Friday, September 30, 2011


Recent art thefts in North America

A recent spate of high profile thefts suggests that art crime is increasing. The FBI estimates that international art crime, which includes fakes, forgeries and thefts, is now worth more than $6bn annually. All information was accurate at the time of publication.
© The Art Newspaper

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A thief stole $400,000 worth of historic gold pieces from New Jersey’s Sterling Hill Mining Museum in the middle of the day on 27 July. An axe was used to break through the Plexiglass that encased the 20-piece collection. The museum’s co-founder, Richard Hauck, is offering a $25,000 reward for the safe return of the collection.

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A $100,000 poster by Brooklyn-based street artist KAWS, Untitled (Calvin Klein), 1999, was stolen from New York’s Marc Ecko gallery on 11 August. The moustachioed suspect, wearing a hoodie and sunglasses, looked directly into the security camera in the building’s elevator. He has not yet been caught.

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A quill pen-and-ink drawing believed to be by Rembrandt, The Judgment, 1655, was stolen from the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey, California, on 13 August. Valued at $250,000, the work was recovered two days later in a rather unlikely place—St Nicholas Episcopal Church in Encino, 19 miles away. Police say the church’s pastor was not involved in the theft and are still searching for the suspect.

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On 28 July, US presidential historian Barry Landau was indicted on federal charges along with his assistant for stealing and selling historical documents. Landau and Jason Savedoff were charged on 9 July for stealing dozens of historical documents from museums in Maryland and New York including 60 documents worth $6m that were taken from the Maryland Historical Society library. Both face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and ten years for the theft if found guilty.

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Eleven paintings valued at $400,000 were stolen from the Canadian Fine Arts Store in Toronto on 10 July. Video footage reveals multiple assailants snatching works by artists including Alfred Casson and Frederick Varley. There are currently no suspects.

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Three thieves tried to steal a $1m sculpture by Canadian artist Jean-Paul Riopelle on 1 August from its location outside the late artist’s home where it has safely been installed for more than 40 years. The trio took the 1,000lb work, La Défaite, 1963, as far as the nearby woods where they tried to bury it. “These guys were imbeciles. They were certainly not professionals,” said Riopelle expert and Montreal-based dealer Simon Blais.

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A former breeder of and dealer in big cats (lions and tigers) was placed under house arrest in Florida for trying to steal ancient samurai swords worth $2m. The swords, dated from around 1200 AD, had been previously taken from a museum in Saigon during the Vietnam War. The thief, Ray Thunderhawk, pleaded guilty and is now serving two years under house arrest followed by eight years of probation.


Decision on Hirsts leaves owners in a spin
Studio “switch in policy” over works previously auctioned for up to £73,250

By Melanie Gerlis From issue 227, September 2011
Published online 1 Sep 11 (Market)

Damien Hirst’s main art-producing company, Science, has asked that Phillips de Pury be more vigilant about selling works it now says are incomplete. The series in question—“In a spin, the action of the world on things”, 2002—consists of a box, containing a single painting, and a number of accompanying prints. Individual paintings and prints have appeared for sale privately and at auction.

There are said to be 68 editions in the series and London’s Tate has one of the etchings (Round, 2002) in its collection. Phillips has sold six of the paintings as stand-alone lots, including one for £73,250 in 2009 (est £50,000 to £70,000), and one for £51,650 in June at its contemporary day auction in London (this time with a lower estimate of £35,000 to £45,000). Hirst would have made around £1,700 from the June sale, as it qualified for the Artist’s Resale Right, equivalent to 4% of the work’s hammer price.

Read full article here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


10 More Ways an Artist Can Develop Their Art Brand
October 6, 2010

We previously wrote 10 ways that an artist can market and brand their artwork. In an ongoing series, we are providing additional ways in which an artist can promote and develop their brand. Today, a lot of individuals and businesses get marketing and branding mixed up. Simply put, marketing is how an artist reaches their target market with advertising, promotions and public relations. Branding defines the artist and defines what their target market thinks they are. Every time a prospect or a potential customer makes contact with the artist in person, print, virally or by other means, they are forming an opinion of the artist and the artist as a brand.

The following is a list of 10 additional ideas and ways in which an artist can use to promote, market and brand their art. This, and the prior list of suggestions is forever changing as technology and the public’s tastes shift from one popular media or marketing vehicle to another. This list is in no particular order of importance for an artist to use to when developing their brand

Read full article here.


A collective exhibition entitled TAKATAK 13:65 is on view at the GSIS Museo Ng Sining until 30 September 2011. The exhibition features the paintings of artists Joe Abawag, William Antonio, Fernando Antimano, Salvador Bañares, Jr., Cyrille John Belarmino, Carlmel Belda, Dandy Cabellon, Ronante Maratas, Wayan Narra, Victor Santos, Dexter Simsim and Joey Simsim. The exhibition curated by JCrisanto Martinez is an open call for artists to take action in helping establish an independent artspace in the Municipality of Gasan, Marinduque. The GSIS Museo Ng Sining is located at Financial Center, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines. For inquiries, please contact  (632) 479.35.88 (Leslie Fangonil.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Movie Review
The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

NEW YORK, Oct. 8—Anyone who has ever had the painters working in his home cluttering the rooms with ladders and dropcloths and taking forever to finish the job, should have a particular sensitivity to the only tension that develops in Carol Reed's "The Agony and the "Ecstasy," which opened at Loew's State last night.

That is the friction that develops between Pope Julius II, and Michelangelo after the latter has been commissioned to paint frescoes on the ceiling of the Pope's private Sistine Chapel the great painter dawdles on the job, taking years to get the proper inspiration, and then complete the massive masterpiece.

No matter how much one may goggle in absolute wonder and awe at the creation of the Sistine Chapel frescoes, so ingeniously and magnificently represented in this huge color film, and no matter how much one may work up a certain historical respect for Michelangelo, the major if not the only feeling aroused by this more than two-hour work is one of sympathy with the mounting impatience of the Pope.

Here the proud man has commissioned the great Florentine artist to do a job that presumably should take him no more than a year or so. He has allowed him to crowd his favorite chapel with crude stairways and lofty scaffolding, from which the master and his assistants are frequently dropping brushes and dripping paint. He has grudgingly but generously conceded that he may paint whatever he will, despite the objections of certain critics among his cardinals. And then he is forced to wait.

Read full article here.


Get Into More Galleries? Then Don’t Compete With Them!
August 20, 2010

Because of the down economy most artists will take a sale any way they can get it. Artists are trying to sell from their own website and in addition from online shops like Cafe Press, Zazzle and Red Bubble. These same artists come to me and complain that they have trouble getting their work into art galleries. Artists can not have it both ways, in that galleries will not want to represent an artist who they think they will have to compete with when it comes to selling that artist’s work. Why is this and what can artist do about this?

I believe that an artist needs to understand why the art gallery exists. The gallery exists to make money! Today’s artists would do far more gallery work if they thought like a gallery owner and realized it is a business. The gallery owner has gallery overhead such as rent, utilities and insurance. In addition, there are also administrative expenses, marketing costs and employee salaries to cover each month. Running an art gallery is not easy or cheap and especially is not easy when the economy is poor.
If a gallery is to take on your art for representation or for consignment purposes they would not want that same artist to become a competitor who is also selling their art online or through other sources, for less. To the gallery owner, it is unethical and wrong for them to cover the costs of operating the gallery, then have the artist “under cut” them on price. This situation also becomes a “value issue” when the gallery is trying to market and sell the artist’s work. The price that the gallery is offering to the buyer or the art collector is the “best price”. To be able to purchase the same art at a discount or at price lower than what the gallery is offering, eventually makes that art even worth less in the long run.

Read full article here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Paintings missing after Oslo bombing
Some buildings damaged in the attack contained works by artists including Munch and Dolven

By Clemens Bomsdorf From issue 227, September 2011
Published online 31 Aug 11 (News)

Oslo. Concern is mounting about the fate of large numbers of works of art owned by Norwegian government ministries or lent to them by the Nasjonalmuseet (National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design) and Public Art Norway (Koro), following the terrorist ¬attack in Oslo on 22 July. The buildings damaged in the bombing contained works by artists including Munch, Christian Krohg and Anne Katrine Dolven.

Some 43 pieces loaned by the Nasjonalmuseet are missing, including works by Krohg, Dolven and Jakob Weidemann. A further 60 were undamaged. “It is too early to give an overview,” said a spokeswoman for Statsbygg, the government authority responsible for the buildings.

Krohg’s painting I Leden, 1892, was damaged when several pieces of glass from shattered windows struck the canvas. “We will be able to fix it, but it will take lots of time,” said Kari Greve, the head of conservation at the Nasjonalmuseet.

Less severely damaged was Lise Nicolaisen’s Sne, 1969. Both paintings were on loan to the ministry of finance, along with 24 undamaged works, ¬including Munch’s Vinter ved Fjorden, 1915. A large relief by Carl Nesjar, based on sketches by Picasso, on the building which houses the ministry of education, appears to be unharmed, but the fate of a smaller relief in the foyer is unknown.

Of the 93 works installed by Koro, the government’s agency for art in public spaces, the whereabouts of 76 are unknown. Ten of the missing works were installed in the areas closest to the blast.

It remains too dangerous to enter some of the damaged buildings, owing to their possible instability and asbestos.


Twitter Do’s and Twitter Don’ts for Artists
September 11, 2010

Twitter is a social media platform which allows users to express themselves by sending messages to their followers in 140 characters or less. Twitter for public use was launched in July 2006 and since that time, they now have 145 Million users, who Tweet 1 Billion messages a month! Twitter is an incredible social media phenomenon which artists can use to increase and brand their art business.

This article is for artists who want to expand their social media participation with Twitter and are unsure how to use Twitter to their advantage. The following are Twitter do’s and Twitter don’ts for artists:

Read full article here.


A collective exhibition entitled TAKATAK 13:65 is on view at the GSIS Museo Ng Sining until 30 September 2011. The exhibition features the paintings of artists Joe Abawag, William Antonio, Fernando Antimano, Salvador Bañares, Jr., Cyrille John Belarmino, Carlmel Belda, Dandy Cabellon, Ronante Maratas, Wayan Narra, Victor Santos, Dexter Simsim and Joey Simsim. The exhibition curated by JCrisanto Martinez is an open call for artists to take action in helping establish an independent artspace in the Municipality of Gasan, Marinduque. The GSIS Museo Ng Sining is located at Financial Center, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines. For inquiries, please contact  (632) 479.35.88 (Leslie Fangonil.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Jeff Koons: The pain of inflation
Theodora Vischer, the founding director of the Schaulager (2001-10) and, as of March this year, the senior curator-at-large at the Fondation Beyeler, selects her favourite works at Art Basel

By Anny Shaw From Art Basel daily edition, 16 Jun 11
Published online 16 Jun 11

“What is really wonderful about art fairs is that you can see so many different works that you would never see together somewhere else, not even in a private collection.

"To see this Jeff Koons here at Art Basel is quite exciting; I’m not sure if his works are often shown in a fair, I haven’t seen any others so far in Basel. The work is both playful and cruel, with these inflatable cartoon-like figures wedged into the wire mesh of trash cans. It’s therefore a very ambivalent work; it’s attractive and pleasant but then also a little bit disturbing, as you are led to think about pain.

"Now that we can look back at what Koons has done over the past 30 years, I think one can clearly see how important his role is in the contemporary art scene, not least because of what he has been doing with everyday objects in sculpture as well as in painting. His attitude is quite unique.

"He began working in the 1980s and seemed to be completely part of that era, but since then Koons has continued to succeed in his own way. His work is as interesting and relevant now as it ever has been. It’s good to see him in a different context as we no longer live in a world of total excess, and his work also addresses that.”

Download the complete issue (PDF)



Getting In The Mood to Create
by Lisa A. Riley, LMFT

Part of managing the ebb and flow of your creativity is recognizing what helps you get into the mood as well as what dulls your incentive to create. Although we may be more incline to recognize what inspires us to be creative, we’re not always aware of those circumstances or experiences that leave us uninspired. Recognizing what gets us in or out of the mood can prove to be a valuable tool in our creative lives.

Your environment plays a big part in setting a mood to create. Evaluate the space in which you do most of your creative work. Whether it’s an office or studio, are your surroundings hindering your muse from entering? Clutter can easily block and smother your motivation to create. How does lighting affect your mood? Some people feel more inspired by dim ambient light, while others find that a lot of natural daylight activates creative energy.

Read full article here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Movie Review
Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003)
December 12, 2003

FILM REVIEW; Painting Interiors of the Heart, With Eros in Restrained Hues
Published: December 12, 2003

At the start of ''Girl With a Pearl Earring,'' Griet (Scarlett Johansson) is shown peeling an onion, an image as metaphor rarely seen outside first-semester filmmaking classes. The determination visible in such an effort communicates Importance Writ Large. And the film, adapted by Olivia Hetreed from Tracy Chevalier's novel, does have a great subject: the story surrounding an artwork shrouded in mystery and a project that ruins a woman's reputation yet ensures her a place in history.

This film, which opens today in New York and Los Angeles, is the imagined tale of Griet, a maid who became the muse of Johannes Vermeer and the subject of his painting ''Girl With a Pearl Earring.'' Ms. Johansson is photographed so that her skin is as opalescent as her earring, but the movie is opaque. It is an earnest, obvious melodrama with no soul, filled with the longing silences that come after a sigh.

Yet the care that has gone into making ''Earring,'' a dexterous and absorbing visual re-creation of the lighting and the look that Vermeer achieved in his work, is a tribute to the director Peter Webber's own group of artisans, the cinematographer Eduardo Serra and the production designer Ben van Os. The gorgeous score, by Alexandre Desplat, brushes in a haunted gloom that gives the picture life where none seems to exist. This is the kind of film that would prompt the movie industry trade papers to say ''technical credits above par.''

The teenage Griet is sent off to earn a living because her blind father can no longer support her. The onion she is opening at the story's start is part of the last meal she prepares at home before being shipped off. Her separation anxiety registers so fully throughout the film that it should be listed in the cast of characters as the credits roll. Anxiety permeates the movie like fear of punctures in a Freddy Krueger film. The household that Griet joins is filled with noisy, spoiled children who look down their noses at her. The mistress of the house, Catharina (Essie Davis), is about to add another mouth to the brood.

Reaf full article here.


Best dressed art on view at York Hall
Aamu Song's Reddress performance piece comes to London for the first time

By Anny Shaw Web only
Published online 22 Sep 11 (News)

Korean artist Aamu Song's Reddress, a garment woven from 550 metres of blood-red wool that can be worn by 238 people at a time, was unveiled today, 22 September at York Hall, a leisure centre and boxing ring in east London, as part of the London Design Festival (until 25 September).

During the festival a performer will climb a concealed staircase to slip into the main body of the dress, while visitors will be invited to climb into the folds of the fabric, created by Danish textiles company Kvadrat.

Reddress was initially conceived as the backdrop to a musical performance in collaboration with Kvadrat and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark in 2005. Its unveiling at the London Design Festival marks the first time the work has been displayed in the UK capital.

Organised by the Finnish Institute in London, Reddress is due to be accompanied by evening performances by Finnish musicians Emma Salokoski and Jarmo Saari and the string quartet from Britten Sinfonia.


Incarnate, to become flesh.

I read a book this summer that foretells the end of the world in 2012. Resembling a work of science fiction, it read like the sequel to the Star Wars Trilogy yet to be written by Lucas. The most vivid visual I took from the book was reincarnation crosses life forms. Plants can become animals, animals can become humans, humans can become plants, and so on— all living beings are equal on this earth in this way.

In school some twenty years ago, I would imagine what animal this or that person was. My friends and I would ask each other this question. So my best friend decided she was a dolphin, and myself, a lion. Over the years, I have met a few trees and vines, horses and rats. So the visual from summer reading, made complete sense.

What if reincarnations could mix forms: to have the body of a human but the head of a forest fern, or the body of a lion but the head of a hawk? Greek mythology is filled with these hybrid creatures, as stand-ins for morality and mortality tales. The difference between the summer reading and the Greeks is that in the latter, men were ruled and were the playthings of the gods and the demigods.

In King Arthur’s story, as a boy called Wot, the wizard Merlin would turn the future king into a bird, an owl, so he could fly through the night. Incredible freedom and unforgettable thrill, to fly and see in the dark! This transformation, a temporary incarnation, was a taste of the impossible. The now King Arthur tells this fantastic story to his wife Guinevere because there are far more amazing things than to be King.

This cast of characters of my fantasy presented in INCARNATE, are mixed form rebirths, hybrids that perhaps exist in more places than my imagination. They are named after the night sky constellations and other heavenly bodies; which incidentally, were named after Greek mythologies. So in my microgalaxy, the circle comes around.

*This is Isa Lorenzo’s 6th exhibition. Incarnate by Isa Lorenzo opens on September 28, Wednesday at silverlens.

The show runs simultaneously with Cloud Country by Patricia Perez Eustaquio, and Glutted Vertebrates by Tatong Recheta Torres in 20SQUARE. See you there!

In conjunction with this show, there will be a performance on October 15, Saturday, 4-6pm at silverlens. Details to follow.

To RSVP, please call 8160044 or email For inquiries, contact Silverlens Gallery at 2/F YMC Bldg. II, 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext, Makati, 816-0044, 0917-5874011, or Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 10am–7pm and Saturdays 1– /

Words by Isa Lorenzo; Image: Isa Lorenzo, Phoenix Dextra, 2011


Tatong Recheta Torres’s work has been described collectively as both disturbing and beautiful. One look at his pieces can make you proclaim exactly that. Though his works seem surreal at times, they impart a strong sense of familiarity–common everyday scenes and situations presented by Torres’s out-of-this-world interpretations which are undeniably fascinating and, at times, frightening. There is something about his images that never fail to draw you in. Strong, moving, and exceptionally crafted, his work is most especially exciting.

Working with mediums such as oil, watercolor, and charcoal, Torres mounts his sixth solo exhibition at Silverlens SLab 20 Square titled Glutted Vertebrates. The show’s name, which is simply another term for stuffed toys or stuffed animals, extends to its theme which was inspired by a bad experience the artist had while growing up let’s just say, it involved a lot of teddy bears. Not exactly the best playthings for a young child allergic to a lot of things, including fur.

Glutted Vertebrates features oil paintings whose subjects are grim creatures and things made completely of hair–beings that unquestionably fit right in the artist’s perception of an alternate world. Each and every subject of the much-awaited collection is covered in fur. From humans to objects, to cityscapes to the sky, even the frames for the paintings are upholstered with fur. Strangeness, a common premise present in many of his pieces, is very much evident in this collection as well. Each artwork imparts a stunning obscurity that will haunt and intrigue you–mysterious mélanges masterfully crafted that result in fantastic works of art. “The whole idea of the show is like a night terror, if you’ve ever experienced it,” shares Torres. “It’s characterized by frequent episodes of intense crying and fear during sleep.” Though daunting at first glance, it’s not entirely right to liken this collection to a night terror, a sleep disorder experienced by young children, because unlike the terrors, which are completely forgotten the following day, Torres’s artworks remain unforgettable.

With a background in architecture and no formal art education, Torres continues to explore different mediums and subjects. He refuses to be boxed into a certain type of artist. “I will never just stick to painting,” he reveals. “I wish more people such as art collectors and art enthusiasts will open their mind to the idea that art is not just paintings and sculptures.” When it comes to style, Torres humbly proclaims, “I don't really know what my style is. I don't like the idea of labeling my art as like this or like that. I just do whatever I want to do with my art, I don't stick to one medium or subject.”

Aside from focusing on his art and participating in numerous significant group shows, 32-year-old artist also teaches drawing and has worked in the production team of a local horror movie.

Glutted Vertebrates by Tatong Recheta Torres opens on September 28, 2011 simultaneously with Incarnate by Isa Lorenzo at silverlens and Cloud Country by Patricia Perez Eustaquio at SLab.

For inquiries, contact Silverlens Gallery at 2/F YMC Bldg. II, 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext, Makati, 816-0044, 0917-5874011, or Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 10am–7pm and Saturdays 1–6pm. /

Words by Monica Barretto; Image: Tatong Recheta Torres, Fandom Vulgaris, 2011 (detail)


SLab is proud to present Cloud Country by celebrated artist Patricia Perez Eustaquio, opening this September 28, Wednesday, 6-9pm.

In Cloud Country, Eustaquio showcases her characteristic work, paintings on shaped canvases, as well as new work cast from materials we haven’t seen her work with before-- crystal, bronze, a mirror and a photograph. As in previous shows, such as the 2009 Ateneo Art Awardwinning Death to the Major, Viva Minor, and last year’s Dear Sweet Filthy World, Eustaquio is as meticulous, brave and imaginative.

Eustaquio likens Cloud Country to an archaeological survey, where she draws from a mass of thoughts born from what was and what will be, and sifts through it to distinguish between memory and myth. In this cerebral exercise, Eustaquio finds connections between images, text and material.

In one work, Eustaquio brings together a mirror and a photograph. The mirror is sandblasted with a collage of words gathered from the literature of Umberto Eco, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jeanette Winterson, Ali Shaw, Damien Hirst,Sylvia Plath, Gustave Flaubert, Truman Capote, Edgar Allan Poe, and Eustaquio’s 2008 sculpture “Oh”. Pieced together, Eustaquio creates a unique narrative, which she then places facing a photograph of a giant block of snow that Eustaquio chanced upon one springtime in Europe. Reflected in the mirror, therefore, is a chance encounter of this piece of ice, waiting at the side of the road for winter to come. And when the two halves meet, a second narrative emerges. In the glass and in the ice, we are reminded of how hazy or how clear memory can be. Or, how delicate or how enduring.

Just like in another of Eustaquio’s work--sculptures of small bricks made of crystal, carefully placed on top of the other to form a wall-- we see the thin line between fragility and stability. Like pieces to a puzzle, she gathers images, text and material, and slowly rebuilds. In Cloud Country, Eustaquio not only surveys but also unearths and completes meaning. Cloud Country by Patricia Perez Eustaquio opens on September 28, Wednesday at SLab. The show runs simultaneously with Incarnate by Isa Lorenzo in silverlens, and Glutted Vertebrates by Tatong Recheta Torres in 20SQUARE.

In conjunction with this show, there will be a Film Screening of Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly on October 08, Saturday, 3-5pm at SLab. To RSVP, please call 8160044 or email

For inquiries, contact Silverlens Gallery at 2/F YMC Bldg. II, 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext, Makati, 816-0044, 0917-5874011, or Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 10am– 7pm and Saturdays 1–6pm. /


A collective exhibition entitled TAKATAK 13:65 is on view at the GSIS Museo Ng Sining until 30 September 2011. The exhibition features the paintings of artists Joe Abawag, William Antonio, Fernando Antimano, Salvador Bañares, Jr., Cyrille John Belarmino, Carlmel Belda, Dandy Cabellon, Ronante Maratas, Wayan Narra, Victor Santos, Dexter Simsim and Joey Simsim. The exhibition curated by JCrisanto Martinez is an open call for artists to take action in helping establish an independent artspace in the Municipality of Gasan, Marinduque. The GSIS Museo Ng Sining is located at Financial Center, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines. For inquiries, please contact  (632) 479.35.88 (Leslie Fangonil.


Marga’s works consists of flowers rendered on macro view. According to the artist, she uses floriography to convey the movement of her feelings through flowers. Floriography was a Victorian-era means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken. This language was most commonly communicated through Tussie-Mussies, an art which has a following today. Marga’s yellow rose closely attributes to jealousy. A bit saturated in color, her painting was done during the time when she was envious of the happiness of another person. There is also a painting of a jonquil,which means: “I hope for return of affection” it was supposed to be a painting that is to represent hope, but further ended up with the severe loss of it.

Her works are evidently autobiographical, which feels as if the artist paints through her emotions and life experiences.

Saturday, September 24, 2011



Zero In Opens Up on its 10th year!

The ten-year old museum consortium Zero In (made up of Ateneo Art Gallery, Ayala Museum, Bahay Tsinoy, Lopez Museum, and Museo Pambata) takes to the mammoth Mall of Asia this September 15-24, 2011 for Zero In: Open Call.

Literally venturing out of their comfort zones and physical neighbourhoods ranging from Quezon City to Manila, these five museums each issued open calls last year for works to be realized as offsite projects to be done within a core and satellite zones inside the SM Mall of Asia.

The projects variably take off from a broad art spectrum ranging from cuisine (Ateneo Art Gallery), manga (Ayala Museum), visual art (Bahay Tsinoy), sound (Lopez Museum), and dance (Museo Pambata). These projects hope to enable a re-imagining of the work of museums away from the clich of static displays within stodgy white-cube spaces perceived as alienating general audiences.

In literally taking their work to where people are rather than waiting on them to come to their museums, the Zero In consortium hopes to develop its own capacity to pursue museological agendas in the language and contexts of the everyday. Open Call is the museums' shout-out to audiences while bracing themselves for the untried and unpredictable.

Open Call launches on September 15, 2011, 6 pm with gaming, live dance and sound performances, cosplay, and the unveiling of a freedom wall along with the re-launching of the Zero In museums map. Open Call will be complemented by interactive performances on the two weekends that the projects will be freely accessible at the SM Mall of Asia main mall atrium and satellite sites. Mall visitors are encouraged to map out the artists interventions as they stroll around and encounter the works spread out in places like the mall lounges, store window facades, and in-store modules.

Running in parallel to the SM MOA Open Call projects are the onsite exhibitions within the museums themselvesan interactive food themed-game called Crafty Critters Munch Up that takes of from the permanent collection at the Ateneo Art Gallery (September 15-December 22, 2011), the world of manga in Manga Realities: Exploring the Art of Japanese Manga Today at Ayala Museum (August 15-October 2, 2011), an installation by Con Cabrera called Kasama at Bahay Tsinoy (September 13-October 10, 2011), performances and sound/media art installations in Reverb exhibition at Lopez Museum (September 12, 2011-April 3, 2012), and performances alongside an exhibition of National Artist for Dance Ramon Obusans memorabilia at Museo Pambata (September 6-October 6, 2011).

Check out for more information, call Fanny at 631-2417.


For this show, Joey Cobcobo’s work delves around the concept of copies, or perhaps imitations. In this piece of art he shows the concept of fakes through a counterfeit medicine box that instead of tablets is filled with hooks, corkscrews, and a mirror in the middle.

According to the artist, the mirror as presented here is a symbol of copying, since it ability to reflect the object that it sees is often used as a figurative approach in the artificial production of copies, be it medicine capsules, works of literature, or even artworks.

When asked regarding the cross carved on the medicine cabinet, Joey answers:“I cross it out so they cannot print it originally, sinisira nalang minsan ginagamit ko pa.”

Friday, September 23, 2011


A collective exhibition entitled TAKATAK 13:65 is on view at the GSIS Museo Ng Sining until 30 September 2011. The exhibition features the paintings of artists Joe Abawag, William Antonio, Fernando Antimano, Salvador Bañares, Jr., Cyrille John Belarmino, Carlmel Belda, Dandy Cabellon, Ronante Maratas, Wayan Narra, Victor Santos, Dexter Simsim and Joey Simsim. The exhibition curated by JCrisanto Martinez is an open call for artists to take action in helping establish an independent artspace in the Municipality of Gasan, Marinduque. The GSIS Museo Ng Sining is located at Financial Center, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines. For inquiries, please contact  (632) 479.35.88 (Leslie Fangonil.


Art in House at The Picasso offers a free lecture to the public on Philippine Culture and Diplomacy: Challenges and Opportunities by Atty. Igor G. Bailen on Saturday, 24 September 2011 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon in connection to the current exhibition MACARIO VITALIS MIGRANT PAINTER, which runs until October 1, 2011.the 4F Gallery of The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, 119 Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is mandated by its own charter (Republic Act No. 7157) to “promote Philippine arts and culture” through the country’s Foreign Service Posts worldwide. Every newly minted Foreign Service Officer is told that culture is an instrument of diplomacy to pursue national interests overseas. But are Filipino diplomats adequately trained to promote the country’s identity – or identities – in the different world capitals? Aside from resource constraints, what key challenges do they face? How do they recognize and strike at opportunities? How do they plan and decide what aspects of Philippine arts and culture to promote? And how do they network with the relevant Philippine government agencies, local authorities abroad, as well as Filipino artists and cultural professionals, in planning and executing cultural programs and events?

Igor G. Bailen, a lawyer by training, has been with the Department of Foreign Affairs since 1997. He was posted in Paris from 2003 to 2009, and was the Philippines’ Deputy Permanent Delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for over four years. He obtained his Master of Laws in 2002 as a Fulbright scholar at the American University in Washington DC.

For more information or reservations, call +63 917 872 0463.


There is always this certain visceral feel when one views Isidro’s works. Somewhat it’s more like a subjected feeling of alienation, since the audience is being held face to face with an unknown object that’s outside the familiar senses of our existing world.

In principle, according to the artist, it resembles the ever-famous Rorschach inkblot test, a psychological test in which subjects’ perceptions of inkblots is recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex scientifically derived algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning.

Isidro explains that these imageries have no definite meaning, and it could actually be anything since it strongly relies on randomness, and a certain automatic instinct of the human mind. With this involvement of natural chaos, his works end up favoring mix up and confusion during the process of its creation.


Yuchengco Museum recently launched Culture and Media, a new program direction for cultural information and education to center on media practitioners and writers. One of the initiatives under this program isWriting about Arts and Culture, a series of workshops that will teach writing about arts, culture, and heritage for a wider audience. In partnership with Writer’s Block Philippines (WBP), a Memorandum of Agreement was signed on September 12 by WBP founders Niña Terol-Zialcita (left) and Nikka Sarthou (right) and museum curator Jeannie Javelosa. Not in photo is WBP co-founder Ana Santos.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


FILM REVIEW; Agony and Ecstasy, Especially Ecstasy

Movie biographies of artists tend to promote the romance-novel proposition that most great art has its inspiration in tormented love. In this simplistic view, art is essentially passion poured into pigment, and to ''feel'' what's happening on the canvas you have to ''feel'' the agony and the ecstasy that inspired the work.

''Artemisia,'' Agnes Merlet's high-toned bodice-ripper about the early life and times of the Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, fits right into the mold. This handsomely photographed film, whose indoor scenes recreate the heavy chiaroscuro of Caravaggio paintings, takes a decidedly 90's view of a woman whom feminist art historians rescued from obscurity in the 1970's. If the central character emerges as a feminist heroine for flouting patriarchical taboos, she also happens to be a tantalizing sex kitten whose artistic curiosity smacks of voyeurism.

As portrayed by Valentina Cervi, Artemisia is two distinctly different entities. One is a gorgeous early-17th-century Lolita. The other is a fearlessly ambitious teen-age prodigy who is so sure of her talent that she breaks the rules of female decorum and dares go where no ''nice'' woman of her time and station has gone before. These two Artemisias don't really fit together, but they make for a ripely sensuous portrait of the artist as a saucy but virtuous siren.

In convent school, Artemisia secretly sketches her nude reflection by candlelight. Later, determined to draw the male body, she persuades a handsome young neighbor to pose naked for her. She learns about sex from spying on a couple making love outdoors under some rocks and from peering through the windows as her scowling, bushy-browed art teacher, Agostino Tassi (Miki Manojlovic), and his friends engage in orgies with the local prostitutes who double as artists' models.

The movie has already raised some hackles by building a largely undocumented love story around a rape trial. When Artemisia was 17, Tassi, who was her father's friend, collaborator and sometime rival, was brought to trial for raping his nubile star pupil. In Ms. Merlet's version of events, Artemisia isn't so much raped as impetuously and abruptly deflowered by Tassi, who wrongly assumed from her drawings of the male anatomy that she was no virgin. By then, the movie suggests, the two were already in love.

In the movie, Tassi emerges as a callous, brutal womanizer who falls deeply in love with Artemisia while concealing his marriage. Artemisia, who is madly in love with her teacher, remains utterly devoted and unrepentant despite the social stigma of an illicit relationship. One of the movie's nastiest moments shows a brutal physical examination by two nuns to determine whether she is still a virgin.

Read full article here.


- Recent paintings by Winner Jumalon -

opens at 4pm
Saturday 24 September 2011

at Gallery Indigo of BenCab Museum

Km 6 Asin Road
Tuba, Metro Baguio


Rendered in Derrick’s signature color of monochrome blue usually with a small tint of a strong, visually noticeable color such as a vibrant object in red or yellow, his painting, “Queenmazingazubrahnagger” is true to his visual trademark, which mostly goes around the themes of robots, cyborgs, and android like creatures. This one however, has quite a feel of something that’s familiar to husbands and housewives because this cyborg here might just be a rendition of a nagging housewife with a rapid, machine-gun like speed of mouth.

Being a robot queen is a symbol of its dominating nature, which mostly throws out commands and enslaves its people upon its words. One can evidently notice it within the positioning of the figure itself, which looks like as if it’s blabbering some other complaint or commanding another task that needs to be done. Immediately.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


A collective exhibition entitled TAKATAK 13:65 is on view at the GSIS Museo Ng Sining until 30 September 2011. The exhibition features the paintings of artists Joe Abawag, William Antonio, Fernando Antimano, Salvador Bañares, Jr., Cyrille John Belarmino, Carlmel Belda, Dandy Cabellon, Ronante Maratas, Wayan Narra, Victor Santos, Dexter Simsim and Joey Simsim. The exhibition curated by JCrisanto Martinez is an open call for artists to take action in helping establish an independent artspace in the Municipality of Gasan, Marinduque. The GSIS Museo Ng Sining is located at Financial Center, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines. For inquiries, please contact  (632) 479.35.88 (Leslie Fangonil.


Monnar’s works has always remained its trademark, a signature feel that the artist has had within his works. With his technique of acrylic and pen and ink on canvas he is able to express the overcrowded details in his paintings that would seem like it would take quite some time to finish.

According to the artist, his works are partly anthromorphic and part social commentary. He also sites that some influences to his works are the distorted figures of the great surrealist Salvador Dali and the detailed strokes of the German Ernst Degasperi. He also admires the anatomical disfiguration of Bosch. Which could also quite explain another element in his work: the displacement of a crowd or a large group of people.

Monnar explains that he explores and gives form to human emotions that lie beyond the realm of acceptance, in which the recurring themes are exploitation, hopelessness, and dreams.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Dennis 'Sio' Montera works in non-coventional media like asphalts, industrial texture coatings, and acylics that result in process-oriented abstract works. His collection of art pieces combine formalist readings with contextual methodologies that logically arrive at a meaningful connection between art and life. The artist constantly seeks to expand his aesthetic forms through material explorations and discovery of technique.

The question of creating ‘form’ in relation to a predetermined appearance and meaning became the central criteria in the development of Sio Montera's early abstract works. The artist currently works on the premise of dissociating the process of image-making from any pre-conceived idea, and to let form and content emerge out from the painting process itself. The arbitrary content of the work through a title is often attached last.

Sio Montera’s abstractions are mostly direct configurations of paint masses, expressive force of texture, and color modulations characterized by a careful balance between spontaneous gesture and continual control. Having spurned conceptual design that leads to picture-making, the elements are delicately worked up in alternating sequences with great force and a sense of immediacy to 'free' form from pretty pictorial illusionism and attain a post-painterly equilibrium in art.








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