Sam Feleo conjures surreal images of nature collapsing under people

Feleo’s new pieces witness the collision of mathematical logic and the corporeal

by Mio Borromeo

Niece of artist Bob Feleo, Sam Feleo premiered her new work, a series of mixed media pieces that serve as a collision point for mathematical logic and the corporeal, at Archivo 1984 last weekend

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“Quid Pro Quo”. 26 x 26 in. Mixed media. 2015.


“Avoirdupois.” 21 x 47 in. Mixed media. 2015.

It should be understood that the title of Sam Feleo’s latest exhibit 132134 is not to be read as a string of single digits clumped together, but as a reference to numbers that constitute the Fibonacci sequence—13, 21, 34.

It’s a selection in the sequence that carries personal significance for Feleo. Though still in her 20s, Feleo has tied down these numbers to points in her past, present, and future. 21, for instance, stands for the year that marked the artist’s maturity. 13 is symbolic, representing things to be avoided and therefore interrupted. It’s an attempt on Feleo’s part to draw personal meaning from what is natural, or perhaps, to imprint human significance on what remains beyond her control.

Challenging nature in this way provides the artist with points of tension from which discoveries can be made. The work Avoirdupois imagines the physical heaviness of legs bearing down on a blazing bed of flowers. Gardener, Discipliner uses groundbreaking to suggest that the body is the very house in which one dwells. But the same work ponders on the possibilities of time, suggesting that the opening of surfaces can reveal meaning.

In this way, it can be said that Feleo’s works are as tedious as they are extravagant. But in the same way that the pieces each imply the passage of time, a completion that occurs as the work reaches a temporal point B, the works sit in the viewer’s mind, hoping to foreshadow the progress of nature.


“An Insatiable Itch.” 26 x 26 in. Mixed media. 2015.


“Gardener, Discipliner.” 21 x 47 in. Mixed media. 2015.


“Soul Case, Bone House.” 27.5 x 37 inches (part of triptych). Mixed media. 2015.


“Palindrome.” 112 x 32 in. Mixed media. 2015.

Sam Feleo’s 132134 will run until February 6, 2016 at Archivo 1984 (open 1-8PM Mondays through Saturdays, Sundays by appointment; +632 832 6191; 2135 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.)