Arts and Culture

JC superstar

SUPREMO - Tim Yap - The Philippine Star
JC superstar
Hidden talent: JC Intal at Rookie Mistake, his first solo exhibition at J Studio
Agatha Meg

I first saw JC Intal’s works online, and I messaged his wife Bianca Gonzalez who’s a very good friend of mine about it. Bianca showed me more works of his which piqued my interest. I know that JC is an accomplished athlete, but I got more intrigued when I saw this side of him as an artist.

I am a sworn maximalist and loved seeing JC’s works overflowing with colors and textures, a passion so intense it seems the frame of the work and the eye of the viewer couldn’t handle it. So I asked for more. Luckily he had more, and I learned from Bianca that he had been quietly working on a few pieces. She showed them to me, and I was blown away. I told Bianca, “JC should have his exhibit already. It’s time.”

Backtrack to last year, Jia Estrella told me about curating her space in JStudio for February 2020, in time for the art month. Jia has always been a big supporter of up-and-coming artists, and she has a keen eye for spotting talent, being an artist herself. It was Jia who opened up the art world’s door for me, being a staple in her exhibit openings and meeting the artists at her JStudio. I had initially spoken to two actress-slash-artist friends but they couldn’t commit (one had fashion obligations and the other one just gave birth) so I placed this event on the backburner, just waiting for the right artist to come. I truly believe life is about timing, and somehow, things fall into place, in God’s perfect time.

Just recently, I went to see Max Balatbat’s show and there I saw Enrico Villanueva and we went gallery hopping with Jigger Cruz. When we went back to Max’s exhibit, I saw JC and we began talking about art. I saw how deeply in love he has grown into it. How he and Jigger had become friends from their motorcycle group and developed a sort of mentorship-friendship together. I learned that art was a childhood passion which took a backseat when he pursued his basketball career. That he got a wrist injury sometime last year, which was when he poured out his emotions on his paintings. That he just kept creating more paintings as practice. I messaged Bianca the next day and she showed me his latest work. I got goosebumps seeing it and I knew he was ready.

Jia messaged me that same day saying her featured artist for February had requested to be moved to March. She asked me if this JC Intal that I was talking about could do it. I scheduled a studio visit the very next day with me, Javi (Martinez), Jia, Bianca and JC—and the rest is the beginning of JC’s art history.

And from Dr. Joven Cuanang himself, “A star is born!”

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