Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), a staunch advocate of Philippine Arts, is partnering with the Art Fair Philippines 2020 to support Filipino artists once again by curating and co-presenting the country’s premier art exhibition from February 21 to 23 at The Link, Glorietta in Makati City.
The Art Fair Philippines 2020 continues to innovate and expand its audience for Philippine visual arts and other contemporary art forms. The team is working together with art curator and consultant Norman Crisologo, who takes on conceptualized exhibition projects for art galleries, and Ed Lacson for the exhibition design.
Art, aside from telling a story, may or may not bring immediate monetary return, but it will always be an investment. BPI believes in the capacity of art as a sensible and easy way to diversify investments.
For many decades, BPI, through BPI Foundation, has been the caretaker of more than 1,000 artworks by many prominent Filipino artists, such as Fernando Amorsolo, Jose Joya, and Ben Cabrera. Most of these art pieces are the country’s finest expressions of Philippine culture, and are reflective of BPI’s inherent values. BPI continues its commitment to recognize and nurture the country’s artistry and talent through its participation in events like this.
BPI will be presenting this year’s ArtFairPH/Projects section, which will feature new commissions in the form of interactive and thought-provoking installations by internationally established Filipino visual artists.
The Art Fair PH 2020 includes a special exhibition in cooperation with the estate of the late Onib Olmedo. Drawings from the family’s collection will highlight the influence that Olmedo exerted on a good number of artists working today.
Other artists mounting special exhibits include Salvador Joel Alonday, Perry Argel, Jaime De Guzman, Roedil Joe Geraldo, Jellyfish Kisses, Gene Paul Martin, and Neil Pasilan.
Putting the spotlight on their featured artists, the exhibit brings life to the artistry of these art geniuses described below by Art Fair Philippines.
It may be known that the history of Philippine modernism will not be complete without the name of Onib Olmedo who, despite his untimely death at the age of 59, produced a staggering body of work that, taken collectively, produced a veritable portrait of the Filipino everyman.
Accomplished through a figurative expressionist style, his paintings defy notions of classical representation, eschewing symmetry, balance, and proportion for distortion, exaggeration, and risk.
The medium of sculpture has always had a connection with the divine—a truth manifested in the works of Salvador Joel Alonday. Meticulously conceptualized, sketched on paper, and finally executed in the round through “Molde Perdido” or Waste Mould, the sculptural creations of Salvador Joel Alonday are eloquent depictions of a mythopoetic vision, archetypal in their resonance and reach.
Even before a wave of environmental consciousness swept the art world, Bacolod-based artist Perry Argel was also already doing work that paid respect to nature. As a peripatetic traveler in his youth, the artist would gather organic detritus, arrange them together, and create sculptural work. From these natural objects, he then transitioned to plastic, arguably the most ubiquitous man-made material, fashioning it into wondrous, eye-popping assemblage.
Jaime de Guzman
While no longer actively circulating the art world, having moved to and permanently established familial roots in Candelaria, Quezon since the early 1980s, there’s no doubt as to the magnitude of the contribution of Jaime de Guzman. Known primarily for his large-scale works, de Guzman has forged a vision that terrifyingly combines a robust expressionist style with dark surreal undertones, interested not in verisimilitude but in the hectic ways in which reality, sometimes historical reality, may be transformed.
Roedil Joe Geraldo
For the Bacolod-based sculptor Roedil Joe Geraldo, employing terracotta as the primary medium in his works is a nod to our ancestors who created household and devotional objects with the use of clay. Aligning himself along the axis of this tradition, the artist has been creating arresting works bearing the rich color of the earth and projecting evocative silhouettes and highly expressive gestures— secular icons that are heart-stopping for their emotional range.
Not simply an alter ego but “Anton Belardo’s main character in the many plots and subplots of his life,” Jellyfish Kisses is himself a walking piece of art, both the performer and the performance inside and outside the perimeter of the white cube. His outré persona is unmissable, complete with mismatched colored contacts, eye-popping wig, and the most delectable self-created fashion creation.
Gene Paul Martin
“I contain multitudes,” sang Walt Whitman, and the same may be said of the works of Gene Paul Martin. Vast, multilayered, and inexhaustible, his paintings are amalgams of realities—superimposed, stitched, and juxtaposed together, evoking hallucinatory scenery, stripping raw the viewer’s preconceived notions of what painting is, or could be.
“Naïve” is the term invariably used to describe the works of Neil Pasilan and to a certain extent it holds: the rawness of his subject matter, the treatment of color, the sheer disregard for anatomical proportions. But a more accurate description may be “purity of vision” as Pasilan is one of the few artists who have stuck with a visual idiom. It’s as if he has a constant and complete access to an otherworldly realm where moonlit houses breathe, hearts smolder, and angels appear not as an apparition but a looming presence.
Art enthusiasts are also in for more sensory treats as Art Fair PH 2020 displays augmented reality artworks to highlight today’s digital art tools. BPI is a supporter of this digital movement, since the Bank has also been relentless in boosting its digitalization efforts.
To promote art appreciation and further boost the local art scene, BPI Visa Signature and Gold credit card are giving its cardholders free passes to enjoy the Art Fair Philippines 2020. They just need to present the said credit cards upon entrance.
For more information, please visit the Art Fair Philippines website and follow Art Fair Philippines on Instagram (@artfairph) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/artfairph).