UNORTHODOX artworks were given mainstream treatment by four Thomasian members of the graffiti group Pilipinas Street Plan in an exhibit titled Altar at the Secret Fresh Gallery of the Ronac Art Center from May 11 to 24.

Street artists Agustin Fontanilla III (Okto), Mark Salvatus (Boy Agimat), Joven Mayor III (Ungga), and Mark Barreto (Deform) arranged their respective works to resemble venues of worship, hence the exhibit’s title.

It was through Altar that the artists were able to present their views on the concept of imagery and symbolism in worship through different styles and media under their street art pseudonyms. These brush names, referred to as “tags” in graffiti culture, allow them to create their own mark or identity in their respective street art style-genres.

According to the artists, Altar was derived from the word “alternative,” which best described the artworks’ over-all presentation and theme.

Okto utilized animal bones, framed typographies, and tattoo designs on ink and paper, which reflected the fleeting and temporal nature of things.

“My works revolved around the fact that everything is temporary [through the materials I used, like paper and animal bones]. Even works painted on the streets can be covered or destroyed. Everything is ephemereal,” he said.

On the other hand, Boy Agimat created collages from random photos to present the concept of idolatry in images and the Filipinos’ habit of juxtaposing these images.

“People’s ideas are mostly visual, and these are mostly what we worship or venerate. I used random images to present different messages,” he said.

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Ungga used colored pens on canvas in illustrating real-life characters, while Deform took a break from his trademark political artworks and made use of acrylic on canvas to create intricately detailed portraits with distinct features.

Pilipinas Street Plan, which was founded by the foursome in Manila in 2006, was created to unite street artists nationwide and to conducted exhibitions, lectures, and workshops about street art.

The four artists were products of the UST College of Fine Arts and Design. Okto and Boy Agimat graduated with degrees in Advertising Arts, while Ungga and Deform majored in Painting and Commercial Arts, respectively.

“It’s about time [for a collaborative exhibit] after years of working together and participating in separate shows,” they said.


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