Philippine Art and Its Discontents

By Jay Bautista

Good things happen on Friday the thirteenth. We have been informed that the blog you are now reading won in the Art Category in the 3rd Digital Filipino Awards. Formal awarding will be this afternoon during the two-day E-Commerce Summit scheduled November 12-13, 2009 at the Hotel Intercon in Makati City.

the place I hate yet loved by Mark Andy Garcia, 2008

Like a true blogger, allow us to accept the recognition by way of how it was given to us – on our blog.

Let me remind everyone that it was in a painting competition that we had our first international recognition. At the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes, Juan Novicio Luna won the silver medal at the Madrid Art Exposition of 1881 for the seminal work, Death of Cleopatra, which he made while studying in Rome. Held every three years at the Salon in Madrid, the 26-year old Luna would even win the first gold medal for the masterpiece Spolarium three years later.

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Blue Moon by Jaime Gubaton, 2008

A year and a half, or should we say after more than 30,000 hits when we started out this art blog, with the responsibilities of museums ever decreasing through the years while the constant increase and eventual expansion of commercially artistic centers for contemporary art emerges, the role of art blogs have become even more relevant and has changed the geography of the art scene and how it operates. In this age of auctions and artists without even a career benefiting from it, art blogs should be committed to advocating Philippine visual art scene not generally covered by the mainstream media, or what we usually find in the lifestyle pages. There seems to be a dearth of not just critical writing but of serious reporting on well-conceptualized, innovative, and significant contemporary Philippine art both by young and consistently evolving artists, as well as established Philippine masters who continuously hone their craft and search for their meaningful representations.

Kanluran by John Paul Antido, 2008

Through our art blog, we encourage critical dialogue between the discriminating tastes of both the art collectors and patronizing public with the creative ambitions of current practicing artists. As we are open to feature experimentation and fresh approaches in art, we see paintings and sculptures should be fully embodied and its social function is not lost on its academic discourse or materialist culture.

Our art blog makes Philippine art accessible to everyone with just a click away. As people are so busy either making the next deal or finding the next meal, we assure you that as you support Philippine art, you devote in a different attitude, a new way of looking at things. It is an exchange that enriches your life, as it has on ours.