Amidst wandering through marvelous old mansions, faded reminders of a genteel past, and overindulging in muscovado-laced delicacies, a cultural tour of Bacolod included glimpses of the city’s contemporary arts landscape. The scene seems to gravitate towards two venues, at least as far as I could tell from a three-day stay.
Bacolod native, painter Charlie Co runs Gallery Orange, a downtown space for homegrown talent. We caught Illusion Allusion by Peter James D. Fantinalgo at one of the gallery’s three exhibit areas. He exhibited photorealistic paintings that showcase his skill at trompe l’oeil, and an interesting set that incorporated imprints of his jeans. At the upper level, Guen Decena mounted an installation she calls Constant Point of Vanishing. Both just in their twenties, their efforts are admittedly raw, but do display earnest attempts at working with their
concepts. I thought Guen’s black and white work had panache. She’s off to Manila soon, to undertake a residency with Leslie de Chavez’s Project Space. She’s also slated for an exhibit at Alliance Francaise in 2012.
Charlie and his wife Ann (who bakes a mean sansrival) invited us to his studio where we enjoyed perusing his drawings and checking out some of his works in progress.
Capitana Gallery occupies a section of Balay Ni Tana Dicang, a restored family home-turned museum in Talisay. The gallery operates as an extension of Avellana Art Gallery.
On view, Mac Valdezco’s Twin Cyclops. As usual, Mac does wonders with ordinary materials. She came to Bacolod, foraged groceries and bookstores for supplies, and managed to put together a show using twine, non-woven cloth, cartolina, and plastic loops. The exhibit also includes two of her pencil patterns on canvas.
No self-respecting art lover can leave Negros without paying homage to Alfonso Ossorio’s Angry Christ, a mural from 1949, at the Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker in Victorias. We visited this treasure of Philippine modern art on our last day . Yes, it’s as magnificent as everybody says it is. And so are the mosaics, carvings, and metal works that complete the chapel. I have sat down with Mark Justiniani several times for magazine interviews, and he has always discussed the profound influence Ossorio’s work has had on him. I can imagine the power this would wield on a young child, one inclined to the arts, who grew up playing around its environs. To finally experience its omnipotence ranks as the high point of this sojourn.
Illusion Allusion and Constant Point of Vanishing run from 7 July to 31 August 2011 at Gallery Orange, 2F Annex Bldg, Lopue’s Mandalagan, Bacolod City. Phone (6334) 7090604 or visit http://facebook.com/orange.bacolod
Twin Cyclops New Works by Mac Valdezco runs from 17 July to 3 September 2011 at Capitana Gallery, Balay ni Tana Dicang, 36 Rizal St., Talisay City, Negros Occidental. Phone (6334) 495-2104.
The Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker is located inside the Victorias Milling Company compound in Victorias, Negros Occidental.