Celebrating the art in heArt
SM Supermalls president Steven Tan (center) with The Drawing Room’s Cesar Villalon Jr. and Finale Art File’s Vita Sarenas, two of the galleries represented at ALT 2020, which runs at the SM Aura SMX in Taguig City from Feb. 14 to 16.

Celebrating the art in heArt

WRY BREAD - Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - February 9, 2020 - 12:00am

While February has, by tradition, been popularly known as the month of hearts, this February 2020 will see a flurry of activities and events that will put art from all over the globe in glorious focus for art lovers and for people from all walks of life. Wonderfully and thoughtfully curated, the three major events should be exceptional opportunities to appreciate and be enthusiastic about art; and given this day and age, will be the IG “paradise” spots of the month!

Arte Povera

If you’re looking for art that will exercise your depth of field, have you appreciate texture, and carry a potent social message, then head to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila when the Arte Povera special exhibit opens tomorrow, Feb. 10 (it runs until the end of April). A collaboration between the Embassy of Italy and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the exhibition highlights the Arte Povera movement, and 12 significant, groundbreaking pieces of sculpture and installations will be on display before the exhibit travels on to Kuala Lumpur.

Attacking the corporate mentality associated with art, Arte Povera was a contemporary art movement that traces its origins to the late 1960s, with Turin, Italy serving as its unofficial home base. Literally translated as “poor art,” the leading lights of the movement championed the use of unconventional material and structures — such that instead of marble or gold leaf, they would use stone and rags. Pushing to make the everyday meaningful, Arte Povera was not about art hanging on the wall of a room, but making the wall an expression of art, or using the floor space of the room as the “canvas.” It’s interesting to note that here in the Philippines, there are works inspired by the movement, and they will be on display in a gallery beside the one that Arte Povera will be housed in.

ALT 2020

Reframing the art show, and featuring new works specifically created for the three-day event, is ALT 2020, which will showcase Filipino artists and galleries. Created and collaborated on by and for galleries and artists, the beehive layout I caught a glimpse of promises really exciting things. The Drawing Room, Finale Art File, Vinyl on Vinyl, Underground Gallery, Gallery Duemila, Artinformal, Blanc Gallery, Mo_Space, 1335 Mabini Gallery, and West Gallery are the 10 galleries spearheading ALT 2020, which will be held at SM Aura in Taguig City from Feb. 14 to 16.

Conceptualized as an art event that is intimate, deliberate and communal, with an organized flow, it is hoped that this “new kid on the block” of an art event will enjoy success, and become a regular fixture in the local art calendar.  Being able to meet the artist behind each piece is just one of the unique features of ALT 2020.

Art Fair Philippines

And of course, there’s Art Fair Philippines 2020, which runs at its regular home, The Link, Ayala Center Makati, and opens its doors to the eager public from Feb. 21 to 23. Founded in 2013, Art Fair Philippines has enjoyed a lofty reign since its inception, growing bigger with each passing year and gaining popularity. By making art accessible to enthusiasts and the general public, it’s been one red-letter day in the local art calendar, and the must-have IG post of the weekend.

Ironically, this social media popularity has also meant that droves descend, more eager to pose and create selfies, than spend contemplative time with the art on display. Such is the price of its popularity as an event; and it’s likely that the long lines trying to enter the venue will still be a feature of the event this year.

Some have speculated about how many local art events we need, given how active the galleries and auction houses already are on a regular basis. Me, I’d venture the opinion that as long as there’s no overlap and duplication, the more the merrier. As someone who has a passion for culture and the arts, I know as part of the consumer public, both ALT 2020 and Art Fair Philippines will be wonderful opportunities to appreciate and enjoy art. And the Arte Povera at the Met is definitely a must-see. February certainly looks like a red-letter month of the heArt.

ALT 2020 ART ARTE POVERA
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