a. If possible, list down the names of the artists being showcased by the gallery you chose on the day of your visit. What can you tell about the overall theme of that gallery as seen in the art works being shown? What is the vibe of the gallery (compare it with nearby galleries)?

Art Verite Gallery

This year, Art Verite presented “Fourth Dimension” by Ramon Orlina at the 2017 Art Fair. Ramon Orlina completed his architectural degree at the University of Santo Tomas and practiced architecture until 1974. He then began his career in art painting, eventually turning to sculpture.

For the last three decades, Mr. Orlina has been transfiguring glass into art. He was the first to carve figures out of blocks of glass using the cold method, cutting, grinding, and polishing his work with improvised tools and instruments. Moreover, he was self-taught.

This explains that Mr. Ramon Orlina made use of light to radiate a glow that depends on the coloration of the glass used.

b. Choose three (3) works shown by the gallery and reflect on the message that you think these works convey.

The one at the rightmost part is the Centurion’s Helmet. I do think it’s ironic how a helmet of a great man is carved in glass — fragile and can be shattered into pieces. However, for me it symbolizes how not everyone is as strong as they look. Even if you’re as strong and tough as a centurion, inside you’re frail and weak.

The second piece I chose is this glass sculpture. I wasn’t able to get the name of it because I can’t find it anywhere, not on the table or the wall. I was able to get the name of the first piece I chose through Art Fair’s Facebook account. Sadly, the next 2 pieces were not uploaded that’s why I wasn’t able to name them. The main reason why I liked this glass sculpture is that it symbolizes how fragile and sensitive the naked body of a woman is. When someone is naked, they’re vulnerable and exposed. I do think that the message it conveys is very timely because of the VAW issues that’s getting more and more prevalent in our society today.

Just like the second piece, I wasn’t able to catch the name of this sculpture. I like this glass sculpture because it’s like a huge conch shell. It takes me way back when I was a child when we used to go to our province in Bicol every summer and pick up shells by the shore. Also, it’s very muted and understated but stunning and eye-catching at the same time.

a. Describe the art works presented by these particular artists.

b. Reflect on the works themselves. What messages do they convey?

Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations

by Ronald Ventura

Ronald Ventura is known for his piece “Grayground” which sold for US$1.1 million (46.9 million pesos) at Sotheby’s Contemporary Southeast Asian Painting auction in Hong Kong which set a new auction record. Ventura has his signature style of multi-layered paintings, which utilize a broad range of imagery and tend to focus around the human form.

Guardian (2017)

Digital Print in Hahnemhule FineArt Paper

This piece talks about how in this world we live in, there is a need for a guardian. In this digital print, different types of guns are shown and placed around a stone sculpture. Also, a picture of a lion and a man can be seen in the middle. For me, this picture shows how a man makes use of guns to kill and exploit wild animals and that we should act as guardians and put an end to these killings.

Black Sheep (2017)

Digital Print in Hahnemhule FineArt Paper

In my view point, the message it conveys is that people can be beautiful on the outside but the complete opposite on the inside. A person may be a black sheep but you cannot see it because you’re blinded by their beauty. It shows that we must always focus on the interior and not on the exterior because there’s more than what meets the eye.

Deco- Deconstruction 2017

Digital Print in Hahnemhule FineArt Paper

When I look at this painting, I see a broken man. This is my favorite piece of him because it reminds everyone that it’s alright to feel broken sometimes because you can always pick up the pieces and start again.

Although people may argue that this piece is all about deconstruction — taking apart and examining a piece in order to reveal something and expose flaws, or inconsistencies. However, what I see when I look at this digital print is a sad, broken person and I think that’s because somehow I know most people can relate to it.

Langue Lounge (2016–2017)

by Jose Tence Ruiz

He’s known for his work “Shoal” that was his installation for the 2015 Venice Biennale, which took place after an absence of fifty years.

Ruiz’s practice draws from different sources such as social realism and urban environments of the Philippines. Ruiz’s work is strongly embedded in the political and social landscape of the Philippines.

His whole installation piece is consisted of 14 electric chairs which is “a meditation upon the current debate on the death penalty, religious and satirical elements are cleverly intertwined in a monstrous and surreal setting that tempts the viewer to experience a problematic concept, thus bringing a darkly looming possibility into the horizon of the real world.”

Personally, I did enjoy the fact that it is interactive which sets it apart from most art galleries present in the fair. Most importantly though, I love how brave he is by tackling one of the most alarming yet not talked about issue in the society today: death penalty. He took his reaction to the issue to a higher notch and made a beautiful mess about it.

3. Describe the audience who are attending the event during your visit. What can you say about the local contemporary Philippine art scene? Compare and contrast this with your recent visit at the National Museum. What kind of audience did you encounter? Describe your over-all Art Fair PH experience.

We went to the Art Fair last Saturday, February 18, 2017. It was around 5 pm when we arrived at the The Link and my oh my the line for the fair is LONG. The line is so long that it actually surrounded the 4 sides of the carpark building. However, the lining up did not take hours and we ended up getting in after 30 minutes.

I must admit that I do find it hard to appreciate art, especially the complex ones. Unfortunately, this art fair was full of it. However, the interactive art pieces made the whole experience easier and better for me and the less complicated art pieces were easier for me to digest. The audience in National Museum were very calm and relaxed and just simply looked at the paintings and sculptures showcased at every room. The Art Fair audience however were somehow…. ignorant? People would stand too close next to the art piece or take pictures with flash or even go as far as touching it. I do think that art is for everyone but also I do think that people should know their limits. Despite all of this, I still enjoyed the whole art fair. I went out of the building tired and hungry but still happy nonetheless. This experience is something I will not forget anytime soon. It is one for the books.