More power: Author Scott Garceau, Dennis D’Bayan and Julius Sanvictores at Artablado “Power Trio” exhibit.
‘Power tRio’ at robInsons Galleria will rock you
Scott Garceau (The Philippine Star) - March 7, 2020 - 12:00am

I’ve spent the last year whipping into shape a dozen or so canvases for an upcoming group exhibit (along with Dennis D’Bayan and Julius Sanvictores) at Robinsons Galleria’s new Artablado space, but the last two weeks were the most grueling: what to paint, how big, how to mount it? Looking at Artablado (a combination of “art” and “entablado”), the open exhibit area at Level 3, Veranda, with our own eyes, we beginner artists realized we had to go bigger.
After all, the exhibit was called “Power Trio.” So we needed some extra oomph. Hunkered over a 36x36 canvas, headphones clamped onto a Spotify random playlist or rotating stacks of vinyl, I looked for inspiration in music. Sometimes it was early Public Image — jagged and insistent — that made my wife wonder how I could work with such stuff playing. Other times it was more space-filled Nick Drake or Ry Cooder soundtracks. All of it was fuel.

When Robinsons Land Corp. director of public relations Roseann Villegas invited Igan D’Bayan to marshal some artists for this group show, the STAR writer and well-known artist thought in terms of rock, of course: he suggested “Power Trio,” and we all agreed. Because good things happen in threes.

And so it was born: from the ether and the prog mists of time, myself, Julius and Igan’s brother Dennis drew together an assembly of works for a two-week group show from March 1 to 15, with an official launch party tonight at 7 p.m.

But because art flourishes better with, er, other stimuli, we decided to add some music: both Igan and Julius’ band The Black Vomits and The Garceaus (featuring myself and STAR writer Therese Jamora-Garceau) will do “unplugged” acoustic sets in front of the Artablado space.

Robinsons, for its part, added liquid and solid refreshments. So, again: everything in threes.

According to RLC’s “Mission and Vision Statement,” Artablado is committed to provide “a regular space in the mall where artists can share their works of art to the public, aiming to bring art closer to the Filipinos and at the same time inspire more aspiring artists to pursue their craft.”

Entering the visually-striking Artablado space, you can see what they mean: the large logo in red is a grabber; the trick was to assemble the three artists’ work in a setting that was equally eye-catching.

Artablado aims to showcase not just well-established painters, but up-and-coming artists and students’ work. So every two weeks, a new exhibit is open to the public in an indoor space with lots of mall-goer traffic facing Ortigas Avenue. It’s surrounded by eateries with cafes outside, so people get the feel of being in an environment of art.

“We wanted the space to look like a gallery but the feel should be ‘more welcoming’ or ‘more inviting’ for shoppers since we wanted to bring art closer to the public,” notes RLC PR manager Cookie Marquez. “We want kids, students, office workers, and even executives who frequently visit the mall to see the various artworks at Level 3, Veranda.”

RLC feels local artists should be “supported and nurtured,” and they help by providing the space, public announcements, social media and the like; in return, featured artists donate several pieces to RLC for its own corporate, hotel and retail spaces, works that “stand out to create a ‘wow’ impact and give character to the space.”

That’s where curator Igan D’Bayan came in. During our “ingress” after closing hours at Robinsons Galleria before the March 1 opening, Igan had us lay out all our works on the floor in front of Artablado; originally he wanted to separate the artists into three discreet sections, but instead he instinctively paired off the works according to complementary color cues and design; Julius focused on abstract acrylics in bright monochromes; Dennis does architectural-based figurative work that’s loaded with narratives and symbolism; and I supplied what I call “glitch” paintings, moments of disruption captured by my cell phone camera and then rendered on canvas.

Igan chose my large “Tattoo Angel (Triptych),” as the center work in front, flanked by Dennis on the left and Julius on the right; inside the exhibit, it’s a tussle of styles, between my altered Beatles crossing “Abbey e-Road” and Dennis’ Lennon-based “A Day in the Life,” and Julius’ admittedly music-themed pieces (one reminded me of Miles Davis’ electric period, and Julius confirmed that was the inspiration. Synchronicity is weird that way).

The launch tonight will be a mix of sound, gesture and line: we invite everyone to come out and experience a rocking art space, something that lives up to the name “Power Trio.” (Don’t worry, Robinsons Galleria, we won’t play too loud. Just loud enough.)



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