Art’s biggest open secret
SOUND AND THE FURY - Raymond Ang (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2013 - 12:00am

For a lot of artists, creating something that manages to break through to mainstream consciousness is an achievement to hang a name on. And recently, more and more artists are finding the occasional dip into commerce—whether it be fashion shows, retail collaborations, or mass media work—fairly beneficial. By taking a different approach to pushing their art, they’re able to find a way to reach a greater public, the public that might have never been inside a gallery, who might not know what “gouache” means or who Ronald Ventura is.

The Garapata project is something like that—one of Manila’s most buzzed-about young artists (who insists on going nameless for this particular feature) has taken his affinity for ticks and run with it. “Garapata is my side project,” he says. “Nothing serious here. (It’s) just for fun. Everything is spontaneous so (there’s) no pressure at all.” He says he began this project as a way to take a break from himself, someone who is “more complex, with so many details to deal with… secretive too and full of signs and symbols.” It’s an outlet, a way to find balance when he’s bored with himself.

And sure enough, the Garapata is widespread, at least to a specific, culture-savvy corner of the public. You can see the artist’s five-legged, ghost-white ticks everywhere from stickers on laptops to badges on totes, from Instagram posts to your favorite ATM machine (which happened to me, while withdrawing money before watching a gig).

He’s extended this project to Garapata-tizing people, starting with his contemporaries — fellow creatives like photographer Jake Versoza or designers Rik Rasos and Pat Mosby of Proudrace — to pop culture personalities like Daft Punk and Lady Gaga.

I found myself Garapatized recently, a five-legged version of myself with a five-legged version of a good friend posted on the Garapata Instagram. He picks his subjects by random, he says. “Because the Garapata is iconic, simple in form, and easy to play with, why not Garapatize people?”

“As long as I can stick the Garapata everywhere, I will continue this lifetime project until the end,” he says. “And I want to become a Garapata someday, to infest and dominate the whole world like a great conqueror.”

And with an exciting body of work to go with a strategic mind, you can imagine this artist doing just that, one leg in front of the other, one bite at a time.

***

For more on Garapata, follow @garapatagarapata on Instagram and Facebook.

 

BECAUSE THE GARAPATA DAFT PUNK AND LADY GAGA GARAPATA GARAPATA INSTAGRAM GARAPATIZE INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK JAKE VERSOZA RIK RASOS AND PAT MOSBY OF PROUDRACE RONALD VENTURA
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