THE LOVE theme may already be a cliché, but Indios Bravos, an offshoot of the Gintong Susi Art Organization, has proved that the stereotyped image of love can still be given a fresh face, with their debut exhibit at the Beato Angelico Gallery aptly titled Love, on display from August 9 to 20.

Devia-ting from the current art norms, Indios Bravos tackled a subject so common that painting about it is almost predictable and boring. However, on the bright and creative canvases, Love is portrayed in an innovative way, with a little help from the artists’ youthful zeal.

The exhibit is a diverse collection of art styles: from classic to modern, abstract to realist, and traditional to groundbreaking, because, for the artists, Love is for everyone.

Mark Ferrer’s “Cupid and Psyche Series,” a set of pencil drawings on tile, portrayed love as an ideal. The story of the god of love and the beautiful princess Psyche was portrayed realistically with sepia lines on pale tile, envoking a classic feel. The artist’s expertise in anatomy blends well with his chosen subject, and his works became instant crowd favorites.

On the other hand, love was presented as a monumental feeling in Abe Orobia’s piece “Ang Nililok at ang Manlilikha.” Loosely based on the Pygmalion and Galatea myth, it depicted a wood-carved Filipina maiden that came to life before an admiring sculptor, who suspiciously looks like national hero Jose Rizal.

That suicidal feeling that sometimes comes with loving another was rendered in Juert Asejo’s “Ode to Princess Fiona,” where mounted pictures of himself holding a gun to his head on an ochre background, implies the artist’s suicidal tendencies in the name of love. But the ultimate form of love, as shown by Christ, is tastefully done by Orobia in “Ang Manunubos,” a portrayal of the abundance of love in Biblical stories, with the dying Son of God on the cross in the middle.

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Liberal-minded Cos Zicarelli create the exhibit’s only installation art, “Pray over the Morning Star.” Suggesting the interplay between love and sex, the piece is an artistic expression of orgasm.

Meanwhile, Theresa Wingkee’s cute and popish “The Red Story: Poignant Nuts and Bolts” reflects a bubbly personality and a positive outlook towards love.

Finally, like an oversized decorated cake, Aries Mallari painted his “Special Friend” through a mixed media piece.

Other artists included Fitz Aguilera, Carla Dizon, Eduardo Arellano, Gerald Garate, Daryl Garza, and Joemarie Lachica, who had also worked a number of times with their mother group, Gintong Susi.

The paintings came with poems written by the artists themselves, and soft romantic music filled the exhibit area, and on their opening night, they lighted several scented candles, and before closing, served chocolate and wine, suggesting that love should intoxicate the senses.

The trend of joining all three art disciplines—painting, poetry, and music—can be best remembered with a similar feat, Brushes with Words and Chords, organized by the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD), Conservatory of Music, and the UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies.

Formed December 2004, this group of young painters adapted the name of the young ilustrados who graced the pages of history books today as heroes. Seeking guidance from famed abstract artist Maestro R. Orobia, they dreamed of creating a new Renaissance for Philippine art and promoting their craft by exploring new styles and ideas. F. C. Garcia

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