Visual artist showcases mankind’s brilliance in new exhibit
No matter how long the journey, you always go back to the things you love. That’s how it was for visual artist Michael Anthony Sagaran.
For the most part, his life revolved around his work in the hospitality and public relations industries. For many years, he hopped from one hotel to the next. Working in a bustling corporate setup left him with little time to pick up his brushes and canvases.
While his job required him to design visual collaterals and occasionally do photography, it was a little divergent from his fine arts education.
It was during his recent stint at Taal Vista Hotel, where he worked in the marketing department, that he re-discover his passion for art. Living away from the highly stressful life in the metro and his loneliness from living away from his family and friends pushed him to pick up his brushes again.
“Moving forward from where he left off – as a hotelier and public relations expert – to a private life away from the center of things, Michael goes back to what he was trained for – art. As a graduate of fine arts from the University of Sto. Tomas, Michael has always kept his paint brushes on hand, ready to put images or ideas on canvas,” shared curator Nestor Jardin.
Revisiting his artistic roots led him to his first online exhibit, Vespa History Series. In partnership with ArtPH Online, the exhibit featured nine iconic models of the Italian vehicle brand. He moved on to Mercedes Benz S: History Series.
In September Sagaran showcased mankind’s brilliance in creating iconic products that enhance the human experience through the exhibit Moving Forward.
Celebrating the 20th edition of Conrad Manila’s Of Art and Wine series, Moving Forward exhibits 20 artworks featuring various vehicles with historic and cultural significance, including 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom, the car of choice among Hollywood stars in the early 1930s, the 1905 Triumph Motorcycle (which could be the predecessor of the motor bicycle we know today, only better), the 1984 Ferrari Testarossa, a cultural icon of the 1980s popularized in the TV series Miami Vice, and the iconic Sarao Jeepney, among others.
Sagaran also included the Ford Model T, his favorite piece among those exhibited at the Gallery C, saying that this was the car that started the mass-produced automotive industry.
“The Ford Model T was the first car that used assembly line production and the first mass-produced car for the public. It is a testament to a period where challenges were rife. There were a lot of prototypes that failed but Mr. Ford just kept on moving forward. It’s that history in combination with all these memories, a combination of remaining steadfast and a vision of a good future. That we are moving forward to a better future,” said Sagaran.
In his curator note, Jardin wrote that the exhibit is “not just a metaphor for everybody’s aspiration to fast forward to a new normal in life, but an urge as well to move on by whatever means we have. Michael’s collection of paintings of iconic carts, scooters, jeepneys, and motorcycles executed in vivid colors is a celebration of the vibrancy of life after the grimness of the pandemic and lockdowns.”
Linda Pecoraro, the former general manager of Conrad Manila, enthused that the exhibit is part of the hotel’s commitment to champion local artists as the world heals and recovers from the challenges of recent years.
“This exhibit, aptly entitled Moving Forward, embodies Conrad Manila’s optimistic outlook in sharing the light and warmth of hospitality with our guests complemented by inspired touches of luxury,” said Pecoraro.
Of Art and Wine: Moving Forward runs until October 22 at Conrad Manila’s Gallery C.