“If The Shoe Fits” by Pete Jimenez

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byMuseum Web Admin

Pete Jimenez always finds little gems hidden in junk shops around Metro Manila. What most of us see as useless junk become treasures-in-waiting. They just need to be taken in the good hands of an artist like Jimenez.

In If The Shoe Fits, Jimenez shows us that his favorite weapon of choice — that is, scrap iron, can be combined with wooden shoe lasts and have second lives as interesting art pieces. The exhibit runs at The Water Dragon Gallery at the 2nd floor of the YuchengcoMuseum from May 28 to June 20, 2009.

The shoe lasts are not new to Jimenez. These wooden pieces he got from Marikina have become mainstays in his studio-garage in Quezon City for more than 5 years now, waiting to be used at any point in time. These shoe lasts were once a part of an article written about Jimenez (by Alya Honasan) which stated that his next plan was to incorporate these together with his scrap iron.

When Alliance Française de Manille and the French Embassy in the Philippines were preparing to bring to Manila the international traveling exhibition Portraits de chaussures – histoires de pieds (Portraits of Shoes – Stories of Feet) curated by French curator Yves Sabourin (on show at Yuchengco Museum until June 20, 2009), Jimenez was invited to do a show in conjunction with the French shoe exhibit. It was an exciting but challenging task for Jimenez to create art pieces using the shoe lasts since it was his first time to ever think of works with his wooden ”shoes”. On exhibit at If The Shoe Fits is Jimenez’ own witty and creative take on shoes, composed of 20 art works of varying sizes, from an 8-inch high “Iron Lady’s Crocs”, made up of an old flat iron and welded on a piece from a tractor used in the farm lands, to a 5-foot high “Principal’s Office”, made from flat bars that look like a slender rendition of a school chair with “shoes”.

Jimenez continues to love the challenge of creating new objects with recycled iron, which keeps him busy almost every weekend. He also relishes how he has been able to show another angle of his creative side beyond his days in the advertising post-production industry. His enthusiasm rubs off when you listen to him talk about his works. “Guest Speaker” is one of the most unique pieces in his exhibit because “I was able to use for the first time a pair of shoe lasts and a discarded gasoline tank of a motorcycle. When I combined these with an old manual water pump, I already knew what shape it would take… it looks like an animated character! I would say it is a very powerful piece”.

Another piece that catches the eye is “Bell Bottom Blues”. Jimenez describes it as a transparent-polka-dotted-skinny jeans. It is made up of cut-up pieces from on old steel matting used as fences during the 1950’s. The material was given to him by an officemate who was about to throw it away. “You will feel the motion as one looks at the pieces suggestive of the pose and footwork of Elvis Presley”, notes Jimenez.

Such ideas just come from everyday encounters, says Jimenez. And when his mind captures them like Polaroid snapshots, he is definitely in his element. Once he is in his studio-garage with all the scrap iron at his imaginative and creative disposal, get ready to be amazed!

Pete Jimenez’s solo exhibition entitled “If The Shoe Fits” opens on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at the Water Dragon Gallery. Cocktails will be served at the artist’s reception at 6:30 pm. Exhibit runs until June 20, 2009. The Water Dragon Gallery is located at the 2nd floor of the Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Makati City. Gallery days and hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm, closed on Sundays and Holidays. Telephone number 889-1234 (Water Dragon Gallery).

For high resolution images of the artworks and more details about the exhibit, kindly contact Alliance Française de Manille, Mr. Olivier Dintinger (AFM Director) or Mr. Earl Parco (Cultural-PR Officer – AFM) at 895-7441/895-7585 or email [email protected] or [email protected].

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