ART IN THE CITY

The Best of Mod­ern and Con­tem­po­rary Art

Makati Leads - - Feature -

It takes very lit­tle to see, that ac­cess to art and cul­ture events can be as lit­eral as ge­og­ra­phy: where are we hav­ing th­ese events and who can go there?

The first Art Fair Philip­pines (AFP) 2013, seems to have taken on this chal­lenge, not just of gen­er­at­ing in­ter­est for lo­cal art, but also mak­ing it as ac­ces­si­ble. And if the slew of peo­ple who came for its four- day run is any in­di­ca­tion, then cer­tainly the de­ci­sion to have it at the 6th floor of The Link car park, in the mid­dle of Ayala Cen­ter, was one of the bravest its or­ga­niz­ers could have made.

That is, one of the more dar­ing choices made by the three women of AFP. Lisa Peri­quet, Trickie Lopa, and Dindin Araneta who also make up Art Cabi­net Philip­pines as they are also, mem­bers of the Mu­seum Foun­da­tion of the Philip­pines (MFP), which or­ga­nizes the an­nual Art In The Park at the Jaime Ve­lasquez Park in Sal­cedo Vil­lage, also in Makati. Their names may sound all stereo­typ­i­cally con­ser­va­tive, and it is easy to imag­ine—and even dis­miss—their for­ays into art to be con­ven­tional by de­fault.

There is noth­ing con­ser­va­tive about the art that is here, and nei­ther is it limited to one aes­thetic. Once they let go of hav­ing cu­ra­to­rial con­trol over each space, and sim­ply en­cour­aged the in­vited gal­leries to care­fully think of the works they would be putting up, it be­came clear that what AFP would of­fer is also a sense of the land­scape of con­tem­po­rary art gal­leries. Some hold cu­rated ex­hibits and oth­ers sell works. Ced­ing con­trol to all gal­leries was the cal­cu­lated risk that the women be­hind AFP have taken.

“The Art Fair man­aged to push the bound­aries in terms of what were ex­hib­ited (as well as sold), such as works on pa­per and pho­to­graphs apart from oil paint­ings; or large as­sem­blage in­stal­la­tions and small ob­jects apart from sculp­ture pieces. There were video and graf­fiti works—two solo exhibitions pre­sented by gal­leries. There were gallery exhibitions that had a cen­tral theme or told a story. There were ex­quis­ite mod­ern art pieces for sale which stood out from among the con­tem­po­rary art [works]. There were [also] spe­cial in­stal­la­tions,” Dindin says.

The lat­ter had the three women

de­cid­ing on their ma­jor names: Ron­ald Ven­tura, Gabby Barredo, and Nor­berto Roldan, as all three worked within the lim­its

of AFP’s venue. Lisa sur­mises, “Choos­ing a car park as the venue was an im­por­tant as­pect of the con­cept of a con­tem­po­rary art fair. We trans­formed an un­likely venue into a great ex­hi­bi­tion space. I think the venue, with its at­ten­dant lim­i­ta­tions, served as in­spi­ra­tion for some artists, such as Ron­ald Ven­tura's Bu­lol in­stal­la­tion which was reprised from his Var­gas <Mu­seum> show, but in a to­tally dif­fer­ent way, with added ma­te­rial such as the poly­car­bon­ate

cloud draw­ings.”

Thanks to the bril­liant minds of the Ken­neth Cobon­pue team, who de­signed the ebb and flow of the space, The Link car park the most un­ex­pected yet sur­pris­ingly

apt space for con­tem­po­rary Philip­pine art. The floors and fix­tures were left as is, and the ef­fect was one that was ur­bane and

street. With a hint of classi­ness and grace that is rarely seen and felt in cul­tural events on th­ese shores, no mat­ter where th­ese

are held. And AFP has made it­self more ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic, with dis­counts for stu­dents and ad­mis­sion prices cheaper

even than a movie.

This has also al­lowed for the im­pres­sive dis­play of a huge Ven­tura Bu­lol in the mid­dle of Ayala Cen­ter, sculp­tures by

Char­lie Co in Tower One & Ex­change Plaza build­ing in Makati, in­stal­la­tions by Leeroy New on the walk­way be­tween Land­mark and Green­belt and a huge sling­shot in the mid­dle of Glo­ri­etta by Mark Jus­tini­ani—a co­in­cid­ing ur­ban art pro­ject of the “Make It Hap­pen, Make It Makati” cam­paign.

“[ We] want our con­tem­po­rary art scene to be part of the national psy­che, to broaden its ap­pre­ci­a­tion among aver­age Filipinos, to dis­pel the no­tion that you need a dozen de­grees be­hind your name to do

so. I'd love for the fair to up­lift stan­dards (both for view­ers and artists) to do what Cine­malaya has done for in­de­pen­dent cin­ema and what Citem's FAME has done

for the lo­cal de­sign in­dus­try,” Trickie says.

And with the dar­ing of th­ese three women, it would seem that Art Fair Philip­pines is on its way to achiev­ing pre­cisely that.

Per­son­al­i­ties who graced the launch of the Art Fair in­clude: Jaime Zo­bel de Ayala, Fer­nando Zo­bel de Ayala, Lizzie Zo­bel, BenCab, Margie Mo­ran- Flo­riendo,

Julius Babao, Su­san Calao- Me­d­ina, Rajo Lau­rel, Er­wann Heussaff, Cristalle BeloHenares, Irene Araneta, Lisa Bayot, and

Reg Yuson to name a few.

Ten months in the mak­ing, As­phalt by Gabby Barredo is one of the unique art­works fea­tured at the fair. (from left)— Dindin Araneta, Trickie Lopa, and Lisa Peri­quet

The top artists who show­cased their works at the Art Fair in­clude: Nor­bert Roldan, Geral­dine Javier, Nona Gar­cia, Louie Cordero, Maria Taniguchi, Les­lie de Chavez, Pa­tri­cia Eus­taquio, Roberto Cha­bet, Elmer Bor­lon­gan, Em­manuel Garibay, Manuel Ocampo, Rodel Ta­paya, Pauline and Ivan De­spi, Ed­uardo Cas­trillo, Ar­turo Luz, and Impy Pi­lapil.

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