I was lucky enough to be included in Canvas Gallery’s exhibit during the 2014 Art Fair Philippines which happened last February. It was my first time to participate in the Fair, and it was a little overwhelming seeing all the great work from other artists.
Canvas Gallery’s show was entitled “Paraluman” or muse. Sixteen artists created narrative pieces that, hopefully, could generate a host of crowd-sourced stories. The images were uploaded onto a website (http://canvasstories.com) where the audience can view the paintings and submit their own stories.
The painting I made was this:
Years ago, I picked up a battered sale copy of Robert Bly’s book Iron John: A Book About Menfor PhP 20 (USD 0.45). A summary of the book can be found in this site. Basically, the book is an exegesis of the Iron John story, included the Brothers Grimm collection of fairy tales. The story was interpreted as a journey of a boy through manhood with the help of the wild man.
The exegesis was rife with imagery and meaning, and the notion of some “wild man” as a guide to claiming true masculine energy seemed interesting to me from a visual standpoint. Anyway, I made several attempts to make a picture that was at least tangential to some of the ideas in the book, and I was only able to actually finish something this year (deadlines can be our friends).
Though i never really set out to do a direct illustration of the Iron John story. Some elements in the painting touch on some of the concepts in the book while others grew out spontaneously from fleshing out the imagery.
In all my previous studies and down to this final picture, there were always three constant characters and elements:
A body of water with a caged wild man
An enlightened character (in this case, the lotus-head boy)
For more about info Art Fair Philippines click here to visit their facebook and click here to visit Canvas Gallery’s facebook page.
Although a bit late, here are some articles about this year’s Art Fair:
I recently had a two-man show with Sergio Bumatay III at the Canvas Gallery, my first. I had previously joined group exhibitions with my organization, Ang INK but preparing several paintings in one go is a first for me. In the end, I finished five 4 x 3 ft. paintings.
It was an interesting experience. I don’t think “fun” is quite the word I’d use. More like “frantic stumbling along”, which I know isn’t a word.
Deciding what to do, making studies, preparing surfaces and actually “negotiating” with the paint to create images that I was happy with was difficult. Nevertheless, it was extremely satisfying seeing the paintings finished and framed. Having these pictures arrayed in a gallery gave me a feeling that they existed apart from me, that other people could hold them and they weren’t just in my head. I only wish I could have been faster and actually finished more.
I learned a lot from the experience and it’s something I want to keep on doing in the coming years. I often think to myself why I paint. I’ve worked in advertising for years and I work at a time when doing stuff digitally is a must for any workflow, but something about painting excites me and inspires me.
I like looking at paintings. I like looking at other peoples paintings and it makes me want to paint more. I think I paint not because it’s “cutting-edge” or because it has “limitless possibilities”. Quite the contrary I think; I paint because it is limited and even “archaic”.
Making marks on a surface is as old as the history of man. But I like the idea that with direct physical contact with a material, people can create different shades of meaning and emotion. And that, I think, is extremely satisfying.
Our exhibit featured on Jessica Soho’s State of the Nation on GMA
A little teaser to the exhibit at Canvas Gallery
It’s been a busy last quarter for INK. Our exhibit on illustrated Filipino idioms (sawikain) was featured on the news and a considerable number of artworks were sold during the two-week run at the Canvas Gallery in Capitol Hills, including my two artworks!
After that run, we moved the exhibit to the UP College of Fine Arts where we served free ice cream to everyone (all the catering money went into the first exhibit :P).
The 2nd run of the exhibit will last up to January 15, 2013 at the UP College of Fine Arts Gallery in Diliman, Quezon City.
Ang INK has been busy preparing for its 21st Annual Exhibit. The topic for this year revolves around Filipino idioms or “sawikain”. The exhibit opens on November 16, 5 pm at the Canvas Gallery and Gardens.