Most people prodded to go see an art exhibit in a museum liken the trip to entering a hallowed place, as inside a church, where there is a bit of somberness and reverent cognizance for the time and effort that an artist had put into his exhibited piece.
And happily, sometimes, under the best of circumstances, people as they get out of a museum, feel warmed by the realization that inanimate objects such as framed work can be resuscitating.
It has been part of the visionary initiatives of the Makati Arts and Cultural Affairs Office (MACAO) to establish a progressive art policy to meet the growing needs for more diverse artistic options. There are many artists—entrenched or still struggling—and knowledgeable curators with excellent credentials who need the boost of commercial sponsors.
When such art angels are reluctant to flap their wings, the Museo ng Makati, still as regal as it was first designed as Makati City’s original municipio during the Spanish times, is the positive venue for artists and lovers of art. Located smack along J.P. Rizal Street, the Museo’s busiest roadway location offers to the common man an unaffected approachability. There are no sentry-like doorman standing by the Museo’s age-old door. The CCTV cameras are there to provide an assuring feel.
Called “Makati Art Kombat,” the creative fair was a three-day MACAO initiative, seen as a kind of backlash against today’s highly manipulated, computerized art images.
The fair had two main features: the first inter-barangay live art competition open to all Makatizens 18 years old and above, and an exhibit of artworks and various handcrafted art objects by Makati City career artists.
The 18 participants in the live art competition were predominantly young enthusiasts (which also attracted a 46-year-old contestant) thus the resulting images, done in compelling color mixes, with the exception of one black-and-white entry, breathe life’s vitality and motion, a desire to portray and provoke reality as they see it.
“Kombat” was divided into three rounds: the 10 winners of the first round were Diwata Datu Cacdac, Isabel Po, James Gallardo, Eruel Alvarez, Elvira Eala, Joshua Saromo, Eric Eala, Kevin Ortega, Eumer Comodo, and Sherwin Cairas. The first round had a 30-minute limit to work on the canvas. No pencil draft sketch was allowed.
The second round of two groups were composed of five participants from the 10 round one winners, they worked on an 8x8 canvas with the theme “Makati City 2025: The 349th Araw ng Makati Fast-tracking Progress.” Group 2 won the second round on a time limit of one hour.
The third round of the “Kombat” saw each of this winning group competing against each other. Round three winners were Eumer Comoda, 1st place; Joshua Samoro, 2nd place; and Isabel Po, 3rd place.
All in a night’s work, the budding artists demonstrated a precocious ease and facility that even the most commonplace subjects became significant gushes of entertainment as well as of happy candid escapism.
The paintings rendered during the “Makati Art Kombat” were genuinely arresting, with images opening themselves to easy interpretation so that the artists need not speak a word. There were no images to jellify the mind. No tonic bites and commentaries on social ills and injustices or conceptual hijinks. Only simple strokes and baths of colors. It was purely a beautiful and convivial night. Our Filipino Masters would be very proud.
Photos by Diana B. Noche
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