Bravo, Claudio Bravo!

Claudio Bravo, "Leandro and Cecilia Locsin", graphite, charcoal and conte crayon on paper

“In 1968 he was invited to the Philippines to paint Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and other members of that country’s elite.” Continue reading

Neil Arvin Javier, Tamamali

"Tamamali", installation view

You can’t separate his alter ego, A.lien, from Neil Arvin Javier. Even when he works within the confines of a gallery, he remains true to his street art roots. I admit a soft spot for his collages, these rowdy, quite anarchical, acclamations of the urban Pinoy. Continue reading

Mike Adrao, Decoy Decay

Installation view of Mike Adrao's Decoy Decay

Initially, there’s a bit of a disconnect between Mike Adrao, the soft spoken guy shyly taking you through his sketchbooks, and Mike Adrao, the artist who completed the suite of eight huge drawings hanging on the walls of Tin-Aw Art Gallery for Decoy Decay.  As your conversation progresses, however, you get a sense of the grit behind the jaw-dropping pieces, the quiet obsession that pushed charcoal and pastel to cover every inch of paper with complex detail. Continue reading

Joey Cobcobo’s 101 Lolas, Take 2

Joey Cobcobo, "Blak Picasso (Phyllis Zaballero)"

In a matriarchal society such as ours, grandmothers hold particularly beloved positions. Joey Cobcobo witnessed how becoming Lola transformed his own mother, and the unique and special bond she forged with his kids.  He started interviewing grandmothers in 2010, documenting insights into their relationships with their grandchildren.  Two years ago, he exhibited the fruits of his research in his solo show, Lola 101. Continue reading

Catching Up On Manila’s Art Scene: Troy Ignacio at The Drawing Room, Ley Hunting at Silverlens, An Auction at Finale, Spanish Artists at DAGC, and Erwin Leano and Wataru Sakuma at Art Informal

Wataru Sakuma, "Roxas Blvd" at Map, Art Informal

Doing the rounds of galleries gave way to other projects these past few weeks, but this weekend proved a good time to catch up on Manila’s offerings: Continue reading

At Finale: Yason Banal, Soler, and Liv Vinluan

Photo on canvas, image from Strikeanyspace Whatever Trading

Manila does not see new work from an international roster of artists everyday. Those eager to experience current work from name artists making waves in the global scene must head to Finale Art Gallery, where Yason Banal delivered the art experience of the week.  The gallery has lined up an interesting trio of shows for their patrons this month—just the thing for this spate of holiday weekends. Continue reading

A Deluge of Art: Art Sanchez, Marina Cruz, and Pam Yan Santos

Arturo Sanchez, Jr., "Caught In A Time Warp", collage on convex mirror, detail

What a difference a week makes! Hard to believe, as we bask in today’s sunshine, how torrents of water engulfed our fair metropolis just seven days ago. While mundane matters deservedly took a back seat to stories of despair, hope, and good samaritanship, these exhibits prove that art can still offer some solace for the soul.  Catch them while you can— while the good weather lasts: Continue reading

Sneak Peek at Ateneo Art Awards 2012

The Ateneo Art Awards Shortlist for 2012

A three-channel video installation documenting seafarers from a small Visayan island, two multi-piece sculptural installations, and a video celebrating the quirkiness of the jeepney: this year’s Ateneo Art Awards went to works firmly rooted on local sensibilities, translated by three talented artists with global perspectives. Continue reading

Alfredo Esquillo Jr. and Renato Habulan: Semblance and Presence at NUS Museum


Not even the threat of getting blown up could keep them away.

Eight million people joined this year’s procession of the Black Nazarene, a horde of devotees that packed the five-kilometer stretch from Luneta to Quiapo. The January 9 feast commemorates the Translacion, the transfer during the late 18th century of the 17th century icon to the shrine that now bears its name, more popularly known as Quiapo Church. Continue reading

At the CCP: Looking Back at Martial Law

Jaime de Guzman, "Sabbath of the Witches", oil on canvas, 1970

How to encapsulate a pivotal decade in our recent history?  Recollection 1081:  Clear and Present Danger (Visual Dissent on Martial Rule), the exhibit now on view at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, attempts to capture the climate of protest under Martial Law. Not an easy exercise given the broad timeline and the complex issues that marked that period, from 1972 to 1981. Continue reading