AESTHET Midterm Exam — #ArtFairPhilippines2017

1. The Crucible Gallery

Taken from facebook.com/The-Crucible-Gallery-189062804524/

The Crucible Gallery featured 4 brilliant contemporary artists — Junyee, Gus Albor, Pandy Aviado, and Agnes Arellano. Their contributions to the society, as far as art goes, have paved the way for today’s youthful modern artists. The following are the works of these exemplary artists:

Gus Albor
Pandy Aviado

The following works are my personal favorites from the gallery:

Agnes Arellano

I am particularly interested with these because it portrays femininity specifically. Not everyone appreciates the woman anatomy especially when presented with a hint of eroticism, and in fact, I observed that not a lot took interest in these at the time I was browsing the gallery. This could be, perhaps, because of the conservative characteristic in our country. But for me, these sculptures would convey the importance of women when copulating. Through the wisdom that comes with age — especially in the case of Agnes Arellano — art like these incites the birth of new art, as if these erotic sculptures would give birth to inspiration.

Junyee

These are my personal favorites in the entire art fair. For whatever reason, they captured my interests in an instant. Though they are just blots of colors within a box, I immediately associated the colors with emotions and feelings that are contained. For one, yellow is associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy; the other, black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery. There was a sudden connection between us, and I felt that they represented my current state: containing my feelings of happiness and power, in specific.

Surprisingly, a few galleries later, I stumbled upon another art by Junyee:

NOTE: This art is not included in The Crucible Gallery.

I interpreted the art in one simple message: there is little happiness in power even with pure (white) intentions.

2. Contemporary Filipino Artists

Jose Tence Ruiz

Jose Tence Ruiz’s works feature a lot in the aspect of politics. These are merely chairs, if removed of its straps and pieces of fabrics, but with those, they form torture chairs — those used in capital punishment.

His work is very timely. Especially during this time: while the congress is in the midst of debating whether or not to reinstate death penalty. Ruiz’s work lets the audience experience sitting — and hopefully making them realize the feelings of those in the death row — on these chairs. What I am more concerned with is that many don’t seem to share my interpretation of this art as most (even my blockmates) would have their pictures taken whilst sitting on these chairs smiling as if not realizing what they resemble. I don’t see any good reason to sit on these and have the guts to smile notwithstanding the fact there are many innocent people under the death row who are mere victims of poor justice systems. I can only think of two reasons: one, as aforementioned, the other, because of the influence of Fifty Shades of Grey which is, coincidentally, showing in cinemas as I type this.

Agnes Arellano
The life-giving of Inanna, multi-breasted cow goddess
The benevolence of Kali, Hindu goddess of Time, Death, and Destruction
The epiphany of the Magdalene, Christ’s most beloved disciple.
The enlightenment of Dakini, Tantric sky dancer

In this ArtFairPh/Projects, Agnes Arellano features the divine, mystic, and erotic aspects of femininity. More importantly, Arellano immortalizes herself as the sculptures are made with live casts of her own naked body.

These sculptures introduces to the audience culture and religion, specifically Hinduism. Because Arellano is known to feature femininity in her works, female goddesses are displayed. They are, as well, divine and mystic characters, implying that women are also powerful as depicted in the Hindu religion.

3. Experience in #ArtFairPhilippines2017

Overall, my experience in the Art Fair is superb. It is my first time to encounter art in this way and I will surely come back next time. I find myself more connected with the art featured here than those in the National Museum. I found myself having personal favorites and real connection here, where in the National Museum, I was just browsing through the galleries and hallways reading and learning the history behind the art. I would even find myself staring and indulging in different works of art, not knowing there’s a curator talking beside me (happened thrice for that occurrence!).

Audience-wise, there is a significant difference than those in the National Museum. For one, though there are many students in this art fair, those found in the National Museum are younger ones who are having their field trips. Another is that the audience found in the art fair ranges from students to actual art enthusiasts, whereas in the other are those who are just interested in knowing the history that are entailed with the art and the culture of the Philippines. In essence, the audience in the art fair have different motives for coming than those coming to the National Museum. What both would inevitably have are the social climbers (not a fan of sugarcoating). They would ANNOYINGLY have their friends take a picture of them over an unusually long period of time, getting in the way (literally) of the actual art behind them. Sometimes I just want to push them over and let the others experience the art for themselves.

In another unrelated note, I am very much concerned with those social media users who post works of art featured in this art fair without giving due credit to the artists. I firmly believe that posting such disrespects the artists themselves, and if you can’t afford their work— or product, if you will — the least that you can do is give them credit when sharing with the entire universe. Surely, adding the hashtag #ArtFairPhilippines2017 isn’t enough.

Still, overall, I had an enlightening and worthwhile experience in the art fair, and I will surely come back next time, bringing more friends with me.

THAT’S ME (as proof of visit)

BONUS

Apologies to those I cannot credit for the art, there seems to be no label found near their works. (Ironic, I know!)

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Ronald Ventura

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5-star rating for Art Fair Philippines 2017
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