ART FAIR MIDTERM
ART FAIR PHILIPPINES
Artists: Tyago Almario, Robert Besana, Ferdie Cacnio, Ivy Floresca, Gerry Joquico Jr., Emmile Laher, CJ Tañedo, Bryan Teves
A) THE GALLERY
I chose Galerie Anna to be the focus of my article. The gallery consists of paintings and another object that looks like a money tree, since it is color gold with human figures also standing under the trees. Galerie Anna has a sad to neutral kinds of vibe. The painting were not as colorful and bright as the other galleries around them. Their painting convey a deeper meaning and a story somehow we can understand. They did not present abstract paintings that much, but they painted human forms as the subject of their work.
Researching about Galerie Anna, I found a source that has given me the the theme of it last art fair. According to The Philippines Star’s article, Galerie Anna’s theme in the previous art fair was “Disrupting the Current.” The theme was all about showing of an individual’s isolation and alienation with his personal and social relationship. From the different styles and visions presented, the artists exposed human’s unconscious and hidden side of our minds that is naturally fearing death and aging. A painting which can illustrate this much was the “Kiss of Soul” by Bryan Teves. I think if we can do something just to stop ourselves from ageing, we will surely do it, just like how we give up everything to live and be cured when we are facing near to death.
“Kiss of Soil” by Bryan Teves
It made me curious why the roses were green and roses and not the usual red colored roses, that is why I also researched a little information about the meaning behind these colors. According to one article online, the popular meaning of green rose is fertility and signifies the constant rejuvenation of spirit. Also, color green is life, abundant growth, constant renewal of life and energy. Orange roses, on the other hand, reminds us of a fiery blaze. These fiery blooms signify passion and energy, they also convey a sense of fascination. This is a perfect illustration of their theme. It is the beauty of life which can be seen in the beautiful face, and death which clearly represented by the visible bone structure of the mouth.
“Anytime Soon” by CJ Tañedo
I have two ideas or message of the picture in my mind. The first thing I thought about the painting is that this girl seems to be waiting for someone or waiting for something to happen. She pays full attention to it as if she already waited for so long and the only thing that matters to her is for that thing to arrive. Another thing on my mind was that she has the control on her time, she knows when it will arrive and declares to herself that it will truly happen. She has the control to what she wants to happen next. The girl does not look that sad and looks like she is just feeling neutral.
“Procrastinator” by Tyago Almario
When I saw this, the first thing I remembered were the words “mind blown” or “mind blowing” which people usually say when they got amazed to something or discovered something unbelievable. But when I looked into the title, it was entitled “procrastinator,” which then I think the reason behind the man’s head was blown is because he does not usually try to think of something productive to do. Like everything around him feels so fast — one sign of fast moving environment was the eagle above him — but he was there moving in slow motion like an astronaut walking through outer space. I think those rocks that exploded into pieces are like the ideas of a person who procrastinates. There’s this tiny ideas between our original goal or task. It separates us to what we should really do, like our plans were being scattered and goes to different way and actions. Us, people, usually set or plan things we are going to do for the day or for a moment, a procrastinator also sets and does things to do but then he does something else in between that are obviously were not part of the plan. I am guilty of procrastinating that’s why I know how it feels like. An example of it would be doing my project. I would start my project right now, then I’ll suddenly check my phone just to see if anyone chatted me in messenger… and ending up using my phone for almost half an hour. Another is when I’m trying to find notes or papers I need for reviewer but ended up cleaning all my files instead of finding the notes I needed. These behavior slows us down. We procrastinate and slows down our productivity that we don’t notice that time was running fast (or went by so fast).
a) I visited the official website of art fair to find artists which I can choose to visit and to feature on my page, Agnes Arellano was my first pick after reading information written about her in the page. But little do I know that she did not create paintings, but rather she created sculptures, She presented two art exhibits in the Art fair. She promotes feminism through creating sculptures. It can be observed that all the sculptures she created were in the image of female bodies and obviously naked. These sculptures were big and small, the big ones are identified as the goddesses, while the small ones are shown and positioned in an erotic way. I saw her first exhibit and it contains these small sculptures of female’s body. Each figure has no label, title, or name, so I did not have any clue about it. But the pose of these female sculpture got my attention. No expression can be seen in these objects since they don’t have faces, but they were touching or holding their private parts and as if they were deceiving something or on a sexual activity mood. The other sculpture shows a couple which I think they were making love. Some of them, including the figure of a couple making love, has a wide round stand connected under them, which I think supports the whole sculpture. I don’t really understand what was the purpose of it but each object has a different style of their support under them, it can be round, bell-shaped, or looks like a bell pepper shaped. After this, we discovered that Agnes also have another exhibit to show, and this time it was a big sculptures. It was created in the image of females once again. The exhibit was different from the others around them. It was covered and it was dark inside, the only light that were activated were the lights intended to lighten the sculptures. She identified her works as the goddesses and labeled every each of them. There were 3 sculptures of Goddesses, and they are: Dakini, the Tantric skydancer; Inanna, the multi-breasted cow goddess; Kali, Hindu goddess of Time, Death, and Destruction; and lastly, Magdalene, Christ’s most beloved disciple.
b) Her sculptures promotes feminism. But the pose of these female sculpture got my attention. They were touching or holding their private parts and as if they were deceiving something or on a sexual activity mood. For the four goddesses at the Art Fair, Agnes used a live cast of her body from the ‘80s.
Each of the Goddesses gives meaning in their own way. According to Agnes, Dakini has a weapon that cuts all defilements and attachments to things that keep us in a state of unenlightenment.She also holds skull bowl with which to transmit knowledge as an act of communion. Inanna, the multi-breasted cow goddess from Mesopotamia, carries a piece of looped rope as well as a nautilus shell, which is the addition of the artist. Kali, who has four arms and the Hindu goddess of Time, Death and Destruction, holds an axe and a severed head on her two right hands, while her two left arms are open in a gesture of benediction. Around her neck is a string of 50 skulls which, according to the her, represent the 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. And lastly, Mary Magdalene, the favored disciple of Jesus Christ, since the audience, presumably mostly Catholics, are already most familiar with her. Mary Magdalene is the “daughter of Isis, high-priestess, and initiated in Indian mysteries” and reveals stigmata. She doesn’t hold any attribute, as her power “comes from within.” She is also unique among the other goddesses in that Mary Magdalene existed historically and is said to have even borne the child of Christ. A slight rise marks her belly.
While she may not label herself and her work as distinctly feminist, AgneS has unstintingly represented not only a woman’s body — which, in itself, is already a brave act — but its grandeur and capability, its mythic and spiritual dimensions, its earthiness and transcendence. Representation, as the feminists would say, is power. Her works, while classical in temperament, align with some of the more cutting-edge works by female sculptors such as Louise Bourgeoise and Kiki Smith for their primal and archetypal quality.
MARIA JEONA ZOLETA
a) I find her exhibit very girly and bright, but I don’t know what could have been the connection of presenting some gadgets like the TV. She also used the plastic poster that has scenery picture in it, we usually see in the marketplaces. Her artworks and the setting of her exhibit was very pinkish and colorful. I found it weird to be exhibiting random things we usually see at home like the old modeled TV, a random photo, plastic flowers, and plastic posters. Looking through the information of the exhibitor, she is very much a teenagers who is young and fond of animes or cosplaying. It is observable just by her looks, which she has colorful wig hairs and looks like a jolly person. Zoleta employs colors that are bright and pure, neon or fluorescent, highly saturated and electrifying, to give the sense of media bombast. Much of her imagery is appropriated from popular culture, like the cartoon characters, teenage media celebrities, kids toys and designs, which she mixes with adult images on sexuality and various fringe culture. Zoleta is a child of the new millennium. Thus, her art merely represents the consciousness of her generation. This is the time of the World Wide Web, or the information explosion, where all things are given equal access and distribution.
b) I mentioned that I find her works a bit weird, but I guess she was just trying to present this generation for being modern. And that she aims to translate the speed of electronic media into the slow meditative vibe of painting. She used anime or cartoons, and technologies as the subject of her paintings and her exhibit. There was a keyboard which can represent that she is living in modern day where technologies are existing. These things have been part of our daily lives and had a huge impact to how we live today. Zoleta is a child of the new millennium, therefore it is not questionable for the audience why she created or exhibited some of her art — like the plastic posters — which is a proof she is living in a time where printing high quality colored photos are existing. She wants to show the generation we have by incorporating her ideas and talents in creating arts.
When I first entered the Art Fair, there were a lot of people inside but the place has enough room for everybody so it was not that congested inside. When we were falling in line, I looked around the area and can’t help but notice how everyone inside the place dressed up. Everyone was wearing their best OOTD (outfit of the day) look, and I was like there… wearing a varsity jacket, leggings, doll shoes, looking haggard as ever since we went there after class — not just an ordinary day, but a day filled with midterm exams. I think a lot of people went there not only to appreciate art, but also just to take a nice picture with beautiful background behind them. I think there were 5 types of people I encountered yesterday inside the art fair: (1) there are these employees working in the art fair, like the salespeople, security personnel, and people who shows rituals to the audience (like in Arellano’s exhibit). (2) The buyers, these people were really interested with all the artworks. They also have a staff with them to guide them in the galleries and tell the prices of artworks. (3) There are these people who are truly interested in the understanding the artworks. (4) People who were just just there to have a nice picture with art behind them, but did not really appreciate it. (5) and like us, people who were there to just to get photos that we need for our requirements — but we did appreciate the artworks exhibited.
It was really fascinating. Everything presented were really amazing. I found some arts really weird, but that’s just how it goes… that if we don’t understand the true meaning behind the art, we find it weird. I honestly know that I did not understand the every art works, but when I saw some arts which I can understand, I get very much amazed. I seldom go to places like this, that’s why when I went there yesterday, I realized how talented Filipino artists are. Filipino artists who have such a creative minds, and hands that are blessed with consistency in molding, sculpting, weaving, or painting.
Comparing National Museum to Art Fair, the concepts of the artists in National Museum are very much dedicated to Filipino traditions, culture, and people. There are the concepts of Filipinos’ experience during war or dark periods of the Philippines, there are paintings that gives a perfect representation or scenarios to what happened back then. The paintings were much more patriotic than what were presented in Art Fair. The paintings or art pieces presented in Art fair were very modern, as expected. They used livelier colors, more vibrant and bright compared to what was presented in National Museum. One thing is for sure, all the artwork pieces have a deep meaning behind it. The more you don’t understand it, the more it makes you curious.
National Museum was more quiet as we expect it to be, while it was not when it comes to Art Fair. The security personnel roaming around the museum were more strict than in Art Fair — some of the art pieces in art fair were just in the middle of the crowd and can almost be hit by anyone but no one was there to secure it, maybe because looking too close to these arts are part of it since they are selling these pieces. The audience in National museum are lesser and more careful, some of them are taking picture with the paintings, not as worse as what happened in Art fair, well I thought maybe it’s because the event will only take few days compared to National museum that people can always visit and take a picture with what is exhibited.
I truly appreciated my first art fair experience. I was amazed to everything presented to in the place. Every painting and object gives different feeling to us, it can make you feel sad, anxious, that joy you feel when you see something cute, and etc. But it was also very tiring since we went there right after we took our exam. It kind of made me feel tired looking at everyone, trying to find my friends in a crowded place, and avoiding art objects in the middle of the galleries. I had to be extra careful at everything. But all in all, it was worth it. It only costs 50 pesos for students like us, and with that, you will be able to see a lot of great works already.
IV. OTHER GALLERIES THAT HAVE BEEN SHOWCASED IN ART FAIR PHILIPPINES 2017