IDOLIZE by ROMULO SANS
The Beauty Obsession
The humor and irreverence of Sans’ work is underpinned by a deeper statement on a sickness that he sees in human culture, to which Sans first became exposed during his formative career in fashion, and explored more deeply for himself through a life changing performance “Hasidic for a Week” (2011) in which he lived for a week as a Hasidic Jew in Israel, traversing secluded Jewish settlements and experiencing the ritualistic practices of this culture. Through the language of iconography, Sans exposes the dark, political exploitation of humanity he sees so rife in the commercial and religious annals of power in contemporary life: an exploitation that trades off the manipulation of social codes to shape human beliefs insofar as they facilitate the amassing of power and money, at the expense of the human condition itself, ever steeped in deeper violence and oppression. Citing Béla Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies as a seminal influence on his artistic life, one can see how, like Tarr, Sans reflects with mordant wit on the totalitarian underpinnings of contemporary existence.
Executed with a sharp, clean eye, Sans’ wit is biting and humorous in its delivery, and fearlessly daring in its critique.