Monday, February 11, 2013

Carpark Artgasm: Art Fair PH 2013

For the artsy fartsy herd, the most important thing about February is not that it contains the internationally recognized 24 hours of PDA on the fourteenth (let’s be honest about that).While others are cooking up Valentine's Day surprises, some people headed over to The Link, Ayala Center from February 7 to 10 for Art Fair Philippines 2013. Why, the Love Month is also National Arts Month! :)

Art Fair Philippines is a sudden explosion of color and creativity in the usual bleakness of The Link. There’s an entrance fee of a hundred bucks (fifty if you’re a student), and that’s already more than worth the trip you’d get inside. It’s practically stepping into a multihued paradise of every art form imaginable.

Eclectic Concept Bursts

At the exhibit’s VIP lounge area is where Kenneth Cobonpue’s masterpiece furniture collections are located. I don’t have an eye of a good interior designer, but I don’t think you’ll need one to appreciate Cobonpue’s creations. I heard his works are largely admired by Hollywood superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (and that he’s commissioned to transform the parkway drive into the Fair’s urban art gallery). No wonder about that—the furniture are topnotch, both form- and function-wise.


The piece I loved the most in his BLOOM collection, which includes the leaf chairs. It’s the kind of chair I’d love to have in our house’s lush gazebo…if we actually had one. Haha. For some reason, I went totally giddy when I saw it. Self-deprecatory humor unleashed: going Thumbelina!


The 1335 Mabini B.A.R. (Bureau of Artistic Rehab) just next to Cobonpue’s works is a different kind of world, the amazing kind mixed with heavy doses of crass. At one glance, you’ll know it’s a crazy mishmash of pop culture, porn, unfettered creativity induced by madness, and vastly incoherent thoughts:




Beauty and the Grit

One of my instant favorites is the “Asphalt” mixed media assemblage of renowned Filipino sculptor Gabriel Barredo. This is no surprise, as I have a penchant for anything steampunk and twisted. There are many pieces in his 30-foot-long kinetic installation that effortlessly intrigued me. My friend commented that the whole thing looked like something “from hell,” which I can’t exactly disagree with. Everything in there depicts “a grim specter of a world given to ruin,” grit, darkness, detachment, and the folly of humans and their twisted physiology. check them out:

Baby Steampunk


Paintings with crude, twisted, or just plain weird themes are copious too. In fact, I think they exceeded the number of the twee, inspirational, and lighter-themed ones. Below are some of the definite scene-stealers (I’d appreciate it if  anyone could give me the artists’ and the paintings’ names):

Mona Lisa Overdose



Some other works that are worth seeing there were: Subterranean Blues by Jason Paul Tecson (the sculpture’s dripping with awesomesauce—a skeleton in a boat waiting for you to get onboard!), Tapahoho by Joven Mansit, Art Toys by Charlie Co at the Secret Fresh booth, Touch Me Here by Alab Pagarigan, Bulol by Ronald Ventura, and Mimefield (this is a favorite!) by Mark Justiniani. :)

I wish I'd taken more photos for your viewing pleasure, but alas, Blackberry batteries have the shortest life span in all the history of Smartphone batts. Anyway, I can't wait for the next Art Fair Philippines! Starting from now, I'll make it a tradition to always go.

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