FOR the Formula One (F1) season, the pavement on Orchard Road from Ion Orchard to Forum The Shopping Mall has been dotted with 11 elegant sculptures by artist Richard Texier.
The 58-year-old has a distinct flair for imbuing his animal sculptures with a surreal touch. His Mimesis Monumentale bronze, for instance, features a hollow ox conjoined at the neck with a solid ram. He says: "The two-headed animal represents the duality of man - the ox being his soul, the ram being his physical being. His physical being may appear more real than his soul, but it is his soul that is bigger than his physical being and carries him in this world."
The hollowed-out ox has a distinct ghostly presence beautifully counterpointed by the solid ram. So whether or not you interpret the work similarly, there is no denying its striking, sinuous beauty.
The hollowed-out form is repeated in his other sculptures such as Angel Bear. Here, he imagines a bear with wings descending from heaven to warn humanity against the global warming that is threatening the polar bear population in the Arctic.
Texier admits he cannot always explain the full significance of his works - "Why are there holes in their bodies? I don't know" - but they have nonetheless been avidly collected by art lovers and museums, and public institutions around the world.
His 11 large sculptures have been placed outdoors, but smaller works and paintings are on display at Opera Gallery in Ion Orchard. Besides his works, Opera Gallery is also showing an impressive range of abstracts for its exhibition, The Universe of Abstract Masters. Luminaries featured include Joan Miro, Yayoi Kusama, Fernand Leger, Alexander Calder, Chu Teh-Chun, Zao Wou-Ki and Victor Vasarelly.
If you have a soft spot for abstracts, then the Opera Gallery is where you should be.
Opera Gallery is located in Ion Orchard, #03-05. It is open from 11am to 8pm on weekdays and from 10am to 8pm on weekends. Call 6735-2618 for details.