I almost puked out paintings

by raince

Okay. I just gotta say that I’m eternally grateful to my professor for assigning us to visit museums. I have lessened my peasant status and actually made myself a little literate and cultured. So, presented below are the artworks I labeled as my favorites (I hate ranking but meh, what could I do?) with short descriptions:

1. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE PHILIPPINES

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Artist’s Table, Jaime de Guzman

Walking through the long lines of paintings, this particular one caught my attention and made me stare more than I intended to—I didn’t know whether it was the style or the theme. Blotchy strokes made the images swim before my eyes, painting my own imagination with two words: carpe diem and memento mori. It is supposedly an artist’s table—probably owned by a creator seizing the opportunity to create worlds to conquer minds; but the skull centers everything else, signifying the idea that all creative things would eventually fade away—maybe that is why the images looks a little blurred.

2. UP VARGAS MUSEUM

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The Penitent, Felix Hidalgo

Hidden beneath the shadows, the man tries to call out to someone who may or may not listen. His eyes are blank, his mouth silent, his face suffering in silent agony. With an almost blank expression, he pleads. This painting reminded me so much of Placido Penitente from El Filibusterismo. When one has experienced the lowest of all lows, one grows numb. It’d probably take a thing too vulgar to even shake him. But until then, he succumbs to silence; he succumbs to suffering.                         

3. NCCA GALLERY

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Camo, Edgar Talusan Fernandez

On the 21st of September, the NCCA Gallery held an exhibit to commemorate the Proclamation of Martial Law. Featured in the exhibit are nightmarish visions of the past to haunt viewers of today’s era. This particular piece held my gaze amongst the other ones because I have recently been reading too much of George Orwell’s 1984. There are too many things going on in this picture—one is the TV screen with the artificial smile (forced control), second is the invisible rifle (hidden agenda), third is the Hawaiian shirt with the badges (peaceful camouflage), and fourth is the metal hand (power). One cannot automatically interpret this as a form of atrocity; but the mix of all those four elements begs to argue.

4. AYALA MUSEUM:

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Icaro, Fernando Zobel

Aside from trying too hard to feel like a Victoria Secret Model in this photo, the wings behind me reminded me of Icarus. They signify a high flight, only to result in a fatal fall. The strokes are all in black, with shadows to illuminate edges—making it look as if the wings are plummeting to the ground. Interestingly enough, they also seem to be melting with the way the light catches uneven spots. Also, forget Victoria Secret Model, I’d prefer to look like Batman here.

5. ATENEO ART GALLERY

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Myayy Gdodd Svavae ththhte Filliiie II, Gerecho Iniel Cruz

Ateneo Art Gallery showcased 14 sections of notes on Figuring Filipino Utopia. The last section, “Utopia After Utopia: Filipino Futures” completes the collection, presenting an almost radical view on the past paving ways to perpetuate new beginnings. This particular piece is re-creation of Hidalgo’s classic work Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho in a pixelated puzzle. I think it represents how technology renders the way we view utopia, offering ourselves to the populace.

Okay, to sum up the experience: I almost puked out paintings.

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