In my book, Tin-Aw holds the title as Makati’s most convivial gallery (Art Informal gets my vote for the Ortigas area). How often have I stopped by for a quick look, only to end up staying longer than intended, chatting and laughing with other art lovers who also just happen to drop by? Where else do you run into art superstars Mark Justiniani, Joy Mallari, Geraldine Javier, or Alfredo Esquillo Jr., and get to sit down with them as old friends? Here, art is taken seriously, but is never intimidating. You get treated with the same amount of charm, and welcomed with the same offer for Chocnut or coffee, whether you happen to be super collector Paulino Que or Mr. Newbie To The Art Scene. Therein lies the secret to Tin-Aw’s success, the reason we all keep coming back to see what treasures their backroom holds.
To celebrate the gallery’s second anniversary, Tin-Aw mounts Smokescreen, a group show of mostly paintings by artists Mike Adrao, Dennis Atienza, Antipas Delotavo, Mark Justiniani, Lee Paje, Goldie Poblador, Mark Salvatus, Jose John Santos III, and Wesley Valenzuela. This is the first of a two-part exhibit to mark the gallery’s birthday. Like all group shows, you have a mixed bag from the “veterans” and the very young artists.
Can John Santos ever paint a bad piece? He delivers another winner with Clouded. I also liked how Mike Adrao executed his charcoal on canvas Intricate Rug-Beautiful Snake. He certainly bears watching. Mark Justiniani shows Manhattan Project, a piece from his private
collection. He painstakingly scratched out images of the atomic bomb explosion juxtaposed beside the 911 Twin Towers explosion. To complete the piece, he installs a mirror reflecting the word echo in a separate piece below the main image.
Congratulations to Dawn Atienza and Marya Salang, the amiable ladies of Tin-Aw! More power!
Smokescreen runs from 18 June to 7 July at Tin-Aw Art Gallery, Upper GF, Somerset Olympia Makati, Makati Ave. cor. Sto. Tomas St., Makati City. Phone (632) 892-7522 or visit http://www.tin-aw.com