Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pambihirang Guniguni

They say that a painting or art doesn't need verbal explanation. All the things that the viewer might want to know is already there on the painting itself, readily digestedvisually. 

That is just one of the ways of seeing art or a painting, if one wants to decipher its message. 

My painting for the Looking for Juan banner project, on first look, seems unrelated to the specific theme relayed to me, which was to depict what it means to be Filipino. One might even comment how on earth is that work all about Pinoy? I could hardly think of a specific subject to work on because to define our people or nation is as diverse as our flora and fauna: each is unique that makes up the whole. Working on a tight schedule and with no specific subject in mind, I tried to paint anything on the canvas. While paint-doodling, I thought maybe it is better to avoid patriotic cliches, pessimism, or sarcasm. Why not tackle on positive points of view? I thought art perhaps doesn't need be heavy to be meaningful or powerful. Then it dawned on me, maybe I could celebrate Pinoy creativity itself.

I prefer not to explain every bits of my painting, I'd like to leave something for the viewer to figure out. Explaining the work takes out its mystery, just like when you specifically describe the artistic Filipino. But here's what I wrote so people can be able to grasp a little story about it:

“Pambihirang Guniguni” (Exceptional Imagination)

24”x 48”

Acrylic on canvas

As an illustrator, the artwork is my interpretation of the ingenuity of the Filipino creative: a hybridity of styles and cultures that resulted to powerful imagination, liberal spirit, and diversity of technical expertise. We may have been bound from the colonial past, but I believe the concoction and transmission of cultures has positively shaped the Filipino artist today: responsive to the changing times and globally competitive.

If you are interested in this original painting, please contact CANVAS or 1/of Gallery at:


1/of Gallery, 2nd Level Shops at Serendra

Global City, Metro Manila

Tel. (+632) 901.3152

Proceeds will be used to fund projects that promote Philippine art and culture.

This painting, together with other originals of the project is on view until July 7, 2009 at the:

Alab Art Space of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Building

351 Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City

Open to public mon-fri 9am-6pm

1 comment:

Art Voyeur said...

You are spot on in opining that a painting must not be rationalized by its creator. It can only happen when the artist is needed to do so in press releases, awarding ceremonies, etc., but even in such circumstances the explanations are limited to expressions of the mystery that surrounds the creation.