Happy Times at the 2013 Art Fair Philippines

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It is such a wonderful time for the Philippines. Things have been so positive that practically countless sectors have been feeling the positivity. Whether it’s about travel, business, design and even art, things are looking up for our country. Isn’t it fantastic?

When I first heard about this year’s Art Fair, tagged as the best in Philippine Contemporary Art, I immediately put it in my calendar. I am fortunate to have friends who have the same enthusiasm for art as me so we made a date out of it.

I was pleasantly surprised with turnout. There were also a lot of different types of people in attendance. Art in the past has been associated with upper class but the Art Fair proved that judgment like that is untrue. There were kids, grandparents, students, Richie rich peeps, average folk like us and foreigners admiring the creations of our local artists. 

The venue is actually a parking lot which the organizers fixed up. They put in air-conditioning units, panels and more to fix the place up. 
Technically, the event allowed galleries to showcase pieces in their possession. This allowed some artists to be present in different booths. 

There were a number of sculptures and mixed media pieces though majority of the works on display were paintings.

A good thing about the event was it had chairs and areas to rest at. The lounge was by Kenneth Cobonpue. 

This lamp was in the VIP lounge, it made of a material sturdier than paper. We had different interpretations of it: shell, seahorse, elephant trunk. What’s yours?

This mixed media piece reminded me of Red Skull from Captain America. 

Cessation of Birds’ Song by Geraldine Javier

This piece made me feel like I was in mad man’s brain. 

Too cute.

From the set, I appreciated this “quadrado” sculpture the most. 

Tangled 4 by Ryan Villamel
Acid Free Paper

This reminded me of Mitch and Wiji’s recent exhibit.

Whole Court by Jerson Samson
Oil on Canvass
Play on materials

Untitled (Figure) 011 by Luis Antonio Santos
Oil on Canvass

The sculpture reminded me of the crucifix. 
I liked the idea of the light boxes; they would look good in a retail space or hotel.

 Here are a few of my favorites from the Art Fair.


Things Falling Apart by Eugene Jarque
Wood, acrylic, enamel, aerosol, canvass
I gravitate towards color. From a far, I thought they were pieces of rolled up newspaper. I loved the mix of colors and the play of textures. 

Santo Nino by Demeterio dela Cruz
Oil on Canvass

Untitled by Vicente Manansala
Watercolor on Paper
You will see a lot of bright pieces in this part of the post. This painting happens to be a 1959 Manansala! I fell for it even before knowing the artist. 

Boxed by Ma. Victoria Abaño
Rubbercraft/Serigraph on Textile with stuffing
This is the 2006 Philippine Art Awards Grand Prize winner. I loved the concept of it and would love to have a piece like this in the future sans the faces. 

What is the Color of Faith? (2) by Norberto Roldan
Found Object/Assemblage

Flying Kite by Roberto M.A. Robles
Mixed Media on Canvass, Thread

For them, we don’t exists yet. For them we don’t exist. By Jaime Pacena II
Acrylic and Digital Archival Ink

Violet by Eugenia Alcaide
Thread on Silk
I love the subtlety of this piece. Can you imagine having a portrait done this way? That would be remarkable. 

Bajau (Gypsy) by Renato Barja Jr.
Acrylic on canvass with sculpture
As odd as this would sound, the eyes say so much.

Untitled by Gabriel Barredo
Mixed Media
The “wings” actually move. This piece is another Philippine Art Award Grand Prize winner from 1994.

Black is the Color
Mixed Media
Can you guess from when this was made? This is from 1969 y’all. I’m not sure if they are what I think they are but are those wax seals? Anyway, those supposed wax seals made the piece stand out for me.

See Saw by Nona Garcia
Oil on Canvass, Light Box and X-Ray
Not a lot of people know this but I was lucky enough to meet Nona and pose for her. So…I’m a little biased. Haha A lot of her paintings are awfully realistic that you think it is a photograph. This has been a style that I associate with her. She’s made pieces that differ from this style as well.  This piece nabbed the Grand Prize at the ASEAN Art Awards in 2000. 

Blank Petitions by Nona Garcia
Oil on Canvass
Yes, it’s a Nona again. She loves doing portraits of people in this manner. She did this for a past collection and it’s an approach she’s used several times for different themes. Do google her name to check out some of her other works that have been sold in Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
Plastic Wrapped (Series #10) by Julmard Vicente
Oil on Canvass
I thought this was a piece by Nona but that’s not the reason why I liked it. Another simple piece that spoke wonders to me. 

This installation is a play of the mediums which reminded me of the Reactive Wall Exhibit at the Singapore Art Museum without the presence of sound. 

Amaleigh (Thinking about Life) by Gines Serran-Pagan
Mixed techniques on Canvass
Initially, I thought wouldn’t mind posing nude if the portrait was done like this. Then it got me thinking, you don’t need to pose nude for this since you don’t see the details of the body. Haha I loved the graceful womanly silhouette coupled with the abundance of color.  I was also drawn to the thick brush strokes utilized by the artist. I would love to have this painting or a conceptual portrait done in a similar manner.

Mimefield by Mark Justiniani
His installations play with your eyes, they play with depth. When seen from the front, the arrow seems to be imbedded pretty deep. When you look at it from the side, it’s just 8 inches wide. Mark’s pieces were among our favorites since they were different and it toyed with our minds. His pieces are a mix of art jumbled with science. I would love to see him collaborate with our local museums to come up with exhibits that are scientifically sound with an artistic edge. That would make learning so much fun. 

Commercial Break.
After the fair, we had gelato at Bono inside SM Makati. We were underwhelmed by it and would pick Sol Gelato, Sebastians, Café Publico, The Cake Club or FIC on any day.

Jubilant - it’s the only word that describes my Art Fair experience. The event was a triumph for Filipinos. I may not have purchased anything but being able to witness what Filipinos can offer makes me giddy. 

I look forward to next year’s Art Fair. Seriously.

Hola! Thank you for passing by and checking up on me. Teehee Get my blog posts straight to your email by subscribing to the newsletter here. Never miss an article again, booyah! 

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