Dashing Through Manila’s Art Scene (ie Catching What I Can)

Annie Cabigting, Warhol's grave, for "Black and White Under A Shroud of Gray and Gray"

Apologies for the sparse postings, but somehow, a project we undertook a few months ago has morphed into Art Fair Philippines 2013, and now it seems that every free minute of the day has been devoted to that beast!  For more information—yes, shameless plug!—please do check out www.artfairphilippines.com or https://www.facebook.com/artfairph 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

Ferdie Montemayor As 1

Ferdie Montemayor, "Lakad", acrylic on canvas, 50.8x203.2cm/ 20x80 in.

It’s about time.  I can’t remember when Ferdie Montemayor last went solo.  He has made his presence felt through numerous group exhibits in recent years.  Surely, an artist with as much fans as he does deserves to star in his own show.  This outing at Tin-Aw Art Gallery has been a long time coming, but perhaps, the wait has made it all the more satisfying. Continue reading

Small Wonders at Tin-Aw

Because we normally calculate prices per square foot of canvas, we’ve been programmed to equate bigger with better when it comes to paintings.  Bragging rights go to those who snag an exhibit’s largest piece.  While massive paintings certainly impress, and do show off an artist’s skill to great advantage, something must be said for works more intimately sized.  How refreshing for Tin-aw to mount a show that celebrates diminutive pieces, pint-sized in all but the talent they showcase. Continue reading

Alfredo Esquillo Jr.’s Kalooban Narratives

Alfredo Esquillo Jr., "Fruit Of Thy Womb", detail

The Filipino-English dictionary translates kalooban into three words:  heart, mind, will.  Alfredo Esquillo Jr. considers it the most spiritual word in the Tagalog language.  “We can use it in our daily living or we use it in our relationship with God. That we have this one word must mean it is innate in us.” Continue reading

Mark Justiniani Goes 3D

Mark Justiniani, "Impasse"

As he prepared for this exhibit, Mark Justiniani would wake up excited every morning. “A little nervous too”, he added, “as if I were a young artist just doing his first show!” Five notebooks and his iPad had been filled with scribbles in black ink. The sketches served as studies and ruminations, his preparations for the series of works now making their debut at Finale Art Gallery. Continue reading

Pam Yan Santos, They Are Birds If They Fly

As the wife of Jose John Santos III, art collectors consider her as half of one of Philippine art’s super couples.  But at home in Pasig, where she works alongside her husband out of their third floor studio, Pamela Yan Santos, 37, comes across as, first and foremost, mother to her eight-year-old son, Juno.  Her art, multi-layered acrylic paintings and serigraphs on canvas, have frequently reflected her experiences as a parent of a child with special needs. “I don’t think I can get out of that, it’s part of my system”, she says with a wry smile. Continue reading

Eleven New Grads Cross Into The Real World

Lou Lim, "Skin Deep"

Lou Lim, "Skin Deep", detail

You can’t beat the energy that emanates from new graduates champing at the bit, itching to show what they’ve got.  Tin-aw harnessed the excitement and the eagerness of eleven new graduates from the UP College of Fine Arts for Xing E. Jacinto, an exhibit that brings together their thesis projects. One’s thesis marks the culmination of college life, a final hurdle before graduation, a pause before the real world awaits. Continue reading

Don Salubayba Pops Up!

Don Salubayba takes on the role of storyteller in Lamat, his one-man exhibit now on view at Tin-Aw Art Gallery. He

Don Salubayba, "Pinag-uugatan", mixed media on wood, 12"x24"

turns to his inclinations as an animator, honed through his involvement with the Anino Shadowplay Collective, in this attempt to bring to life a legend on the origin of the Philippines. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Tin-Aw! (Part 2)

The celebration continues at Tin-Aw with the second installment of their anniversary exhibit.  I must say I enjoyed this show more

Detail, Pamela Yan Santos, "Sugar Coated"

than the first.  Perhaps it had to do with the combination of pieces.  Perhaps the smaller number of artists included in this show made me appreciate each artist’s effort more.  Perhaps the exhibit’s installation just felt easier to navigate.  Perhaps it was all of the above! Continue reading