Tag Archives: philippine art

Friday ∗ 23 Dec 2016

Film, art in a time of change

AFTER a good seven years of doing the arts and culture beat, writing reviews, doing cultural assessments, I have surprised even myself that my interest seems to have dwindled. It’s not that nothing’s going on, as it all just seems secondary to the state of the nation, the urgencies of which cannot be overstated at this point in time. When you don’t have a government that delivers credible information, and no opposition that provides an alternative ideological viewpoint, and all… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 23 Jan 2015

The end of the (art) affair*

My tendency in the past four years that I’ve been writing about and reviewing local art has been to be kind. I stopped reviewing art I didn’t like unless my editors assigned it to me; I would look at art events and could not but appreciate the effort that organizers put into it, even when it was clear to me that celebrating local art in this way is the height of superficiality. Artists earn money in these events, after all,… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 04 Nov 2013

on “I used to be able to talk to myself. Now we just argue.”

It was jarring to enter the individual space for Ronald Caringal’s recent exhibit, to find all but nine images that look like comic book illustrations. All in black and white, these are close-ups of faces, familiar but not exactly someone you’d know. They are all speaking, some more adamant, more frustrated, more incensed than others. Other faces have lips pursed, eyes looking out to the spectator, spoken for by the words emblazoned within the canvas. The story unfolds.

Monday ∗ 04 Oct 2010

romance(s) in Catalina Africa’s “The Etymology of Disaster”

It’s easy to be distracted by how pretty the works of Catalina Africa are in The Etymology of Disaster (West Gallery, West Avenue, Quezon City). The work that welcomes you to the exhibit after all, is a collage of black and white photos of sunsets, reminiscent of and invoking romance, the kind that we all know off. The letters that spell “departure” in bold bright pink letters makes it seem like both sunsets and disasters are happy. This dynamic between… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 09 Aug 2010

ruben de jesus and the simple life

a version of this is in the Arts and Books Section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 9 2010. From afar, the first thing you notice about Ruben de Jesus’ works is its colors. Reds, blues and blacks are rendered in various and unexpected hues that play around with light and shadow and emphasis. Up close, each of the pen and ink works is a story in itself, at the same time that all together they could be bound into one… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 05 May 2010

when ‘i love you’ is enough

Not quite impressed with the valentine exhibit at Manila Contemporary in February – save for Angelo Suarez’s “Not the Object, But the Energy It Consumes Over Time” and Rachel Rillo’s “Keep It Taut” – I was ready to be disappointed in the I Love You exhibit at Hiraya Gallery (530 UN Avenue, Ermita, Manila). But I was impressed, at the works that were there, bound together by the idea and act of saying “I loveyou”. The sculptures should’ve been an… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 21 Apr 2010

Art thinks highly of itself in “The Death of Death”

A version of this was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 19 2010, in the Arts and Books section. There was nothing exciting about the façade of the space where “The Death of Death (is alive and kicking”) (SM Art Center, 4th FL, SM Megamall) was being exhibited. On one side was a black tarp with the list of participating artists, on the other was a cartoon-like rendition of a skull. Between the dark colors and skull, this told… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 26 Jan 2010

Lee Navas Olazo rock the new year!

A two-man one-woman show featuring Romeo Lee, Elaine Navas and Jonathan Olazo (Manila Contemporary, 2314 Pasong Tamo Ext), opens the year 2010 with a bang of bold strokes and crazy textures. The diversity of course lies in the kind of works that these three artists are famous for, a diversity that necessarily lies in form, but more importantly in subject matter. It’s Navas’ three panels that capture the eye upon entering the gallery, with her signature impasto technique and an… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 27 May 2009

Finding Juan

a version of this was published in The Philippine Daily Inquirer on May 24 2009. Projects that deal with the creation of a Filipino identity are always bound to be met by debate and objections, violent reactions and a lot of hair-pulling. And rightfully so. At a time when we are being told that Manny Pacquiao is our sense of identity, we must be able to kick and scream our way towards a better sense of who we are. The… Continue reading »

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