S LOOSELY BASED ON THE PERIOD, BUT I TAKE A LOT OF LIBERTIES.>>CAUGHT BETWEEN HIS FILIPINO HERITAGE AND AMERICAN CULTURE, MICHAEL IS FASCINATED BY THE MEANING OF WORDS.>>Michael Arcega: LATELY I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT HOW ACCENTS AFFECT TEXT. DEVASTATION, IT’S LIKE I WAIT FOR THE BUS AT de BES-STATION. LIKE OILYGRACHY. IT’S A MATTER OF ADDING THE “I” AND MAKING IT OILYGARCHY, WHICH IS WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW, AND THAT’S WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW. STUFF LIKE DIVIDE AND CONCUR. I DON’T KNOW. [LAUGHTER]>>MICHAEL’S BOLD HUMAN IS NOT — HUMOR IS NOT NEW TO THE BAY AREA ART SCENE. IN 2001 MICHAEL BUILT A 10 X 12 FOOT, THREE-MASTED GALLEON AND SAILED IT IN TOMALES BAY. MICHAEL’S SURPRISING USE OF MATERIALS ADDED A SIGNATURE TWIST TO THE RISKY EXPEDITION.>>Michael Arcega: I ENDED UP MAKING A MANILA FOLDER MANILA GALLEON. IT’S CALLED EL CONQUISTADORK. I SAILED IT IN TOMALES BAY FROM MILLER POINT BOAT RAMP TO HOG ISLAND TRYING TO REPLICATE THE GALLEON TRADE FROM ACAPULCO TO MANILA AND BACK. AND THEY WOULD END UP IN CALIFORNIA AROUND TOMALES BAY. I USED MANILA FOLDERS TO TALK ABOUT TRADE AND BUSINESS AND COLONIALISM.>>NO LEAKS? NO, NO LEAKS. [CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]>>THE CONQUISTADORK THEME CONTINUES IN MICHAEL’S CURRENT WORK.>>Michael Arcega: IN THE SHOW THERE IS GOING TO BE THESE TWO SUITS OF ARMOR MADE OUT OF MANILA FOLDERS. THEY HAVE THE CONQUISTADORK COAT OF ARMS ON THEIR BREAST PLATES. HAVING A PAPER ARMOR IS — I THINK SHOWS THE FRAILTY OF MILITARY STRENGTH. AND OF COURSE, IT HAS THE BUSINESS ECONOMIC ASPECT BEING IN FOLDERS AND THEY’VE GOT A CROSS ON THEIR CHEST. SO IT ENCOMPASSES KIND OF THREE ELEMENTS OF CONTROL. TITLING THE PIECES I THINK IS MIMICKING WHAT COMEDIANS DO WHEN YOU TELL A JOKE. THERE’S THE QUESTION, AND THEN THERE’S THE PAUSE, AND THEN THERE’STHE PUNCH LINE. OFTEN I’LL USE MY TITLES AS A PUNCH LINE.>>THE GALLERY OPENING IS PACKED. THE HUMOROUS COMMERCIAL AND RELIGIOUS REFERENCES IN THE WORK ARE NOT LOST OPEN THIS CROWD. — ON THIS CROWD.>>IT’S ONE THING TO GO TO A GALLERY AND SEE REALLY CONCEPTUAL ART, AND IT’S ANOTHER THING TO GO TO A GALLERY AND SEE PIECES THAT ARE NOT ONLY FUNNY, NOT ONLY RELEVANT, BUT ARE JUST AMAZING OBJECTS IN AND OF THEMSELVES.>>Michael Arcega: HOPEFULLY IF I DID MY JOB RIGHT THEN YOU CAN TAKE THIS AND WALK OFF WITH AT LEAST FIVE INTERPRETATIONS. [ ♪MUSIC♪ ]

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