Arts & Leisure

CCP announces the 13 Artists for 2015

Posted on May 06, 2015

FROM 69 nominated artists, the number was whittled down to the traditional 13 for this year’s the 2015 Thirteen Artists Awards (TAA). On April 29, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) announced the recipients: Buen Abrigo; Martha Atienza; Zean Bajar Cabangis; Ernest Concepcion; Vermont Coronel, Jr.; Dexter Fernandez; Mark Andy Garcia; Nikki Luna; Hanna Pettyjohn; Mervy Pueblo; Mark Valenzuela; Alvin Zafra; and Jeona Zoleta.

Initiated in 1970, it is CCP’s oldest award program. The number of awardees was taken from the 13 Moderns, a group of artists who rebelled against Fernando Amorsolo’s academic style of painting and thus ushered in modern art in the Philippines.

Given to artists who are less than 40 years old, the awards started as an exhibition organized by then CCP Museum Director Roberto Chabet who picked artists who took the “chance and risk to restructure, restrengthen, and renew art making and art thinking.” Later it was transformed into a biennial award and then a triennial award.

Nominations were received from October to December last year, coming from museum directors, gallerists, independent curators, heads of art and cultural organizations, and former TAA awardees.

The nominations were evaluated by judges, all past TAA winners -- Jaime de Guzman (1970), Mark Justiniani (1994), Julie Lluch (1990), and Pam Yan-Santos (2009) -- save for Ma. Victoria “Boots” Herrera, Visual Arts and Museum Division (VAMD) director (and now the Ateneo Art Gallery director).

Each winner will receive a cash grant of P40,000 to produce new work for a group exhibition at the CCP’s Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery), which will open on Sept. 3. The exhibit will be curated by past TAA awardees Jonathan Olazo and the trophy will be designed by Juan Alcazaren. -- Jasmine Agnes T. Cruz

BUEN ABRIGO: The artist makes mixed-media collages of everything from pop culture references to political figures. Though he doesn’t want to classify himself as a social realist, he admits he does integrate political issues into his art but that is a simple product of his observations. His surroundings are the “basic ingredients” of his work.

MARTHA ATIENZA: A 2012 Ateneo Art Awardee and nominee for the Sovereign Asia Art Prize in Hong Kong, she is known for her video installations. In her 2014 exhibit Endless Hours at Sea, she used video, the light reflecting from her videos, and recorded sounds to create ripples on water and different formations of light. “I love video because it captures time,” she said. “That’s basically how I started. I was obsessed with holding moments.”

ERNEST CONCEPCION: Dividing his time between New York and Manila, his images can be traced to video games, comics, anime, and now he’s into images related to space exploration. He said that he has no sketchbook -- what he puts down are words detailing possible titles for his artworks and other ideas. The result of his process are a frenzy of images with multiple influences.

HANNA PETTYJOHN: Winner of the Shell National Student’s Art Competition, she is the daughter of potters Jon and Tessy Pettyjohn. Like her parents, she also uses clay, but her work involves destroying and recreating her piece.

ZEAN CABANGIS: A recipient of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts’s Most Outstanding Thesis award, thrice short-listed for the Ateneo Art Awards, a semifinalist of the Metrobank Foundation Art and Design Excellence Award, he has a well-known series of paintings which involve multi-colored stripes obscuring parts of buildings. The series started because he didn’t like one painting he made of a building and decided to add lines. Mr. Cabangis bikes around open spaces or goes up a mountain where he will take a photo, then paint that landscape on canvas, and add a structure. This represents his fear that the beautiful view will disappear some day, gnawed by an industrialized society.

MARK ANDY GARCIA: Winner of the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence and Art Petron National Student Art Competition, his paintings are often rooted in his personal experiences. “Kung anong makita ko, ’yun ’yung subject ko (What I see become my subjects).”

JEONA ZOLETA: A 2014 Ateneo Art Awardee and an ACC grantee for Bastards of Misinterpretation New York Edition in 2012, she is known for works that are both sexually charged and pink with innocence. She says that she is inspired by unicorns, glitter, kitsch, and the ugly and unwanted.

VERMONT CORONEL, JR.: Short-listed for the Ateneo Art Awards, he is a founding member of the street artists group Pilipinas Street Plan and the artist-run space 98B COLLABoratory. His roots in street art later developed into stencil-based paintings that contain several layers.

NIKKI LUNA: A feminist and human rights advocate, she is a co-founder of StartART Project, a non-profit organization that aims to make art accessible to youth and women, an advocacy often seeps into her art. In her 2014 exhibit ManMadeWoman, she presented 100 naked white ceramic Barbie dolls and eight beauty pageant crowns which when lifted would play audio recordings of poverty-stricken women answering beauty pageants questions. One was to think of the most outrageous thing that they’d like to do, and one answered “To study.”.

DEXTER FERNANDEZ: Known for his ongoing street art project called Garapata, he does murals, paintings, drawings, and mixed media work. He often uses pop-imagery, adult magazine cut-outs, and line drawings.

ALVIN ZAFRA: Recipient of the 2004 Dominador Castañeda Award for Visual Essay in the UP College of Fine Arts, a 2011 BSP Tanaw Art Competition finalist, and an Honorable Mention in the 1998 AAP Centennial Painting Competition, he is known for using unconventional materials. He has pulvurized a .38 caliber pistol, sandpapered a human skull into powder, and used his fingernail to sketch portraits on sandpaper.

MARK VALENZUELA: A recipient of the Sinugdanan Grant of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2007, the Australian Individual Development Grant of Arts SA in 2014, and a co-founder of Boxplot, an alternative art project for artistic collaborations between South East Asians and Australians, he creates paintings, drawings, ceramic sculptures, and installations.

MERVY PUEBLO: Recipient of the Ethel Morrison Vanderlip Award (US) and was a finalist at the Ateneo Art Awards in 2012, she creates participatory art projects, installation work, and public art. An ongoing piece, Cabinet of Disappointments, began in 2001 in the US where she asked people to write their disappointments on index cards. She collected and filed the answers in card catalogs. She brought this to France in 2014 and plans to bring it to the Philippines, hoping that people will see that human beings all over the world struggle with the same things.