The self-proclaimed “crazy” advocates of accessible art are at it again.
Dindin Araneta, Trickie Lopa, and Lisa Periquet of Philippine Art Events Inc. are bringing back Art Fair Philippines on February 20, Thursday, to February 23, Sunday, on its second year at the Link car park in Makati City.
The showcase of Philippine contemporary art drew in 6,000 visitors on its inaugural run last year, this year expanding to two floors—the sixth and seventh—of the building.
Designer Kenneth Cobonpue and architects at Leandro V. Locsin Partners helped transform the car park into an art space, which will hold works by old pros and newcomers in a curated exhibit. Joining in are 29 galleries, including all of last year’s participants. There will be seven special exhibits, as well, including that of national artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera.
Auction house Christie’s will also hold a lecture series, on Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m. featuring a discussion with BenCab, Geraldine Javier, and Mark Justiniani; and on Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. featuring a discussion with experts on the globalization of Philippine art. Events on Friday, February 21, and Sunday, February 23, at the Christie’s booth on the seventh floor will be announced soon.
Art Fair Philippines coincides with the Urban Art Project, with large art installations to be mounted all over the commercial center of Makati City as part of Ayala Land’s “Make it Happen, Make it Makati” campaign. With his “psychedelic” style, Dex Fernandez will hold a live art session, tentatively in Greenbelt 5. Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan will have their installations on urbanization at the Tower 1 lobby, while Patty Eustaquio will place her work combining geometrical shapes and fashion at the Tower 1 fountain area.
Olivia d’Aboville’s play on mass-produced objects will decorate the walkway between Landmark and Greenbelt 4, while Mark Justiniani’s reflections on childhood games and pastimes will be displayed in Glorietta 2. Valeria Cavestany’s “whimsical, cheerful work” turns Ayala Triangle Gardens into a zoo of fiberglass animals.
While a glimpse of the outdoor exhibition is free, the indoor art at the Link, said Lopa, can be viewed for an entrance fee of Php150. Students get a 50 percent discount, while Makati City students with valid IDs get in free. Doors are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The exhibitors are Altro Mondo, Archivo, Art Cube, Art Informal, Avellana Art Gallery, Blanc, Boston Gallery, CANVAS, Crucible, Equator Art Projects, Finale, Galleria Duemila, Light and Space Contemporary, Liongoren Gallery, Manila Contemporary, MO Space, NOVA, New Gallery, Pablo, Paseo Art Gallery, Richard Koh Fine Art, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Silverlens, TAKSU, The Drawing Room, Tin-Aw, West Gallery, and 1335 Mabini.
There are four special exhibits under “Swatch Presents”, according to Periquet. Rodel Tapaya will present his large-scale paintings touching on Philippine folklore; Jose John Santos III will show his paintings of everyday objects made beautiful; Marina Cruz will stage her interpretation of adoption; and Louie Cordero, inspired by local pop culture, will put four pingpong tables together, with which the Philippine pingpong team will play.
There are three other solo exhibits, said Periquet. BenCab will reveal round, bronze sculptures; Ronald Ventura will demonstrate his mastery of combining different artistic styles; and Pio Abad will flaunt his silk scarves and wallpaper as canvas for images during the Martial Law period and objects washed ashore. The latter, said Periquet, is part of the Karen Montinola selection, named after the organizers’ friend and art collector who passed away two years ago.
“Philippine contemporary art must have a place in the national psyche,” said Lopa. She explained that this was one of the reasons why they put up Art Fair Philippines once more.
She added that they wanted to share their enjoyment of art and the knowledge they have gained to others. Art, she said, should not only belong to the intellectuals, but to everyone who was interested.
The venue will also provide a venue for young artists to learn, and for the featured artists to earn.
Art Informal owner Tina Fernandez, meanwhile, said that Art Fair Philippines was also “serious, but fun,” a representation of what Filipino art was today, and a preview of where it was headed.
“It’s gotten a lot of attention from Southeast Asia and Europe,” she added.
This particular art fair, she explained, showed how Filipinos got together to present, as opposed to the more formal art fairs abroad.
“Art Fair Philippines does it with a lot of Pinoy pizzazz. It’s non-pretentious. We’re just being who we are,” said Fernandez.
Visitors can look forward to “less traditional types of art” and more “abstract, new media”.
Art Informal, for example, will be presenting Eugenia Alcaide Lopez, who works with thread. Santos is also an artist under this gallery.