Monday, March 24, 2014

Art in the Park 2014

Yesterday, I was at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village, Makati for this year's Art in the Park. Art in the Park is the annual gathering of the country's best galleries for an affordable art fair, capping the price for artworks at P30,000.

The art fair is set in a public park to make it more accessible to everyone. This is Art in the Park's eight run.

Most of the artworks I saw were priced way below P30,000. The ones I liked cost P5,000, P15,000, and P16,000, but I have plans of commissioning artworks from my artist friends.

The turnout this year was bigger than its previous runs in 2012 and 2013. This year, there were more than 50 booths and it extended to the parking lot of the venue. It was way more crowded this year, too, and though I hate crowds, I'm happy because it means more people are getting interested in art.

I wasn't able to take a lot of pictures because of the large crowd, but I was fortunate enough to have picked up some stuff along the way. I think 'along the way' is an accurate description of how I navigated through Art in the Park. There were parts where it was hard to appreciate the pieces because of the human traffic. Perhaps Trickie Lopa and the team are interested in getting a bigger venue?

My boyfriend and I got matching portraits done by Apol Sta. Maria. He was sharing a table with Rob Cham and theirs was one of the most high-traffic areas in the art fair. No wonder, because Apol was drawing free portraits and Rob was selling his comics.

According to Apol, he can draw you in less than three minutes. I wasn't able to confirm because Mylene Dizon appeared out of nowhere and started talking to everyone. She was absolutely charming.

I also got a copy of Apol's A Balut Ate My Luois Vuitton and Rob's Stories. The two artists have a very distinct sense of humor and style, and both comics were absolutely hilarious.

I also got some of Mano Gonzales's postcards. I've been meaning to get them from him since December, but things keep coming up. We finally met after three months of talking online. I'm also planning to have a few portraits commissioned from him because I like his style and it fits with the decor I'm planning for my room. It's taking a while because I can't decide what to have him illustrate. There are so many designs running through my head that I might just end up having him put everything in a single canvas.

My favorite artwork has to be Bale Dutung's pan de bagnet. It's slices of crispy bagnet  and KBL (kamatis, bagoong, and lasuna) on slow-toasted ciabatta bread. The bread keeps the juices in so it explodes with every bite. It was so delicious.

I've actually wanted to try Claude Tayag's pan de bagnet since I started covering Art in the Park two years ago for The Philippine Star. However, I always go right after lunch so I'm full by the time I get there. I made it a point to eat a little before going yesterday. I was so hungry by the time I got there that I started seeing slices of bagnet in every artwork I saw.

My boyfriend isn't into art, but I managed to convince him to come with me. He ended up buying some pins and magnets. This one is my favorite.

I hope more people could come next year. And I hope the organizers could get a bigger venue. Maybe Ayala Triangle?

My features on Art in the Park for The Philippine Star can be found here, here, and here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

2014 Book #6: FLAMES and Other Stories

FLAMES and Other Stories, Angelo R. Lacuesta
The sleeves of his sweater are tied around his neck. He wears a scowl to protect his eyes from the sun. The shadows of the afternoon show his high cheekbones, his sharp nose. I have just met him here, I think, and we have just sneaked a cigarette, one of many in my youth.
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