Skip to main content

my favorite paintings

The Holy Grail 'neath ancient Rosslyn waits
The blade and the chalice o'er her gates
Adorned by the masters' loving art she lies
As she rests beneath the starry skies.

-- Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown

The first time I remember seeing the huge painting was when I was in nursery school. I was---still am---amazed by the bright pinks and vibrant blues... all connected by the undulating white ribbons. Because I'd normally expect masterpieces at this level only accessible when I visit the Philippine National Museum, I always get a kick out of the thought that this is what greets me as I eat lunch at the cafeteria of the International Rice Research Institute:


This painting, and its "twin" which I see on rare occasions, were created by the Philippine National Artist Vicente Manansala. These two paintings has set my bar when I look at paintings by contemporary artists in different museums I visit when I go on new adventures. I always think, "This is what they call art?!? It's falls short of the IRRI Manansala painting!"


These are two of the very few paintings that I like to look at. Probably it's because I love the stained glass feel of the paintings. In technical arts speak, I think they call it "transparent cubism". 

So just guess how excited I was when I heard that an event in honor of Vicente Manansala was in the works. I wanted to sit through the symposium about the maestro's life and works but it's an invitation-only event; I had considered watching from outside the room but luckily got invited on the day itself... I didn't need to set up camp on the lobby after all!

But wait, there's more! 

I was asked to prepare a presentation to acquaint invited artists before the painting sessions in the morning before the symposium... basically, I was asked to do a shortened version of my talk at the Asia Society HK event. Cool! The Presentation Zen student in me, however, insisted that I needed to adapt my slides to the new audience. So, I prepared a brand new slide deck (using many slides from the Asia Society HK presentation), taking into consideration the time limit, the lighting in the venue for the color scheme (it was pretty dark), and the audience.

After my talk, one of the artists asked me, "Are you an artist?"

Well...

Popular posts from this blog

my top 10 life lessons from Suits season 1

I enjoy watching this series on TV called "Suits". It follows a strong mentor-mentee relationship. Harvey Specter (played by Gabriel Macht), one of the best lawyers in the city, gives valuable lessons to his associate, Mike Ross (played by Patrick J. Adams), the lawyer without the law degree. I find myself taking notes (and tweeting them) as I watch the different episodes.
While waiting for the July 1 premiere of the second season of Suits on Jack TV, I list down the top ten lessons that I gleaned from watching the first season of series. It's not surprising that many of them came from the great Harvey Specter. There are few things in there that came from Mike and Harvey's arch-nemesis, Louis Litt (played by Rick Hoffman), as well.
NOTE: if these sound like a lecture, it's because these are notes I write to myself for when I need them... and to whoever is reading this list.

Here we go:
1. "First impressions last. Start behind the eight ball and you'll ne…

Federico de Vera's brand of beauty at the Ayala Museum

On my latest visit to the Ayala Museum this year, I was able to catch the exhibit curated by Federico de Vera. I haven't heard of him, most likely because I'm not part of the art circles. I'm just an occasional museum hopper who likes to visit beautiful art pieces. This time, I was about to learn what beauty is, in the eyes of famous curator de Vera.
I was blown away by how he presented art pieces he picked up from other art collectors. Some of these pieces I've seen in other museums before. BUT, these are presented in a more striking manner... Instagrammable being the first word that comes to my mind. Spot lighting and subtle backgrounds really make the artworks pop. Walking through the different sections of the exhibit, I kept saying wow to myself. I liked the way that the curator presented every piece... he succeeded in putting the best face of each piece on display. There was a sense of meticulousness in the detail... not just dumping pieces together on a table or…

tinikling

Back in college, I used to play with the UPLB Ethnomusemblia, a group of students who liked to play traditional Filipino music as live accompaniment to the UPLB Filipiniana Dance Troupe, those students who performed Filipino local dances. Tribal music was what I learned with the group: music filled with textures of the sounds from kulintang and agong; the resonating sounds of simultaneously beaten gangsa; and the deep tones from the dabakan. However, I never learned how to play stringed instruments that are part of the rondalla. I attempted the banduria but to no avail. That's why I never learned to play the music for the tinikling; instead, I contented myself with listening to the rondalla people play the lively song.

Tinikling is the national dance of the Philippines. In this lively dance, the man and the woman imitate the movements of a tikling, a bird found in the country, over two parallel bamboo poles set horizontally on the floor. The dance is made more challenging as the b…