“Kulay Kikay” (Renaissance Gallery, Artwalk, SM Megamall, March 24-31), so-called because of its allusion to the modern Filipina’s fashion sense, features senior artists Remy Boquiren and Lydia Velasco, junior artists Sheila Tiangco, Armida Francisco and Lisa Villaseñor, and emergent artist Honey Banal, and sisters Chie and Chigo Cruz (Velasco’s daughters).
Boquiren, in “Calla Lily Gatherer,” shows her trademark maiden clad in stylish bandanna and jeans, hugging a bouquet of long-stemmed lilies. With her hues in bold profusion, and her women svelte and willowy, Boquiren has clearly evolved into a colorist who has no qualms about seducing the eye.
Velasco has her usual Mother and Child figure in “Puso ng Isang Ina,” shrouded in shimmering white cloth, their eyes gazing on each other with tenderly maternal affection. Surely, such a scene may now be considered de rigueur, but given the artist’s proclivity for updating religious icons, the work may well liberate artists enamored with convention or tradition, coming in such sensual fashion, as only Velasco could decree.
The works of Tiangco, though encapsulated in still-life genre, are potentially alluring to the viewer. A restaurateur who dabbles in flower painting, Tiangco comes off as a realist who, like Georgia O’Keeffe, magnifies her subjects by rendering them in larger-than-life and allegorical mode.
Given her expertise with tropical blooms, these works cast a seductive and suggestive erotic presence, more so with their partly or generously exposed petals, reddish pistils to boot.
Francisco, who has worked as illustrator and interior designer, has a festive sense of color and mirthful sensibility of composition, most evident in her attempt to render the subject of the body as primal seat of energy. She has done a lot of ethnic themes, indigenous subjects with a dose of universal mirth.
The works of Villaseñor are, of course, no less alluring, simply because they are endowed with joie de vivre, generated by her use of textures and depth. She knows her plant life amazingly well, evident in her use of tropical and garden plants growing abundantly.
Banal, on the other hand, celebrates the banality of images with her two-level compositions, often depicting the collaborative works of children and adults. This she does by actually enlisting the scribbling of her own two kids.
In “Puting Pader,” for instance, the diptych shows a two-paneled painting, the bigger part in off-white configuration, and the smaller part in darkened color, with a contrasting sharper image of the same subject.
The pieces of sisters Chie and Chigo Cruz are executed in mixed-media painting and sculpture, respectively. The latter has a quirky, irreverent and quasi-primitive painting style that works in uncharted ways, while the former works in resin and plaster of Paris to depict body parts, as in “Hope,” where she has two open palms showing olive-hued leaves. It is still too early to say where these experiments will ultimately lead to, but her derring-do coupled with unblushing view of sexuality is quite affecting, to say the least.
Artists don’t have to adopt Socialist Realism to propagandize their social conscience. One may create decadent art and still make this a tool to help the poor, protect the environment, or uphold the well-being of society.
Take Kulay Marikina. This new artists’ organization aims to help the community not only in promoting cultural awareness and uplifting the stature of the arts, but also in aiding people’s basic needs.
For its first anniversary, the group is holding “Affairs of the heART,” some 75 artworks, paintings and a few sculptural pieces by 25 artists, until March 20 in Gallerie Hues, MC Home Depot, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Sponsored by Kamayan, the exhibit is meant for Project Brave Kids. Proceeds of the artworks will go to the indigent patients of the Children’s Cancer Ward of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City.
As could be expected, the styles, techniques and mediums here are as variegated as there are number of members in the group.
Of the more notable ones, Ige Concepcion’s monochromatic abstraction in mixed media stands out for its size and as it is one of the very few nonfigurative pieces in the show. “Fleeting Moments of Summer” has the canvas studded with what look like buttons, glued with a swatch of jute, then daubed brown, umber, tinges of red.
On the other hand, Andy Pernia’s abstract “Tinalikdan,” in acrylic on canvas, encompasses the color wheel in blocks of red, yellow, orange, blue, green, violet, pink, purple and white.
Here, too, are Remy Boquiren’s luminous maidens shrouded in batik and Lydia Velasco’s incandescent maidens among lilies.
Both are multihued and in brilliant tones, but Boquiren’s, smoothly limned in pastel on paper and leaning toward folk art, has an ethereality about it, while Velasco’s, roughly rendered in acrylic on canvas and as Expressionist as any, looks rather heavy-set.
Rougher still and more Expressionistic are Josè Ibay’s pieces in acrylic, oil stick and charcoal on paper. Here, notwithstanding the titles “Calla Lilies” and “Because You’re Beautiful,” the floral still life is rendered almost with violence.
A celebration of the human body can be seen in Armida Francisco’s “Figure,” in acrylic on canvas, with its profile of the male nude in impasto of brown, yellow, red, orange, blue, green and iridescent gold.
It is remarkably celebrated, almost worshipped, in the curves and highlights of the lovers’ writhing bodies in brown monochrome in Elmer Torio’s pieces in oil on canvas.
In Chie Cruz’s high reliefs in silver-gray resin, however, the human form appears violated-and what violation! In “Nurture,” a baby is suckling on the bosom of its mother’s headless and halved body. In “Music Muse,” a violin bursts out of the torn abdomen of a female torso.
Honey Banal’s pieces in acrylic on canvas are notable for their suggestion and absence, aptly rendered in monochrome or muted tone. “Mother and Child” shows nothing but a pair of brown adult’s slippers, a pair of blue child’s shoes, and a child’s pencil scrawling and doodling on the gray wall-yet one feels a sense of intimacy.
“White Wall” is just that, with pencil scratching on it and an old wrought-iron chair against it-yet one feels someone has just been sitting on the furniture.
The natural world is mysteriously conjured in Norlie Meimban’s dusk-green “Gulod,” in acrylic on canvas, showing silhouettes of trees, river and a point of light.
It is lambently limned in Roland Santos’ “Go with the Flow,” in watercolor on paper, with its school of fish in yellow, red, blue and white, swimming parallel in blue-violet water.
It is softly evoked in Andy Urag’s “Morning Mood,” in acrylic on canvas, a seascape of blue-green wash.
The artworks in this show are priced relatively lower than if they’re exhibited in other galleries, presumably to sell them faster for the fund-raising.
Here is art called to the service of society. Yet among the pieces on display, not one could we call a specimen of Social Realism, none propagandistic or utilitarian.
Art to the rescue
An institution that has discovered a practical use for art is the Philippine General Hospital. At the forefront of this move is the PGH Medical Foundation, the hospital’s official support institution.
PGH’s only known association with art is National Artist Botong Francisco’s mural of Philippine medical history at its main building’s foyer. To people who come and go, it’s just a fading memorial, something to be stared at on the wall as they wait for the doctor, their patient, or their turn at the entrance.
PGH serves an annual average of 600,000 patients. Of these, 80-90 percent are classified as indigents.
Says foundation president Dr. Gregorio T. Alvior Jr.: “However, as with most government-funded institutions, PGH’s annual budget always falls short of its actual expenditure by about 30 percent. Every year it has a shortfall of some P300 million for patient care.”
This is where the foundation enters. It helps in raising resources “to augment funds for free medicines; repairs and purchases of equipment and instruments for direct patient care; training needs of medical staff; administrative needs of the hospital.” Not to mention the improvement and renovation of hospital infrastructure.
For its Alay sa PGH campaign drive, the foundation recently held at the Manila Polo Club main lounge “Sining at Awit para sa PGH,” a mini concert and auction sale of paintings, sculptures, antiques, jewelry and other objets d’art.
Artists who donated their artworks included National Artists Napoleon Abueva and Arturo Luz, Juvenal Sans¢, Augusto Albor, Phyllis Zaballero, Nestor Vinluan, Manuel Baldemor, Lito Carating, Valeria Cavestany and Stella Rojas.
Dr. Danny David donated a Romulo Olazo piece, while Dr. Gerard Parungao donated his Solomon Saprid.
We suggest that part of the proceeds of the auction be used to conserve and protect that giant masterwork at the hospital’s entrance, which, being exposed to the elements, seems to be vanishing in time. Then art would have expanded its role to include one as savior of its own.
The Artists of Kulay Marikina part 1
For some, art may be associated with the shocking and striking, but for this artist and mother, there is joy and beauty in simplicity. With Honey’s paintings, viewers find themselves face-to-face with walls upon walls of scenes that evoke the subjects of everyday life. A closer look reveals messy scribbles and crayon drawings that are actually contributed by the artist’s own two little girls.
Renowned for her vivid paintings of graceful, charming women, Remy Boquiren’s works are a constant reflection of the values she holds dear: love of God, caring for nature and the environment, family togetherness and self-sufficiency.
Dressed in ethnic finery or swathed in colorful fabrics, her radiant beauties are shown engaged in everyday activities: harvesting golden stalks of rice, gathering blooms from the garden, cradling an infant, or hands clasped and head bowed humbly in prayer.
When asked why he paints, Ramon Cañeza cryptically answered: “To exit my life into another color wheel of life.”
Born in Tabaco, Albay in 1958, Monn Cañeza has been painting since the age of 18. He has tried his hand at oil, pastel, watercolor and acrylic mediums, while painting in what he calls a partly surrealistic, partly expressionistic style. He finds inspiration in his family, and admits that painting eases his boredom with life.
A self-confessed Zen artist, Ige Concepcion is drawn to non-figurative modern art because of its ineffability. He uses mixed media to create abstract works that are often monochromatic yet rich in texture, resulting in mysterious shadow forms. Although possessed of no formal training in the arts, he is constantly aware of transcending his works in order to create visual predicaments. Among his favorite artists are Wassily Kandinsky, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Gus Albor.
Rosario “Chie” Cruz
Inspired by a famous mother (Lydia Velasco), Chie Cruz took up painting after studying Fine Arts in 1991.
In 1999, she took up masters classes at the UP College of Fine Arts. Chie’s works include figurative sculptures – mostly of women and children – in terracotta, life casts, and installations. Mundane things, what she calls “the gifts of creation, as seen in everyday life,” are her inspiration.
Cris Cruz As a veteran adman, Cris Cruz held various creative and management positions in several agencies. While employed, he joined several group shows locally and abroad until he decided to paint full time.
An award-winning watercolorist, he is recognized for his poetic and exotic paintings of flowers. He has 21 one-man shows to his credit. He is the chairman of the well-known Saturday Group of artists.
The Artists of Kulay Marikina part 2
Born on August 25, 1957 in Pagsanjan, Laguna, Ambie Flores started painting when he was still in elementary school. He took up Fine Arts in PWU and later honed his skill in landscape painting under the great Ibarra de la Rosa.
Inspired by renaissance painter Ambert Buccioni and other contemporaries of Leonardo da Vinci, Ambie paints landscapes in a “futurist-impressionist” style. He is an active member of the Art Association of the Philippines and is a regular participant in art competitions.
Graphic designer, painter and freelance illustrator, Armida Francisco has worked in illustrator design, animation and illustrator for many comics magazines and children’s books. She has had two solo exhibits and participated in trade fairs in Iran where she used to live with her husband. Her works are distinguished by rich strokes of paint and impressionistic use of color.
Born in Marikina in December 11, 1959, “Gab” is a self-taught artist who began dabbling with watercolor painting as a hobby in 1998. Fellow watercolorists like Ernie Patricio, Domeng Labordo, Roland Santos, Bong Gojar, and Andy Urag have inspired him and helped him learn the intricacies of this medium. He calls himself a minimalist who “plays with water in color,” combining and experimenting with both watercolor and acrylic.
Hailing from Ozamis City, Bong Gajar is a commercial advertising artist by training. He began painting in 1998, inspired by the “transparency of the watercolors” of portrait artist Domeng Labordo. His watercolor or paste works are characterized by dominant hues of magenta and sap green. His favorite subjects include nudes, portraits and landscapes.
By profession, Ibay is an advertising photographer, a consistent awardee in the Philippine Advertising Congress and Creative Guild. He has been painting for only five years and has had two solo shows.
Like a true child of Expressionism, Ibay has learned to equate each stress of paint with all the vexing problems of man.
Ben Infante derives inspiration from nature’s beauty: a sunny day with interesting cloud formations, colorful flowers, fruits on a windowsill, farm workers during harvest season and other landscapes. Though traditional, his subjects are rendered in exquisitely detailed life-like consistency.
Now approaching his sunset years, painting has kept him busy and up-and-about. Many may say that he has arrived at the zenith of his skills, yet still he strives to improve his art.
The Artists of Kulay Marikina part 3
Norlie Meimban’s works are inspired by figuristic style influence in Salvador Dali. He admits that his style can be categorized as impressionism and expressionism put in a stylistic blender, with bits of surrealism added to artistic brew. One of his paintings depicts the two figures whose outstretched limbs become the hands of a clock; the work is called “Time Framed.” It’s about how man can’t beat time unless he comes up with the time framed.
Ernie Patricio Born in 1944 in Oas, Albay, Ernie Patricio studied Art Education at the University of the East School of Fine Arts. Cartoonist, illustrator, art director, mural painter and sculptor, Ernie has won several art competitions including first place in the Shell On-the-Spot Painting and Poster Contests and the SPIC Illustration Contest. He has twice been chosen as among the Top Five Watercolorists and twice a runner-up in the annual Kulay sa Tubig competition mounted by Gallery Genesis.
Andy F. Pernia
A native of Bohol, Andy Pernia considers himself a latecomer to the art scene. After studying basic ceramic making, he started his career in art as a clay artist. His association with several visual artist groups inspired him to try his hand in painting. He has a special preference working with oil pastel on felt paper. His love in experimenting with colors is often reflected in the outcome of his works, which are mostly figurative and rich in hue.
Noel Rile did not have the chance to discover his talent in painting until later in life.
Through sheer curiosity, Noel Rile took up painting in 1999 upon the encouragement of fellow Marikina artists Cris Cruz and Roland Santos. His association with Kulay Marikina has inspired him to continue exploring and developing his God-given artisitic gifts with “a burning zeal,” despite the many concerns and vicissitudes of everyday life.
“The ultimate tuition fee was persistence, self-sacrifice; the entrance qualification had to be pure talent.”
Critics have dubbed him “The Young Renaissance Man.” A veteran of various group and solo exhibits since the early 1990s, native Marikeño Roland Santos cultivated his skill with the brush through several years of discipline soul-searching and self-discovery.
Demetrio A. Tamayo
A Fine Arts graduate who majored in advertising at UST, Trio Tamayo is a veteran in the local advertising industry being a studio manager of one of the biggest advertising agencies in the country.
He started painting as a hobby. In a style that may be identified as semi-realism, Trio paints landscapes, still life, and human-interest subjects using watercolor, pastel, oil and acrylic.
The Artists of Kulay Marikina part 4
Flowers, fruit, and other still life loom upclose and meticulously detailed in Sheila Tiangco’s canvases. Born November 5, 1952, Sheila is a marketing graduate of UST and an accomplished restauranteur. She discovered painting as a source of recreation and respite from the hectic pace of business. Through her paintings, she expresses her thanksgiving to God for all the blessings of life.
Born in 1960 in the quiet mountain town of Magdalena, Laguna, Elmer Torio has been dabbling in art since his elementary school days. A self-taught artist, he paints in oil and watercolor, favoring the subjects of nature and children playing.
Andy B. Urag
Having studied Fine Arts at UE Caloocan, Abu honed his skill using various media and techniques. He has found his forte in watercolor, however, and had a solo exhibit in 2001 entitled “Transparent,” featuring works in this medium. He has also participated in several group shows and received a number of awards and citations. Abu’s work may be viewed on his website: www.andy-abu-studio.com
Graphic artist and photographer by profession, Tamerlane Urao found his skill with illustration and freehand drawing at a young age.
Immersion in the art world helps him open his mind. His facility with different mediums lets him explore the many facets of creation. His work is constantly evolving – a never-ending exploration of new ideas and the different ways of expressing them.
Melissa Juliano Villaseñor
“I wish my heart could speak through art – how grateful I am to God for giving me this gift.”
A Fine Arts graduate of UST, Liza Juliano Villaseñor further honed her skill in art workshops at the Ayala Museum and the UP College of Fine Arts. After graduation, she went to work as a fashion designer and later established her own garments manufacturing business.
Her works may be subconscious diaries of a colorful past, or they may be just products of her imagination. Whatever the reason and inspiration, Lydia Velasco’s works are inseparable from her being: her reflections on the shifting moods, the tumultuous desires and the unfathomable mysteries of a woman in her various roles in wife, mother, lover.
Credits to kulaymarikina view it here.