FROM traditional paint-on-canvas pieces to sculptures of various media to modern-day digital and vinyl art, Manilart 2011: the Third Philippine International Art Fair featured diverse art to a diverse audience at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City from August 25 to 27.

Despite the wider selection, this year was a more exclusive gathering as the venue housed only 24 galleries, which were requested to curate the pieces they were going to put on show as if they were holding actual exhibitions. The “micro-turned-macro” scale conceptualization resulted in a simulation of simultaneous exhibit openings during the gala.

The event not only served as a visual feast, it offered audiences a handful of intellectual stimulation as well. Various lectures were held during the three-day exposition such as How We Turn Paintings into Bicycles: Lessons in Art, Law, and the Internet by lawyer-professor Gigo Alampay and the Secret Fresh Art Demo/Lecture on gig, pop, and vinyl art by artist JP Cuison. UST Graduate School professor of semiotics, media criticism, and culture theory professor, Oscar Campomanes, also held a lecture on Semiotics in Visual Art.

Thomasians in Manilart 2011

Works by Thomasian artists were highlighted in the third installation of the international art fair. Andres Barrioquinto, whose work figured prominently in the last Sotheby Auction, did not disappoint audiences with his “Twin Shadow.” The haunting piece shows a man’s callous face at the center with three vector-like skulls placed all over the image. Flanking the man are two snowy owls placed on each side of his face, making the fowl appear to be situated behind his head. The man and the owls are inside a diamond-shaped border found in the middle of the canvas while a textile pattern covers the space outside this. Thrust in between the diamond and the textile background is an enraged image of a samurai seemingly fleeing the scene while posed for battle.

UST, sa tatlong 'saling-wika'

Meanwhile, Romulo Olazo’s famous “Diaphanous” series exuded the same ethereal feel that could be observed in his other works. The work’s title speaks for itself as the white overlapping shapes are see-through, delicate, and in every sense, diaphanous.

On the other hand, writer Vim Nadera and artist-curator J. Pacena teamed up with Manilart 2011 banner artist Elmer Borlongan in the production of “Rizalpabeto,” an innovative exhibit featuring works executed through an iPad application called “Brushes.” Basically finger-painting on a digital screen, Borlongan’s work interpreted Nadera’s poetry, representing some aspects of Rizal’s. Pacena, the director of “Rizalpabeto’s” curatorial team, designed the display to be interactive, integrating the images of the paintings to iPad puzzle applications, thus allowing audiences to form the pictures of Borlongan’s pieces.

Works of emerging artists Sarah Gaugler and Constantino Zicarelli were also on display. Gaugler’s ink-on-canvas piece showed a detailed sketch of a woman’s head attached to a worm-like body, while Zicarelli came out with monochromatic paintings of youth culture placed in glass-covered frames.

Sculptures of celebrated Thomasians Ramon Orlina, Joe Datuin, and Maria Magdamit in their trademark material were also on display during the entire event.

With the display of diverse themes and media and the increasing support for the annual art gathering, Manilart continues to bring all art lovers together and serves as a venue to show off the cream in the growing crop of Philippine art.


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