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NCCA and CCP pay tribute to the 2018 National Artists

FOR 2003 National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario, the role a National Artist is a challenging task.

How Christo gets rich collectors to underwrite art for the masses

THE ARTIST Christo and his late wife/collaborator Jeanne-Claude have used fabric to spectacular effect. They wrapped Germany’s Reichstag in polypropylene, “hung” a curtain across a Colorado Valley, and, in 2016, built a floating, three-kilometer-long walkway across a lake in northern Italy for a work called The Floating Piers.

Russian ballet dancers to perform Swan Lake in QC

THE Moscow Ballet’s classical choreography arm La Classique will be coming to the Philippines for a series of performances of the ballet classic Swan Lake, a timeless favorite set to the music by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Cultural Center to pay tribute to National Artists today

THE SEVEN individuals who were conferred the National Artist Awards in 2018 will be given a tribute today at 6 p.m. at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Venice Biennale’s The Spectre of Comparison comes home to PHL

THE Spectre of Comparison, showcased at the 2017 Philippine Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, will open in Manila on May 23 at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD). It features the works of Filipino artists Lani Maestro and Manuel Ocampo.

The Dresser as master class for actors

By Sujata S. Mukhi Theater Review The Dresser Directed by Loy Arcenas Presented by Repertory Philippines Fridays to Sundays until May 26 Onstage Theatre, Greenbelt 1 Paseo de Roxas St., Makati...

If Art is a Hammer: Portraits of Filipino artists as working...

LIKE THE gag reflex, the 1st of May gives rise to the usual public clamor for living wages and the end of contractualization. Artists are also vulnerable to such “precarity,” as these deplorable working conditions are politely termed. The so-called creative industries — from the performing artists in resorts to the piece-work crafters of fashion accessories — are generally unregulated. What does it behoove an unemployed, part-time jobber or the artist who may not even have a written contract for an occasional project, to register with the BIR and invest in stacks of official receipts which s/he will likely use once in a blue moon? A renowned writer, himself an independent contractor, was lumped with dance instructors when he registered with the BIR because professional writers were a nonentity on the BIR roster. He had to issue ORs to his many corporate clients, but his case is rare. Most Filipino artists do not have formal contracts or such a surfeit of projects. Many simply fall through the cracks, without the safety nets of SSS, PhilHealth, or Pag-Ibig.

A century of classic designs

IN THE late 1800s, German design professionals envisioned that German companies would be as competitive as those in England, the United States, and the global market. In the 1900s, 12 artists and 12 companies joined forces to establish Deutscher Werkbund.

Banana protest staged over removal of ‘indecent’ art

WARSAW — Around 1,000 people, many eating bananas to make their point, protested in front of Warsaw’s National Museum on Monday over a decision last week to remove artworks deemed “indecent” by the museum’s director.

At Amboise, Leonardo’s last years paint a picture of Franco-Italian harmony

AMBOISE, Loire Valley, France — Commemorations for Leonardo da Vinci’s 500th anniversary begin this week in Amboise, in the Loire Valley, with France and Italy setting aside recent tensions to honor the memory of the Renaissance genius in the town where he spent his final years.

Nemi Miranda’s pure imagination

“I LOOKED at people, I try to imagine them, and draw them from memory. I never use pictures because I hate pictures,” painter Nemi R. Miranda, Jr. said about his creative process. “What you see my painting is the product of my soul.”

NCCA holds National Dance Week in Capiz

IN CELEBRATION of National Dance Week, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) – National Committee on Dance will hold the 8th Dance Xchange: The Philippine International Dance Festival on April 26 to 30 in Roxas City, Capiz.

Images of faith

FOR Catholics, religious images are representations of faith. The religious and devotees of patrons wipe cloth on images with the belief that this brings physical healing. In some communities, a statue of the Blessed Virgin is transferred from one house to another after a week. Miracles have purportedly been witnessed in the presence of holy images.

UST-CAFA artists reunite in show

FOUR YEARS ago, visual artist Maris Medina thought of organizing a reunion with her batch mates from the UST College of Fine Arts, Advertising batch 1980. With the help of social media, she was able to rekindle old friendships. Aside from a planned reunion, she spearheaded the idea of mounting a batch exhibit.

Sunico is new Steinway artist

THE melody of Ernani Cuenco’s “Bato sa Buhangin” filled the room, the polished notes coming from a Steinway & Sons Spirio player piano. When the recording ended, pianist and composer Raul M. Sunico stepped onstage and performed the same piece romantically with precision.

Millennials spend $28M on Simpsons-inspired art

MILLENNIALS snapped up $28 million worth of art inspired by the Simpsons television show, along with skateboarding shoes and cans of spray paint at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong as a new generation of collectors comes of age.

Florence study proves artist Leonardo da Vinci was ambidextrous

FLORENCE, Italy — An in-depth study of Leonardo da Vinci’s earliest-known drawing has proved that the great Renaissance artist was ambidextrous, Italy’s Uffizi Gallery said on Monday.

Food and art tripping in Rizal

LIKE LOVERS who have made themselves too available, it’s easy to take the province of Rizal for granted. It’s too near the city, and it doesn’t boast of Tagaytay’s views and chilly mountain breezes. It does, however, have a character and beauty of its own: so much of it, in fact, to make artists want to work, live, and as in the case of National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, to want to die there.

Like grandfather, like granddaughter

KNOWN FOR his modernist geometric abstracts, National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo R. Luz’s works commands millions of pesos in auctions, but now that he has put his life as an artist behind him — in the words of his granddaughter — people can find limited edition prints of his work on sale and on serving trays and boxes until May in two Rustan’s locations — Shangri-La in Mandaluyong and in the department store branch in Makati.

Broadening literature’s definition for everyone

WATCH spoken word poetry performances, interact with renowned Filipino writers, witness the first slam poetry championship, and learn about folklore from the Dumagats — all these activities can be experienced with a donation of a book.

A giant girl at Art in the Park

A 20-FOOT inflatable sculpture of a girl hugging a goat and a four-foot tall perfume bottle are some of the artworks to be displayed at this Sunday’s Art in the Park fair at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village, Makati.

P9 million the going rate at auction for Lunas, Hidalgo

PAINTINGS by Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo fetched P9 million at Salcedo Auctions’ Important Philippine Art sale on March 9.

2 Lunas and a Hidalgo

“PHILIPPINE art history is never static. It remains in constant flux,” remarked Salcedo Auctions director Richie Lerma, speaking about the emergence of three works by classic Filipino artists.

55 artists honored in NCCA’s Ani ng Dangal

THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) ends this year’s National Arts Month by awarding 55 artists in various fields at its annual Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honors), to be held today at the Diamond Hotel in Malate, Manila.

Absorbing Vincent: Van Gogh goes immersive in Paris exhibition

PARIS — A Paris gallery is offering visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the colorscapes of Vincent Van Gogh like never before.

Ray Albano: Homo ludens, a playful man

RAYMUNDO “RAY” ALBANO is described by those who knew him as a “homunculus,” a “deformed clubfoot who walked with a limp.” The words aren’t meant to be cruel. They are said with affection, fond memory. Even Mr. Albano poked fun at his scoliosis, calling himself the “Quasimodo of CCP” — that is, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, where he succeeded Roberto Chabet as museum director in 1970. It was a post that Mr. Albano held until he died in 1985 at the age of 38.

Will collectors want it?

FOUR MONTHS ago, Christie’s said it held the first-ever auction of art created by artificial intelligence (AI). The $432,500 sale sparked a controversy among critics over whether it’s really AI-generated if a human was involved in making the portrait.

The new Picasso? Meet Ai-Da the robot artist

FALMOUTH, England — Can robots be creative? British gallery owner Aidan Meller hopes to go some way towards answering that question with Ai-Da, who her makers say will be able to draw people from sight with a pencil in her bionic hand.

M. Butterfly flutters back for a nationwide tour

THEATER FANS from outside Metro Manila now have a chance to see a story of love, deception, and power as M. Butterfly is set to tour six cities this year.

Diversity and inclusivity highlight the Fringe Festival’s 5th year

FRINGE MANILA celebrates its 5th year as the Fringe Festival comes out of the peripheries during Philippine Arts Month. From Feb. 7 to March 3, Metro Manila’s open-access, multi-arts festival will once again present an inclusive program line-up that reflect the culmination of the five years of Fringe Manila.

Tracey Emin delivers an ‘emotional timebomb’ in London exhibition

LONDON — British artist Tracey Emin is unleashing an “emotional timebomb” at her latest exhibition, homing in on what is important to her as she faces what she calls the third stage of her life.

Art on the superyachts: Beware of wine corks and unruly children

EXPENSIVE yachts that double as floating art galleries can lead to unexpected and costly mishaps.

Fashion conscious

FASHION shows our desires and our means to achieve them through carefully selected items. In turn it also begins to see our values and how we seek to live them. In an exhibit called Fashion Revolution at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, we are given alternatives on how to live more sustainably through the clothes that we interact in and interact with.

To protect and preserve: the challenge for Malang’s children

ALMOST two years after his passing, Mauro “Malang” Santos remain a formidable figure in Philippine art and the broader Asian scene. His works continue to be featured regularly in local and international auction houses with bond paper-sized works on paper fetching anywhere between P200,000 to P500,000 and small works on canvas being sold upwards of P1 million.

Listen to the music of the night again

GOOD news for those who missed it the first time it came to Manila in 2012 and for those who wish to see it — and its famous chandelier — again, The Phantom of the Opera is back in town.

NCCA names beauty queen, actors as new ambassadors for Nat’l Arts...

CELEBRITIES, thanks to their clout among their fans, make good endorsers. But beyond influencing us to buy and consume more T-shirts and face creams, four Filipino stars are now the ambassadors of far more important things, our arts and culture, with the goal of bringing them closer and making them more relevant to more people.

What and who to see at Art Fair Philippines 2019

UNLIKE the previous editions where featured works were found on every floor of The Link carpark in Makati, this year’s Art Fair Philippines will showcase all its ArtFairPH/Projects featured artists and their works on one floor, for better impact and convenient viewing, said one of the fair’s organizers, Lisa Ongpin Periquet, during a press conference on Wednesday.

Art Fair 2019: Art and earth

THE works of two women artists — Olivia d’Aboville and Ling Quisumbing-Ramilo — converse about the crucial issues concerning our environment: climate change and plastic pollution at this year’s Art Fair Philippines.

10 (or more) reasons to live

THE NARRATOR enters and walks to audience members around the room as she gives out strips of paper. From the aisle, she walks to the third row on the left side and hands this writer one strip of paper on which was written “5. Things with stripes” in cursive letters. “Hold on it. I’ll explain later,” she says.

It all begins with jazz

AT 2 p.m., artist Gerry Baguio sits alone in his studio surrounded by pieces of cogon paper. To kickstart his creativity, he sets his iPod on the speakers and plays the album In a Silent Way (1969) by Miles Davis. At 4 p.m., he takes a break. And at 7 p.m., he resumes working.

Israeli museum to drop McJesus sculpture after violent protests

HAIFA, ISRAEL — An Israeli museum plans to withdraw a sculpture depicting the McDonald’s mascot as the crucified Jesus following protests which briefly united the country’s Christian minority, its populist culture minister, and the pro-Palestinian artist.

CCP’s Pasinaya festival to be upsized this year

THE largest multi-arts festival in the country is back, but this year, the CCP Pasinaya Open House Festival will be held for a longer period — from Feb. 1 to 3.

Banksy’s ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

LONDON — A mural by elusive British street artist Banksy depicting a child enjoying falling snow that is in fact pollution from a burning bin has been sold for over £100,000 ($130,000) to a British art dealer.

Where is art headed in 2019?

BusinessWorld asked some of the country’s artists, and art champions about their outlook for Philippine culture and arts for this year (and beyond). The answers were as varied as their practices.

Art tilt hopes to tap youth’s passion

BECAUSE THE future belongs to the dreamers and the youth, this year’s theme for the Visual Arts Competition (VAC), a partnership between PLDT and Directories Philippines Corp. (DPC), is “Creating the Legacy, Creating the Future.”