Extra Credit: ManilArt 2016

Growing up, my parents loved bringing my brother and I to different museums and historical places here in the Philippines. From there I developed a natural appreciation for art and things that are just beautiful. However, going to an art fair was surprisingly quite new to me. I noticed how different it was compared to the museums I’ve visited in the past. For one, most of the artworks were actually made within this year so they’re not that known yet. Another major difference is that almost all the artworks are actually on sale! This is probably one of the biggest reasons as to why you can find people from different walks of life in an art fair. Aside from the artists, owners and exhibitors, you’ll also find photographers, selfie addicts, people who just appreciate the art, and of course the buyers/collectors. How I wish I could fall under the collector’s category but for now I guess I’ll have to stick to just appreciating. At the end of the day, going to the art fair was a really good experience for me which is why I’m pretty sure that it won’t be the last. Below you’ll find some of the works that I found really interesting from the art fair.

top left: “Sa Piling Ni Nanay”, top right: “Arabesque With Mama”, bottom left: “Prima Ballerina — Present & Future”, bottom right: “Hijo Mi Amor”; Artist: Ferdinand Cacnio, Year 2016, Material: Welded Brass

These 4 welded brass sculptures by Ferdinand Cacnio are just some of his great masterpieces. I’ve seen some of his sculptures in other galleries and homes before, and I fell in love with his work ever since. I hope to one day own at least one of his works.

left: “Jose Rizal”, right: “Andres Bonifacio”; Artist: Glenn Cagandahan, Year 2016, Mixed Media Assemblage

These mixed media assemblages of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio caught my attention because of how intricate and detailed they are. The closer you look, the more parts you see and it makes you appreciate how much time and effort it probably took for the artist to piece the whole thing together.

“Next In Line” by Grandier Bella (2016) — Oil on Canvas

This painting struk me because of how relevant it seemed to me. In the painting you see the overlapping of today’s more modern and westernized society, and the cultural traditions of our native ancestors. The ancestral traditions as seen in the clothing I guess and the modern society in the watch and shoes. If you look closer, you’ll also notice that the bracelets the boy is wearing are the ones that are typically sold as souvenirs or pasalubong for the tourists. I think it’s a perfect representation of the sad reality that the aetas and igorots have transformed from being our ancestors to mere tourist attractions here in the Philippines. The painting is entitled “Next In Line” and I guess it’s up to you to decide whether the ghost like hands at the back are removing the necklace to show a dying Philippine culture or forcing it on the boy in hopes of saving it.

left: “The Madhat” by Omar Flores — Mixed Media with Ceramic Set; right: “Alice through the Rabbit hole” by Titat Ledesma — Mixed Media Sculpture

I really enjoyed going around this gallery because even the set was well decorated and everything around you screamed Alice in Wonderland. Some artworks got a little creepy but most were still very amusing and pleasing to the eyes.

left: “WAG TULARAN” by Ricky Francisco — Intermedia; right: “BAYANI SA KASALUKUYAN, LIMOT SA HINAHARAP” by Mark Villanueva — Oil and acrylic on canvas

Some artworks were a little more political but managed to speak a lot about the Philippine society today.

left: “Oreo” beige, blue and pink by Soojin Kim; middle: “Blue Shirt 07”by DongHoon, KWAK (2016) — glass; right: “Blue Shirt 01” by DongHoon, KWAK (2016) — glass

Some were a little more modern and just showed things that we see everyday that actually say a lot about our culture as a generation. The blue shirt series/collection really made me stop and look because of how detailed and precise each rumpled blue shirt is. I cannot even imagine how someone can carve that much detail on a piece of glass. It was simply amazing to look at and very tempting to touch.

first: “Stroll in the Park”, second: “Near the River”, bottom left: “Walk in the Rain”, bottom right: “Peaceful View”; Artist: Slava Ilyayev, Media: Oil on canvas

These paintings are probably my favorite artworks from the whole art fair. If I only had the money I would’ve bought at least one of them. I feel like the pictures I took don’t give justice to how beautiful they are in person. The paintings are so rich in color and texture that they make me want to look at them all day.

left: “KAPRE”, right: “DIWATA I”; Artist: Danny Rayos Del Sol, Medium: Ostrich Egg & Wood, Date: October 2016

These are just 2 of the many intricately carved ostrich eggs in the collection. From afar you’d think they’re just lights inside the trees but if you take a closer look you realize that they are ostrich eggs that have been carefully carved into designs that speak a lot of our Filipino culture. From the works alone, you can already tell that the artist is probably patient and is already a master of his craft.

“Monet’s Garden” by Dante S. Silverio (2016) — OIl on linen canvas
“Homage to Gustav Klimt ‘The Kiss’” by Dante S. Silverio (2012) — Oil on Canvas

On the other hand, there was also this artist who made replicas of famous paintings from around the world. Although they are not the original ones, they were still very good because it takes a lot of skill to be able to copy the painting styles of artists who are masters in their craft.

left: “Life In Me”, middle: “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, right: “Sprout In A Dusky Sky”; Artist: Alab Pagarigan, Year 2016, Medium: Brass, Copper Wire, Marine Epoxy and Hard Wood
left: “And With Every Step I Praise God”, middle: “And When Something Blocks Your Path Dance Around It”, right: “In Finding One’s Wings Is Found Joy”; Artist: Daniel Dela Cruz, Mixed Metal Assembly
left: “And In My Faith, Lies Eternity”, right: “I Close My Eyes & I Fall Too Hard”; Artist: Daniel Dela Cruz, Mixed Metal Assembly

Last but not the least, these are some of the other sculptures that caught my eye because of how beautiful they were. I guess it also made me realize how fond I am of metal sculptures.