Philippine Art Trek's Maelstrom: The Monumental in Philippine Art

'A maelstrom is a very powerful whirlpool or large swirling body of water.'

Maelstrom, part of the Philippine Art Trek series, successfully brought in monumental works from Philippines, and I was hugely awestruck by the immensity of it all! After all, on exhibit are works of art in epic proportions (214x427 cm or bigger)...not the typical drawing-room variety. If paintings could literally speak, then this batch is on super loud-speaker mode albeit the type that vibrates and echoes only with pleasant sound. The messages are rich and multi-layered too - the exhibit being a cross-sectional and cross-generational representation of Philippine art. Altogether Maelstrom leaves a wonderful and uplifting sensorial experience.

I've always been in awe at the knack of Pinoy artists in creating deceptively simple visual arts, but which upon closer inspection have profound messages. 'Line Up' (shown below), for example, is neat, neutral, and symmetrical. It is supposed to represent the vulnerabilities of the displaced Filipino overseas workers who are at times exploited in their host countries. But on a wonderful night like yesterday, I simply wanted to soak in the visual beauty around me. I guess effective art has that paradoxical power: it can show its audience harsh realities, but wrapped in great aesthetics. 

The huge turn-out of artists and art aficionados alike is a testament to the monumental success of the exhibit :-) Kudos to all those who made it possible!

And only the vastness of Gallery 3 at Valentine Willie Fine Art can do justice to these gigantic pieces. The show is on until Dec 2!

Elmer Borlongan's Amazing Rat Race - Sold for $79,000! Ain't no starving artist out there I must say!

Juanito Torres' Pajaritos (Bird Call)

Line Up by Dennis Atienza - much more meaningful (and painful) than its neat look suggests

Leo Abaya's Stereoscopic Nightmare

Alfredo Esquillo, Temptation of Sane Eski

Mark Justiniani's Navigator

Jaypee Samson's Agimat

Maelstrom is on at Vallentine Willie Fine Art - Tanjong Pagar Distripark #39. Until Dec 02
#Maelstrom #PhilippineArtTrek #MarkJustinani #ElmerBorlongan

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