Three things – a new series – 3 February edition

Some friends have asked me to write more often, for myself. To help this along, I am launching a new experiment this February. This new post is less informative than it is reflective. But it gives readers an idea of the occasional moments when I get a life.

1. Charlie Cojuangco’s collection of face-themed art work is very interesting. The ongoing collection show at Nova Gallery features work by artists like Louie Cordero and Hanna Pettyjohn, among others. Three notable things: a miniature version of “Sorry for the Inconvenience” by Manny Montelibano, which was the only End Frame show I’ve reviewed to date; a 2007 painting by Rodel Tapaya, he of the million dollar painting; and the newest painting shown therein, Gabby Tiongson’s “Mack.”

2. The artist behind “Mack” is represented by the VinylonVinyl art space. Cojuangco’s collection of designer vinyl toys is in part thanks to VinylonVinyl and Secret Fresh. These stores both double as art spaces but have differing emphases. Tiongson’s work is representative of the former’s commitment to working with newer artists in the scene–not necessarily in the toy medium. The latter shop is more deeply connected to the contemporary art establishment (Lena Cobangbang is its current manager), and the emphasis is on the designer toy as alternative medium, as witnessed by its recent Munnystyle group show with Blanc Gallery.

Of course, there are exceptions to this generalization. Sigmund Torre’s recent show at Vinyl focused on his original Go! Go! Bunny toy, and Secret Fresh has non-toy based shows, including its first one which featured paintings and prints.

3. I know now of two bands who can get away with playing songs that are ten minutes long. The first is a progressive rock band that recently got featured on GMA News Online. The second is Wilderness, a post-rock ensemble whose video was launched earlier this morning at Saguijo in Makati with a minor hiccup. Vin Dancel tweeted that Wilderness and the Strangeness, a more conventional alternative rock group, are proof that Pinoy rock is not dead. (The Strangeness also launched their video for a song whose title is very interesting: “Cain Was Furious, And He Was Downcast.”) Someone I spoke with added that “OPM did not die, it just went indie.” I agree with both assertions. Last night, Wilderness played a set that was astonishing in its energy, emotion, and skill. And at one point, members of the audience played percussion for them!

Next up: two or three new exhibits, or why Tengal Drilon is not giving up on his brand of “wasak.”

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