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CONT ENTS 28 MAIN FEATURE A closer look a the business of art Photo by Kaity Chua

SOUTHERN living GROUP PUBLISHER BRAND AND COMMUNITY EDITOR ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS CREATIVE DIRECTOR GRAPHIC ARTIST CONTRIBUTORS WRITERS

ILLUSTRATOR

AUGUST 2014

STYLISTS HAIR AND MAKEUP

02 HEALTH Mapping out a creative person’s brain

20 FEATURE The medium is the artist’s message

04 BEAUTY Beauty is in the eyes and features of artists

35 STYLE Dressing forms part of the illusion of image

06 SOUTHERNER An artist proves that one is never too late to start doing art

42 THE EATS A dining concept inspired by mythical creatures

PHOTOGRAPHERS

COPY EDITOR PROOFREADER EDITORIAL CONSULTANT BOARD CHAIRPERSON FINANCE ADVISOR AND TREASURER LEGAL ADVISOR HR STRATEGY HEAD VP AND CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER

Cover photo by Sam Lim & cover art by Karyel Santos

SVP AND GROUP SALES HEAD, INQUIRER GROUP OF COMPANIES

EDITOR’S NOTE

SALES DIRECTOR KEY ACCOUNTS SPECIALIST

Art for sale

SR. ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Few people think about the money they spend when they pay for a movie ticket, a new music album, or a theater performance. Opening the discussion on the consumption of art is like opening the wounds of a longstanding debacle between practicality and sensibility, and the trite discourse on the seemingly irreconcilable differences between a sales person and a creative individual. In this issue, however, we try to understand how something as subjective as art may translate into economic terms, and how this changes the way people perceive art. It is inevitable to disentangle the two elements. Art, in one way or another, is in fact, a business and its production is sustained by an industry of buying and selling. It puts a meaning on what “value” means in art, whether of monetary or qualitative aspects. We put this

into today’s context and ask, what does it really mean to buy art? Surely there is more to art than just its price tag, and inside we explore the dynamic and intimate relationship between the artist and his medium. We asked artists like Jel Suarez, Alfredo Esquillo Jr., and Luis Santos to try creating something out of tools or materials they are not accustomed to. We reinterpreted famous people’s last meals through the eyes of today’s local talents. It is a good time to talk about art—we discover that buying, selling, or mere interest in it are indications that the art community is vibrant and thriving. And as such the true measure of art is really not by any yardstick, but it gains a whole new meaning when it is appreciated for what it is, and how it excites and brings life to the tired soul.

Talk to us on Facebook and you just might win a special prize from us. Visit www.facebook.com/southernlivingmagazine now. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @slivingph. We’d love to hear from you.

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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES SALES SUPPORT ASSISTANTS

PRODUCTION MANAGER PRODUCTION ASSISTANT FINAL ART SUPERVISOR FA ARTIST

This magazine was printed responsibly using recycled papers with biodegradable inks.


HEALT H

MIND OVER (ART) MATTERS

How is the creative brain different?

“The best outline I ever made, or anyway the prettiest one, was on the back of a roll of wallpaper. I used my daughter’s crayons, a different color for each main character... the blue line met the red line and then the yellow line, and the yellow line stopped because the character represented by the yellow line was dead. And so on.” Kurt Vonnegut’s revelation of his artistic process in Slaughterhouse-Five, nonchalantly detailed with an inferring of self-deprecation, sheds light on the intricacies of the creative mind. It baffles even the artists in us: how a book untangles a plot or a film shapes a dystopian future. Logic aims to pin this nonconcrete method down to an exact formula, but when visionaries are asked to reveal their secrets, their answers are as abstract as their works. Creativity is individualistic, and even science hasn’t produced a solid theory on it. A study led by John Kounios and Mark JungBeeman1 discloses how people who solve problems creatively have a distinct brain pattern from those who think in a methodical fashion; there is greater activity in several regions of the right brain hemisphere that remains dynamic even during a “resting” state. The result is a passionate, observant daydreamer who asks heavy questions, seeks new experiences, has a different perspective

on reality, takes risks, craves self-expression, and loses himself in his work. Although it remains a paradox to some, several experts claim creativity can be taught just like any other skill. When Canadian electro-pop musician Claire Boucher a.k.a. Grimes subjected herself to complete isolation for her album Visions, it was an act of educating the brain. “You have no stimulation, so your subconscious starts filling in the blanks,” she explains in her interview with The Guardian. Louis R. Mobley formulated six insights, the foundation of the IBM Executive School, to teach professionals to think creatively: ask questions radically in a non-linear way, unlearn methods through experiences to give birth to “Aha!” moments, practice being creative rigorously rather than just learning or reading up to become it, hang around with creative people, know yourself, and allow yourself to make mistakes. But why expose the mind to such drills when the “tortured artist” is typecast for a reason? Psychologist and author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi2 commends creativity as an element to a better well-being. He says that one thing creative people have in common is the love they have for what they do. Career, fame, or money doesn’t determine their level of happiness, hence practicing creativity rejuvenates and maintains their overall health and enhances their societal welfare. The pursuit of creativity may not be as complex as it is presented. Distinctive in each person and made esoteric-sounding by science, only you can define it for yourself. As Steve Jobs puts it, “Creativity is just connecting things... [Creative people] were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

1: Kounios, J., Fleck, J.I., Green, D.L., Payne, L., Stevenson, J.L., Bowden, E.M., & Jung-Beeman, M. (2007). “The origins of insight in resting-state brain activity.” Journal Neuropsychologia. Elsevier. 2: Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. New York: Harper Perennial.

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BEAUT Y

STRANGELY CHARMING

There’s beauty in the art and features of famous artists Frida Kahlo Although Mexican culture and tradition prevail in Frida Kahlo’s paintings, she still often painted herself. She’s frequently described as a surrealist, but Kahlo believed that she never painted her dreams but her own reality instead. She was known for resisting the norm, involving herself in politics while most women sat on the sidelines. Her self-portraits are as intriguing as da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” but unlike Mona Lisa’s mysterious smirk, Kahlo’s thick unibrow is unapologetically obvious. Her image in her self-portraits looks almost exactly as she did in real life—though her unibrow got even more exaggerated. It was an artistic statement indeed, during the ’30s, an indication that women had both masculine and feminine traits and didn’t need to sit behind men. Get the look: We’re not going to tell you to grow a unibrow just to make a feminist point, but ever thought of growing it thick instead like model Cara Delevingne? Avoid over plucking. Draw lines and fill them in, or better yet, dye your brows darker. Andy Warhol Almost everybody is familiar with Andy Warhol’s mono prints of celebrities and silkscreens of mundane objects such as a soup can and the Coca-Cola bottle.

But what also got us interested is how the “Pope of Pop” presented himself to the public. His platinum wig worn because of his thinning hair, was particularly memorable. He stood out and got away with wearing this standout headpiece in a sea of blondes and brunettes streaming in and out of his Factory in the ’60s. Warhol, after all, did say that art is anything you can get away with—and his persona and his trademark wig are as iconic as his work. Get the look: More than for men, Warhol’s look suits women. Get a cut, but keep it wispy and the bangs brushed to the side. Amidst heads with long, black hair, short hair will make you stand out. If you want to go the extra mile, go light or choose a color not a lot of people would go for. Take a page from Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, modernday pop icons who never lacked for attention because of their hairstyles. Antoni Gaudí The Spanish Catalan architect is best known for his Gothic revival and modernism, and his magnum opus is the unfinished Sagrada Família. Gaudí took his personal appearance seriously when he was younger, wearing costly suits and keeping his hair and beard well groomed—a certified dandy. As he grew older, though, he spent less time grooming himself. He wore old, worn-out suits and

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neglected his appearance that sometimes, he was taken for a beggar. On June 7, 1926, a tram hit Gaudí and left him unconscious. Assumed to be a beggar because of his old clothing, he didn’t receive immediate help and died three days later. Get the look: For the guys, leave your facial hair alone. Ignore the belief that shaving regularly makes hair grow thicker and quicker. And since you’re not getting a clean shave, wear proper clothes to compensate. Coco Chanel Today, Coco Chanel’s beauty and style are considered classics, but during the 1920s, her look was revolutionary. In a time when women had long hair and wore corsets and other confining garments, she designed clothes that borrowed elements from menswear. Comfort and simplicity were key for her. As she began creating unrestrictive womenswear pieces, she chopped off her long locks, truly setting her apart from other designers at the time. Get the look: She always had that je ne sais quoi, and looked a little androgynous, with her neck showing but the rest of her conservatively covered. Her simple style was not a matter of laziness but of knowing how to keep off whatever was unnecessary, a skill any woman of today needs to master.


SPECIAL FEAT URE

FIT TO SCALE

This is where it’s at. Here’s why it’s the living scenario of choice for yuppies, young families, and the upwardly mobile TEXT nana caragay

Now that minimalism, downsizing, and eschewing the unnecessary are all the rage, the ideals of luxury are getting turned on their heads. Gone is the time when living large meant owning a vast estate—these days, the environmentally conscious and in-the-know are favoring quality over quantity, economy over excess. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the shift towards condo living. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider it, too. All eyes on you With doormen and guards constantly on patrol plus the vigilance of security cameras and closed-circuit TV, the worry that someone might break into your home is a huge burden off your back. So you can lock your door each time you leave and know that everything will be exactly as you left it. Minimal maintenance Taking out the trash and mowing the lawn are common house chores to be dealt with. But in a condo, waste disposal is as easy as opening the garbage chute. There are also personnel who can attend to plumbing and facilities, a huge draw for the typical single girl.

Maximum economy Living in a full-size home comes with outsize costs, not least of which are the skyrocketing prices of water and electricity. But move from a bungalow into a twobedroom and you’ll immediately notice the difference in your utility bills. Besides, there’s nothing like the natural light and fresh ventilation that comes with opening up your balcony. Neighborly love When was the last time you said hello to the people next door? At a condo, socializing in the elevators or hallways will be part of your everyday routine, so you’ll never feel isolated or lonely. Plus, you can always hope to run into the hottie who just moved in two floors below. All those amenities Most homeowners can only dream about one day having their own swimming pool or private gym. But for condo dwellers, amenities such as these are an everyday reality, and just an elevator ride away. Location, location Manila’s traffic situation has only gotten worse, so instead of hoping for a quick

Your New Home Whether it’s work or play, SMDC’s properties are situated in prime locations with easy access to the best that the metro has to offer and that you can win by shopping at an SM mall.

Field Residences, Sucat M Place, South Triangle Light Residences, EDSA Boni Sun Residences, España Princeton Residences, New Manila Blue Residences, Katipunan Grass Residences, North EDSA Sea Residences, Mall of Asia Complex Mezza Residences, Sta. Mesa Jazz Residences, Makati

solution, people are simply finding ways to adapt. One of which is to pick out an address in a central, convenient location so that you can ensure you’re never too far away—and when it comes to that, condos have the definite edge.

Every P1,000 purchase at any SM mall gives you a chance to win one of 10 fully-furnished SMDC condominium units in the SM Supermalls Shop and Win promo. Just present your single or accumulated receipt with an E-Plus, SM Advantage, BDO Rewards, or SM Prestige Card. Raffle entries are doubled when you present an E-Plus Card. Promo runs from June 22 to November 22, 2014. Per DTI-NCR permit #4877 series of 2014. For more details, visit www.smshopandwin.com

2014 0805 SM Advert for Noli Soli B.indd 2

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SOUT HERNER Karyel Verum Santos que voconverts wood and lupta tiisquatis paintet into quirky con doluptiis representations ernatur, ex es- of food people. trumand estibus magnam

LATE BLOOMER

An unexpected artist’s protracted discovery of art

As the legendary French painter Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” Art is a career path not everyone can take, not because they’re not creative enough but because parents usually disapprove of this life choice. Karyel “Tyang” Santos did not have to battle it out with her parents to pursue a line of work related to art—in fact, she did not even plan to be called an “artist” in the first place. With colored pens and a piece of paper, she started creating surreal jocular portraits of her friends at age 19. Little did she know that her fondness in drawing would become her source of income in the future. Santos’ choice to enroll in a crash course on web design was the turning point in her art career. While she did not continue with that particular design discipline, it served as the spark for her entry into graphic design. As a young artist with no formal training in visual arts, she tried different styles through the years, and her pursuit to discover her own style led her to become acquainted with other up-and-

coming artists. Later on, she stumbled upon the world of street art and explored the exhilaration of painting on concrete. She then became one of the founders of the street art community in the southern metro, the Cavity Collective. From colored pens to graphic design and street art, Santos has gone back to her bright colors and funky drawings. “I tried different media [and subjects] but now, I’m focused on portraits, food, and typography,” she says. She describes her artworks as “tyanganized” pieces. After working for an online global company for three years as an illustrator, she finally decided to quit her day job late last year to concentrate on her art. Gaining exposure through social media and her participation in weekend markets, she has since been commissioned for an upcoming project to design shirts for Team Manila, set to happen this month. Santos is proof that art, indeed, can be a career, and that it is never too late to pursue it.

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FEAT BEAUT URE Y

SETTLING DOWN

Curious ways of living in opposite ends of the city as told by contemporary writers

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FEAT URE

HOUSE FOR SALE: 4BR, 4CR, MAIDS QUARTS, 2CAR GARAGE If you’re buying a house in Quezon City, make sure you ask if it doesn’t come with unfortunate freebies; for example the house we once lived in came with a tribe of white duwende who was fighting a war with a tribe of black duwende, which supposedly brought good or bad luck to our family, depending on who was winning the war. According to those in the know, the Katipunan area was once a forest that was ruled by diwata and engkanto. Seems like some of them never left.

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FEAT URE

SOUTHERN LIVING If you consider a place 20 minutes from the financial hub, Makati, a probinsya then you can call me a probinsiyano for setting up residence in Las Piùas. I can say that we have a Mayor who is not overly obsessed with making up ways to collect more fees, fines, and penalties from residents and passers-through. I observed that dirty cities have dirty politicians to match. We’re clean here.

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THE BELLEVUE RESORT HOSTS 2ND DEFY 123 TRIATHLON

ABOUT THE BELLEVUE RESORT

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FEAT URE

HISTORY ON A PLATE A visual take on the last meals of world famous icons

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FEAT URE

Cunning Narrator “Mr. Hemingway accidentally killed himself while cleaning a gun this morning at 7:30 a.m.,” read a statement issued by the writer’s fourth wife, Mary Welsh Hemingway. She claimed it was an accident, but others have said that severe depression pushed Hemingway to put a gun to his own head. Whether or not intentional, the famed writer made sure to devour a sumptuous meal before drawing his final breath: New York strip steak, a baked potato, Caesar salad, and Bordeaux wine. In recreating Ernest Hemingway’s last meal, Costantino “Cos” Zicarelli prepared as though someone would actually eat it. He bought ingredients, cooked them and set the table. He then proceeded to spray paint it black, rendering it inedible and monochromatic—a recurrent theme in the majority of his pieces. Cos is known for his artwork which takes elements of graffiti and other underground subcultures. His work is usually flat—oil on canvas, paper on graphite and even a Post-It installation— but he has also worked with wood, metal, mirrors and resin to create sculptures.

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FEAT URE

The People’s Princess Taking a break from her regal duties, Princess Diana Spencer ate at the Hôtel Ritz Paris after a failed attempt to dine at a restaurant with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed. Harassment from the paparazzi, who followed the Princess of Wales relentlessly, forced a hasty retreat. She ate a mushroom and asparagus omelet, Dover sole, and vegetable tempura shortly before her fatal car crash.

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FEAT URE

The Sex Symbol Immortalized in death at the age of 36, Marilyn Monroe lives on as the loveliest icon of Old Hollywood. Every woman envied her curves, strawberry blonde hair, tantalizing eyes, and luscious lips. Monroe was well-loved for her movies, her famous quotes, and trademark looks, but little attention was paid to how her last day on earth played out. The blonde bombshell enjoyed a meal of meatballs, gazpacho, refried beans, and guacamole—along with a fatal dose of barbiturates.

Always working with lines in her doodles and depth and perspective in her photographs, Chesca Agoncillo pushes her creativity in making a fitting representation of Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe’s last meals. She combines her style and the icons’ respective personalities by juxtaposing watercolored pieces with different table settings in an attempt to convey the last meals of the two famed and mysterious women.

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FEAT URE

Life Taker The ferocious dictator Adolf Hitler was, in fact, a vegetarian. “He never ate any meat during the entire time I was there,” shares Margot Woelk, one of 15 girls who were commissioned to taste his food to ensure that it wasn’t poisoned. Upon realizing his defeat, Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, took their lives together on April 30, 1945. He reportedly ate a simple meal of spaghetti with a light sauce before they both swallowed vials of cyanide. Not one for taking chances, Hitler then shot himself in the head.

Despite being assigned to a personality with a dark history, Karyel “Tyang” Santos retains her quirky and colorful artistic style in recreating Adolf Hitler’s last meal. She fabricates the food with plywood, wood glue and acrylic. This budding artist cuts and shapes each element of the meal with a jigsaw, scroll saw and a rotary tool, then assembles it accordingly to give the illusion of a three-dimensional image.

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FEAT URE

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FEAT URE

CAUSE AND

EFFECT Exploring the artists’ detachment from his medium

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FEAT URE

INSIDE OUT

This artist peels away the layers of human experience through his use of transparent media Just how can one respond to the question, “Who are you?” It is the most fundamental question in everyday conversations, yet one that perhaps always irritated philosophers. The particulars of name, age and occupation never seem to suffice, as it is in every individual a search, if not a yearning for something more. This ontological inquiry is present in Alfredo “Esqui” Esquillo Jr.’s works as he tries to look inwards and attempt to understand the being of humans. His objective almost resonates with Gabriel Marcel’s reflection on the mystery of being, and the desire for transcendence, meaning, coherence, and truth. And as the French philosopher says, “to truly confront mystery, one must open themselves up to the avenues designed for this purpose—religion, art, and metaphysics.” Esquillo’s concept of loob is almost religious, in fact, as it goes beyond the temporal and the ordinary experience to search not only for oneself but that which makes or allows it to be.

How would you describe your work? “Loob” is an attempt to convey what is essential in Pinoy culture and value system. Loob points to the inner depths of personhood. It gives meaning to what is material (labas). Since loob and its functions are abstract, it can only be manifested via galaw (movement), gawa (action), and kilos (activity). In a way, I’m trying to illustrate a condition of loob (gaan ng loob, and its opposite, bigat ng loob, kalooban ng Dios) by using imagery composed of bodily gestures and symbolism as containment of what is spiritual and experiential. What is the significance of the medium you used? Since loob is layered (malay, isip, dama, pananampalataya, bait, buti, kaluluwa, etc.), I’m also using a parallel layering in the materials that I used. I chose painting on piña, a local fabric, for

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its transparent quality. This serves as an over-layer for another painting underneath in oil on pelon, another local fabric. The layering of two paintings of different grounds is quite surprising and amazing to me. It is very much outside of what may be considered traditional such as oil on canvas. Since pelon and piña are different grounds, they require different brush techniques and approaches to application of pigment. What would you like the audience to experience? I’m always happy to bring an element of surprise to the audience. But the technical aspects of the work come secondary to the subject and narratives being represented. The work should always touch the audience. And I wish they would be able to see through the surface, see the loob.


FEAT URE

“I’m always happy to bring an element of surprise to the audience. But the technical aspects of the work come secondary to the subject and narratives being represented. The work should always touch the audience.”

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FEAT URE

THE SANDS OF TIME

Jel Suarez’s free-flowing interpretation of reality spills over into her art

There’s an inexplicable sense of nostalgia emanating from Jel Suarez’s works. They’re part vintage Americana, part golden age of the ’50s, with a hint of that time when kids still read encyclopedias, listened to vinyl records, and used analog Lomo cameras to take photos—the simple life, so to speak. But that is not to say she’s riding on the throwback train or that her works are just as simple. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: handmade collages inspired by and made from old print advertisements, textbooks, and anatomical illustrations, her creations reveal realizations about the environment, human nature, and the intermingling between the body and the world. Using sand for her latest project, Suarez evokes a return to one of the basic elements of the earth to create a semi-abstract, textured image.

What was your creative process for this project like? I merely work with paper, so it was great playing with sand for this purpose. As a preschool teacher, my art processes usually spring from the classroom. For this project, I dyed fine sand with colored chalk and used it to color and form an added layer. Sand was used to add a visual texture to the whole image. I named this collage diptych, “Killing Yourself to Live.” I found inspiration after opening my copy of a dated guidebook about rock climbing. I typically just play around with the images I’m drawn to at the moment, then I end up with a picture or an idea on how I will position them. For this project, I initially tried a few things before creating a non-figurative layout of the images.

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What was the experience like using a different medium other than what you’re used to? It was extra messy. I hated glitter ever since I was a kid—sand sort of bears a resemblance to it, plus it was glimmering throughout the process—so there was a love-hate chaos on my work space. But on top of that, using an unlikely medium was just as fun. Recently, I’ve been trying to get hold of a paint brush because it has always been a childhood frustration of mine to paint and draw. I never learned how to draw, which is mainly the reason why I ended cutting stuff up instead. Even so, it was upon making an attempt to try new stuff that I, in fact, amazed myself, too.


FEAT URE

“I hated glitter ever since I was a kid—sand sort of bears a resemblance to it—so there was a love-hate chaos on my work space.”

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FEAT URE

IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD

A photorealist grapples with the human body’s most impenetrable part

It is always a curious case when man tends to reduce himself or others into verifiable facts, all included in documents that list down empirical data and other relevant statistics. And as visual representation to realistically show one’s appearance is the typical headshot—a standard close-up portrait of the subject. The single picture that immortalizes the face, whether one likes it or not, will be attached in all forms of identification. This containment within the headshot is perhaps what fascinates photorealistic artist Luis Santos, whose works mostly revolve around the head, and peculiarly, what is inside or encases it. His firstever finished painting was that of a human skull, and pretty soon, he started painting skulls of animal specimens to complement his works. Last year, in his exhibition entitled “Then it happened,” he depicted 10 portrait shots of people

with blurred faces captured while they were “in the moment.” Santos’ distorted portrayal of death, remains, life, or life-in-between is an attempt to grasp the elusiveness of the human being, one whose personhood, stories, and experiences cannot be limited within a simple, squared headshot. How would you describe your work? For the theme “Things that are strange and beautiful,” I wanted to make a distorted or destroyed image of a severed head of a Roman statue. What is your creative process for this project like? I’ve been experimenting lately with silkscreen with the use of found images. The black background is made up of layers of different mediums (acrylic, lacquer, spray paint, and charcoal) of the same

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color. The image is repeatedly silkscreenprinted, then erased, then printed again. What was the experience like using charcoal, a different medium other than what you’re used to? A mess. This is my first time using charcoal in my work and I didn’t anticipate how it gets into everything. I like its texture and how it reacts with paint though. When you create an artwork, what do you consider first, the subject or the outcome you would like to achieve? It really depends. I’ve encountered both processes. I write down ideas and the medium or process that I want to experiment with and explore further. Sometimes an idea dictates what the exhibition will be like or what medium I’ll use. And sometimes, it’s the medium itself that is the idea for the work. It depends on where my head is at the moment.


FEAT URE

“Sometimes an idea dictates what the exhibition will be like or what medium I’ll use. And sometimes, it’s the medium itself that is the idea for the work.”

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M AIN FEAT URE

GOING, GOING,

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GOING...


M AIN FEAT URE

Blanc Gallery owner Jay Amante and artist Jonathan Ching contemplate on the latter’s fabulist paintings.

Is the value of art determined by how its price rises?

The polka-dot patterns formed by the rain on Blanc’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows seem to go on inside the gallery’s alcove, where Arturo Sanchez, Jr.’s installation had been set up. Dotting his massive, monochromatic and photorealistic paintings of catastrophic scenes that took over the three walls are little convex mirrors partially covered with images of infernos, looking like gigantic drops of water suspended in the air. Up close, a viewer will glean his own image on these reflective surfaces as part of a hellish mise-en-scene; should he look down on the floor, he’ll also see a similar view, with the glass tiles also depicting scenes of hellfire and brimstone. From afar, though, the whole room is magical, especially with the soft lighting that Sanchez’s ceiling-and-floor mounted installation “Heaven Sent” is emitting. It’s opening night for Blanc’s latest three-man exhibit, with the two other rooms occupied with paintings by Jonathan Ching (“Tones and Tails”) and Anton Mallari (“Things Done”). Depsite the weather and the traffic, people never stop arriving and circulating. “Actually, all the works on exhibit tonight are sold already,” art consultant Miguel Rosales confides. “Even the installation—everything except the floor, so far.” The exhibit’s nearly sold-out status even before the gallery doors opened is an indication of the invigorated art scene in Manila. Though the Philippines has never lacked in artistry—even an era as repressive as the Marcos regime gave birth to social realist art—and the (select) people who appreciate good art enough to shell out money for it, there’s something fresh about the ongoing interest of a bigger public to support Filipino art, financially and otherwise. Beyond the controversies raised with every National Artist nomination is the increased awareness of Philippine contemporary art and everything else that touches on it. Case in point: this year’s Ateneo Art Awards, which focused not just on the artists and their works but also on the thoughtful discussion of them via a new category, the Purita KalawLedesma Prize for Art Criticism.

Financially, it’s a boom. Yes, there was that hullaballoo last year that erupted between local auction houses Salcedo Auctions, Now Gallery+Auctions and Leon Gallery around issues of ethical practice and artwork authenticity, a controversy that revealed the “darker” underbelly of the art world, from the sniping between art connoisseurs to the numbers of figures that change hands locally with every art purchase—figures that were only heard of previously in the international auction scene. But that merely highlighted the strength of the Manila art market, of how it is becoming a player in the wider global market with its increasing number of collectors, both old and young, and the buzz it’s generating for Filipino artists. With Manila now able to hold auctions on its own shores, Filipino artists looking to sell—and thus sustain their art—have a more attainable avenue to do so, at less cost. “We’re definitely one of the fastest growing art markets,” affirms Rosales, who frequently works with local artists to arrange gallery shows for them here and abroad. “There’s a lot of international interest in Philippine contemporary art. Of course, the moderns and the masters have always had a following, but [the contemporary art scene] in the last five years really turned around and changed. It became this really fresh thing for international buyers.” Art critic and University of the Philippines’ Vargas Museum curator Dr. Patrick Flores has the same assessment, telling BusinessWorld last February 2013 (“Are we in a Golden Age of Philippine Art?”) that the current art market is “one of the strongest, if not the strongest... People begin to look at Filipino artists. They are intrigued. What art produced a Ventura?” Ventura, of course, is Ronald Ventura, who set a record in the contemporary Southeast Asian art scene in 2011 when his hyperrealistic painting “Grayground” sold for $1.1 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong; it was a feat impressive enough that the New York Times picked it up. And he’s not the only Filipino artist

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M AIN FEAT URE

One of Anton Mallari’s works from his exhibit “Things Done” is made with oil on canvas.

fetching big amounts: Geraldine Javier, Rodel Tapaya, Nona Garcia, Annie Cabigting, Winner Jumalon, Jigger Cruz, and Yasmin Sison-Ching have made killings in the Southeast auction block for the past few years. There’s a similar picture forming within the local perspective, with more galleries opening, art fairs and auctions dealing with local art getting organized with regularity, and art competitions being held—all signs of a strong demand for Filipino art. “I would say younger people are supporting more compared to before,” Rosales says. “More people are open-minded about what they buy, what they choose, where they go to look at stuff because they travel a lot more. With the Internet, they also know what’s going on outside; they now look for certain things locally.” The growing number and buying power of local art patrons have been points of interest in many a recent discussion about the Manila art market: there was that astounding, nearly P6 million final bid made on the late Jorge Pineda’s painting “Las Buyeras,” sold, despite the controversy around it, at a Leon Gallery auction last year—an exponential increase from the starting bid of P700,000. There’s actor John Lloyd Cruz, whose burgeoning art collection merited him a cover story feature in Esquire in February. There was that piece on “Five People You Meet at Auctions” in Rogue’s 2013 art issue, which defined the kinds of buyers (and observers) filling up auction rooms. There are stories—all told hush-hush—of collectors making ridiculously high bids on new works from their favored artists just to jack up the value of the pieces already in their possession. With price

tags on contemporary art ballooning, there is now a pointed focus on the buying audience and their influence on the market—and it’s not all positive. Working with a variety of clients, from private individuals to hotels, and advising them on what art pieces to buy, Rosales has met his share of buyers and says they come in all types. “There are those who are really serious about collecting; though price is always a factor, they look for quality. Unfortunately, there are also those who focus on resale value: collectors that are flippers, buying to resell.” Even though artists work with galleries in setting prices on their works, in consideration of the pieces’ market value, it’s not a wholly autonomous system anymore, especially with more local auctions happening. The sale of “Las Buyeras” won’t be the last of its kind, with the money it fetched doing little to downplay art’s potential resale value to buyers who look at it as investment—a mindset that ultimately creates an unsupportive environment for artists, especially those who aren’t “blue chip names,” as Rosales calls them. “There are artists who truly stand out. That’s why they’re recognized more, but there are also underrated ones who deserve to be rediscovered if they’ve been forgotten, or should be given a better platform.” He wonders, “Is it part of the mentality of Pinoys, that you have to be recognized abroad before you get recognized here?” Shortly after Ventura’s record-setting victory, Philippine Daily Inquirer published a piece by Rachel Mayo titled, “Yes, but is it art— or investment?” in which she traced this “art as investment” mindset to Andy Warhol’s commercialism of art in the US during the ’60s.

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M AIN FEAT URE Arturo Sanchez’s “Phenomenonal Field” portrays catastrophic images inspired by recent typhoons and the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

“Collectors then began buying art not for its higher intrinsic value, but recently from oil and acrylic on canvas to ink on paper, says he keeps rather as an object that is expected to increase in value in the future. a step ahead of potential buyers by studying his current medium of This eventually paved the way for artists to fall into the consumerist trap choice diligently. “They always ask, ‘What materials do you use?’ that sadly began to influence artistic styles and establish trends.” Artist, because in their mind, there’s still a heirarchy among art mediums gallery owner, and curator Manuel Ocampo is even more succinct regardless of the end result.” about the growing power of auction houses and the danger they pose Helping their cause are gallerists who also block out the noise of on subverting art’s real value, especially in what he described as an what’s trending in the art scene. Blanc’s Jay Amante says, “I never underdeveloped art market. “Not that I am against the market and produce exhibitions with trends in mind. Good exhibitions are auctions per se, it is just that the auction good exhibitions; being boxed within a success story among a few in the Manila medium or content is a no-no, in my “There are those who are really art scene established an auction house opinion. The take-off point at Blanc style... the dominance of the auction style is not how the art pieces would sell, serious about collecting; though bred comformity among artists whose because the good ones will eventually price is always a factor, they look sole purpose is to be ‘auctionable,’ veiling sell.” An example is Sanchez’s latest their lack of originality with secondwork, though it got sold in trenches, the for quality. Unfortunately, there rate craftsmanship,” he wrote in Rogue’s paintings separate from the LED lights; are also those who focus on resale November 2012 issue (“Strange Poop in to be fair, only someone with a gallerythe Afterglow of a Misbegotten Sunset”). sized space could buy the work whole. value: collectors that are flippers, In place of real dialogue and connections “There will always be people buying to resell.” within the art community, “we are who buy with their ears, not their eyes, left with artists working in cultural but hopefully, they’ll buy what they sweatshops creating consumer goods for the insatiable money-making like,” Rosales says. For him, investing in art isn’t necessarily bad if it machine,” he opined further to BusinessWorld (“Are we in a Golden Age comes from a place of true appreciation. “If you will play that market, of Philippine Art?” February 21, 2013). do your research,” he advises. “Go out there, meet the artists and Of course, not all artists are on the “auctionable art” wagon. “Yes, gallerists, attend fairs.” it’s hard to ignore the issue of patrons who look at art as investment,” There may be plenty of dissenting opinions, but no one can deny Jonathan Ching admits. “It’s there at the back of my mind, but I how alive the Manila art scene is now. If anything, the checks and try not to let it influence me and my work.” And in a global market balances going on (at least on paper, no matter how catty) between that dictates a higher price on paintings on a canvas compared to the different sectors of the art community, from the artists to the other mediums (even a wondrous, all-encompassing installation as buyers to the critics and all the rest, point to a growing consciousness Sanchez’s), there are still the resolute ones who work with materials of art as a whole: a cultural touchstone, a business to be sustained, a and concepts that fascinate them. Epjey Pacheco, who has forayed dynamic movement that’s both influential and influenced.

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ST YLE

IF LOOKS COULD DECIEVE Dressing provides a mismatch of perception and reality

On Henrique: Button-down shirt, P2,450, Perry Ellis, Glorietta 5. Trousers, P2,290, and belt, P1,250, both American Eagle Outfitters, Bonifacio High Street. On Olga: Button-down shirt, P3,750, Original Penguin, Power Plant Mall. Trousers, P3,195, Topshop, Alabang Town Center. Shoes, P2,990, Zara, SM Mall of Asia.

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ST YLE

(Above) On Olga: Sheer top, P1,445, Topshop, Alabang Town Center. Tube top (inner), P295, Forever 21, SM Mall of Asia. Trousers, P1,995, Bershka, Glorietta 2. Shoes, P2,990, Zara, SM Mall of Asia. On Henrique: Blazer, P6,450, and trousers, P2,950 both Perry Ellis, SM Aura Premier. Button-down shirt, P1,745 Topman, Power Plant Mvall. (Below) On Olga: Jumpsuit, P2,990, Zara, SM Mall of Asia. Scarf, P195, Forever 21, SM Aura Premier. On Henrique: Turtleneck sweater, P3,550, Debenhams, Glorietta 4. Trousers, P2,590, American Eagle Outfitters, Bonifacio High Street.

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On Olga: Blazer, P2,590, Bershka, Glorietta 2. Tank top, P495, Topshop, Alabang Town Center. Trousers, P1,255, Forever 21, SM Aura Premier. Shoes, P2,990, Zara, SM Mall of Asia. On Henrique: Blazer, P6,450, Perry Ellis, Glorietta 5. Shirt, P895, American Eagle Outfitters, Bonifacio High Street. Trousers, P5,650, Original Penguin, Power Plant Mall.


ST YLE

On Henrique: Cardigan, P1,495, Bershka, Glorietta 2. Button-down shirt, P2,245, Topman, Alabang Town Center. Trousers, P5,650, Original Penguin, Power Plant Mall. On Olga: Sweater, P995, Forever 21, SM Aura Premier. Cardigan, P2,545, Topshop, Greenbelt 3. Trousers, P2,590, and shoes, P2,990, both Zara, SM Mall of Asia.

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FEAT URE

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FEAT URE

On Olga: Pullover, P898.75, Bench, Alabang Town Center. Trousers, P1,255, Forever 21, SM Aura Premier. Shoes, P2,990, Zara, SM Mall of Asia. Hat, P1,250, Perry Ellis, Glorietta 5. On Henrique: Pullover, P898.75, Bench, Alabang Town Center. Trousers, P5,650, Original Penguin, Power Plant Mall.

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RECIPE EATS

BALANCED BITES

A new twist on an all-time favorite sandwich TUNA SALAD SANDWICH INGREDIENTS 2 6 oz. cans of tuna flakes in vegetable oil 1 ½ tablespoon finely chopped onions ½ teaspoon finely chopped capers 1/3 cup steamed and roughly chopped broccoli 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño 2 ½ teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce 2 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup salad greens, preferably arugula and baby rocket 2 croissants or any crusty bread Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION 1. Drain tuna. Make sure to drain as much liquid as you can. 2. Place tuna, onions, capers, jalapeño, and broccoli in a bowl. 3. Add Dijon mustard, Sriracha sauce, and half of the red wine vinegar. (You may add some more if you want a sour bite.) 4. Season with salt and pepper; mix gently so as not to break the tuna pieces. 5. Slice croissants crosswise in half and toast until just golden brown. 6. Place salad greens in a bowl and toss in olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. 7. Place salad greens on croissants then add tuna. Top with remaining croissant halves and serve immediately.

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EATS Wolf & Fox’s whimsical concept revolves around two characters Laudico created. Though fictional, the restaurateur says, “They own and run the place.”

FABLED FARE

Satisfying the most voracious of hungers at Wolf & Fox Gastropub

European folk tales have the Big Bad Wolf pillaging villages, terrorizing innocent farm animals, and impersonating grandmothers. The Sly Fox, on the other hand, has been depicted as tricking the naïve into his lair, using his cunning to get what he wants—usually, if not always, something that was not in the interest of the other animals’ safety. Other than their complete disregard for social propriety, these two characters share something much more basic, something we, their prey, may even understand: a ravenous appetite. When Ricky Laudico (of the SumoSam Group of Restaurants) came up with the idea for his latest venture, he conceptualized something that he hoped would cater to the carnivorous appetites of Metro Manila. Thus came the birth of Richard B. Wolf and W.S. Fox, the faces of Wolf & Fox Gastropub. Their portraits, which grace the pub’s prime spots on the wall, give us a little glimpse into their personalities. Though they still have a predilection for big bites, these two are civilized and cultured, much like the pub’s patrons.

While Mr. Wolf is a business tycoon from the city, Mr. Fox, an artist, hails from the countryside. Both are accomplished, well-respected members of society who know what they want and how to get it. “Our guests are able to identify or connect with the personalities of Mr. Wolf and Mr. Fox,” says Laudico. “In many ways, we need to be a Wolf or a Fox or both to achieve our goals and win in the game of life.” Wolf & Fox’s menu is patterned after the appetites of its two characters: the section under “Wolf ” has burgers and steak while under “Fox” are sausages, sandwiches, and good old fish and chips. What makes a pub a pub, however, is simple: a sense of community, pints of beer, and generous helpings of British comfort food. It’s a place where everybody knows everybody, where one unwinds after a long day at work, where one can enjoy the latest football game over a plate of fish and chips. It’s a place where friends gather to talk, laugh, and celebrate with their favorite beer, scotch or single malt—almost like a second home.

Wolf & Fox Gastropub. Two Parkade, 30th Street corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. 856-1354. www.facebook.com/pages/Wolf-and-Fox-Gastropub/631147726958778

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EATS

Bangers and Mash (left), a British favorite; Wolf & Fox’s Double Decker Burger (below, right), perfect for the hungry carnivore; Safari Sangria (below, left), the gastropub’s take on the classic fruity drink.

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T HE GET

MONOCHROME MOMENT

A visual paean to artists comes to life in black and white There is something strangely beautiful and moving about a black-and-white photograph. Is it the presence of chiaroscuro, the use of strong contrast between light and dark, in the composition or the vintage character and romanticism it evokes? Is it the laborious yet fulfilling process of developing images from films and immortalizing them on archival paper? In our modern world where everything seems better in technicolor, black-andwhite photography remains to be one of the purest art forms out there. For what it’s worth, part of its appeal lies in the vision and artistic choice of the lensman himself. It takes more than just mad post-processing skills to render an image in black and white. Using high-quality equipment may prove futile if the photographer isn’t wellversed in seeking subject matter that would look best in monochrome. To capture memorable imagery, thorough understanding of the visual elements—shape, form, tone, texture, and lighting—is key. Notable British photographer Sandra Lousada seems acutely aware of seeing the world in shades of greyscale. In her book titled Public Faces Private Places, she affords us thoughtfully curated and eloquent black and white photographs of people she was able to work and build relationships with. A beautifully bound compendium of portraits of actors, designers, musicians, writers, architects, and visual artists from her career spanning 50 years, Lousada’s portraits have a soft yet striking quality to them and are intimate and honest, allowing readers a peek into the private lives of her sought-after subjects. Lousada’s perceptive eye and self-expression are also apparent in her book. Exposed at a young age to painting and theater in the form of wall-bound artworks in their house and of her grandfather’s musicals, Lousada made these first-hand influences the recurring themes of her oeuvre. Her anthology of images is a fitting tribute to her childhood passions—made richer in black in white.

Public Faces Private Place. Powerbooks. Greenbelt 3.

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Southern Living August 2014