A Solo Exhibition by Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero
After collaborating with fashion designer Mark Bumgarner in their recently held fashion show last January 18, Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero seems to be on a roll as she is set for a solo exhibition at the ArtistSpace of Ayala Museum that will run from January 30 to February 10.
Entitled Oceans Apart, this is her second exhibit in ArtistSpace after a successful exhibition last year where all her artwork was sold out on the first hour of the opening.
Since then, she had two more exhibits: one at the Gallerie Joaquin in San Juan while the latest was in Singapore. Just like the first, the two succeeding exhibits also saw her work sold out. Known to many as actress and product endorser Heart Evangelista, the artist now prefers to be known by her real name Love Marie.
During the presscon on her collaboration with Mark Bumgarner, she explained, “I’ve been an artista for 17 years now, and people probably think that I’m used to people criticizing me. Actually I’m still very afraid and very pressured by what people have to say, so, I figured by using my real name I could hide away from being that artista ‘Heart’ that they knew. (I want to show) a different side of me; my classmates from school know me as Love Marie, and I wanted to introduce that little girl with dreams. More than anything, I wanted to be a painter and a vet when I was young. Of course I wanted to become an artista, but before I thought of that I wanted to paint. So I want to introduce who I really am to the real world without being judged or without people saying, she’s an artista who got into singing, or she’s an artista who ran for politics or whatever. I wanted to be who I really was and what I really do, that’s why I wanted to introduce Love Marie.”
As a child, she really had an inkling for painting but it took a while before Love Marie got the courage to get back to her brush and canvas and showcase her talent to the public due to fear of scrutiny. “I was afraid that people might come up with critical reactions,” she admits. “When you’re a public figure, you’re so open to all the criticisms, judgments. It took a lot of courage for me to come out with a painting because I felt that people might say, ‘Oh, so now she paints.’ I really just had to be confident, brave and fearless to come out with it,” she adds.
The success of her first exhibit propelled her to paint more. In her previous works, Love Marie creatively explored the varying emotions of women, surrounding them with ambiguous shapes and forms and colors. Oceans Apart showcases repetitive images of fish in fluid motion and in different colorful renditions, inspired by her childhood memories with her father, Rey Ongpauco, who used to bring her to go fishing when she was a child. “It was kind of our thing. He had wanted a boy, which is why he brought me along hiking or fishing,” she discloses.
The title of her latest exhibit could also be in homage to her father as their relationship has gone through so much over the years. Her happy memories as a child have always had a place in her heart and now it has become part of her art. “I love painting fish. It’s just a never-ending flowing idea, a fantasy place with so many colors,” she enthuses.
Oceans Apart will be on display at ArtistSpace in Ayala Museum from January 30 to February 10. ArtistSpace is located at the ground level of Ayala Museum Annex, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City. For more information on the ArtistSpace, contact Lorraine Datuin, gallery coordinator at (02) 759-8288 or email [email protected]