Through the computer glass darkly
Liv Vinluan’s “Morphine, Mother (And the Impending Extinction of Bees)” at Silverlens
Through the computer glass darkly
ARTMAGEDDON - Igan D’Bayan (The Philippine Star) - August 17, 2020 - 12:00am

Just as many folks are dusting off selfies taken in Vigan or Venice and plastering them all over social media as their way of accepting, uhm, “challenges” (I mean, zombies could be out scrambling for brains in Makati or Mandaluyong, while these attention-seeking dolts would still be posting about their lunches, whitening creams, or brag-able books they don’t actually read), we who love art and deem it essential even during these pre-apocalypse times get to visit galleries mainly online. How can you see the revelatory layers in Art Sanchez’s work, the labyrinthine threads in Raffy Napay’s opus, or the phantasmagoric colors of a Rodel Tapaya with your wavering, wobbling Internet connection? Not an ideal situation. The rule for everything nowadays is: adjust or die. Here are a few shows worth visiting — verily or virtually.

A disclaimer: things might change in a couple of days (we are in a Luis Buñuel movie and the pandemic is an exterminating dinner party we can never, ever leave — or like Hotel California), the key is to ask galleries first as to how they presently conduct operations in our New Society of Subnormality featuring ill-health officials, dolphin cavorters, mystery vaccines and ostriches on the loose.

John Marin's “Hungry Years” at Blanc Gallery

Silverlens is relaunching its “Searching Sanctuary” exhibition curated by Gregory Halili. The show promotes “the imperative and ever-relevant theme of environmental preservation, displaying a diverse range of artistic styles and practices — drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photography — to express the language of conservation amidst the decline of the natural world.”

Currently on view at silverlensgalleries.com are works by 21 artists: Pope Bacay, Marionne Contreras, Jigger Cruz, Rocelie Delfin, Patricia Perez Eustaquio, Dina Gadia, Mark Andy Garcia, Gregory Halili, Paolo Icasas, Bree Jonson, Pow Martinez, Maya Muñoz, Raffy T. Napay, Wawi Navarroza, Elaine Navas, Bernardo Pacquing, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Popo San Pascual, Nicole Tee, Ryan Villamael and Liv Vinluan. For information, email info@silverlensgalleries.com or call +63917-5874011.

Dale Erispe’s “Living Code 42” at West Gallery
Dale Erispe’s “Living Code 42” at West Gallery

On view until Sept. 6 at Blanc Gallery, 145 Katipunan Ave. in QC, is John Marin’s “Relentless Years.” The exhibit intimates life’s “transient nature and confronts its reality of impermanence.” The artist admitted to being disturbed, moved and compelled by natural disasters that wrought havoc in recent months, Abloom in the works are burning trees and bonfires as well as blossoms upon graves and canines surveying the carcasses of destruction. The exhibition “locates life’s meaning in its fleeting moments and opportunities, in the unrelenting drive to cope with hard times, and the ever-hopeful stance to start anew when things come to an end.”

This show, curated by Ryan Francis Reyes, is a collaboration between Blanc Gallery and The Working Animals Art Projects (TWA). Visit Blanc Gallery at blanc.ph, email info@blanc.ph or call +63920-9276436 for inquiries.

A digital portrait of Gaby dela Merced and Pia Reyes by Tyang Karyel

Dale Erispe continues to “visualize alternative environments to ponder on the interaction and conflict between humankind’s actions and the forces of nature” in his latest show. Erispe’s contemplative compositions deal with “reflections on ecology, survival, and co-existence, and he suggests these themes mainly by painting outdoor views in which natural elements figure alongside man-made structures but devoid of human presence.” The sense of desolation in Erispe’s paintings are all the more amplified with what the world is going through in these pandemic times characterized by curfews, quarantines, lockdowns and deserted cities of the heart.

This show, curated by Ruel Caasi, is on view until Aug. 29 at West Gallery, 48 West Ave., Quezon City. Visitors are welcome by-appointment-only. To make an appointment, contact the gallery at (02)3411-0336.

Works by Tyang Karyel. Her online exhibit hopes to raise medical funds for her father, hospitalized with COVID.

Lastly, Tyang Karyel is holding an online exhibit (@tyangdynasty on Instagram) to help raise funds for her father’s hospitalization due to COVID-19. Since her family owes the hospital more than P3.5 million, Karyel is creating digital, “Tyanganized” portraits for people in exchange for cash contributions. Vinyl On Vinyl is also helping out Tyang raise funds. For information, visit @tyangkaryel on Instagram. You can also call Inas Amuyo at +63917-8022984 or email vinylonvinyl@gmail.com, inas.gallerymama@gmail.com.

Artists are — in a way — essential workers, too. Just like musicians and theater actors, artists are the frontliners of the soul.

* * *

Not accepting “challenges” @igandbayan on Instagram. For some scary shit, visit www.igandbayan.com.

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