Custodio and Valero at Galerie Anna

Galerie Anna presents a back-to- back show of two

abstractionists, Gary Custodio’s “Connected” (East Wing)

and Valen Valero’s “Breakthrough” (West Wing) on May

4, 2017.

The simultaneous exhibition of artists working in the

same non-representational idiom affords the audience a

view of the fertile resources of both color and form, in

distinctive, signature styles that define each artist’s

power of expression.

Award-winning artist Gary Custodio examines the

nature of light and geometry and the way each connects

and absorbs the other in a oneness of purity and

simplicity, conveying a deeply meditative and mysterious

spirit of art.

His ideas on color veer towards the minimalist vein,

reductive, rather than projective, in its implicit

references to transcendence and immateriality. Custodio

dispenses with complex configurations, preferring

instead the severe geometry and structural discipline of

the grid.

In contrast, Valen Valero generates visual

excitement with the unexpected turn of her new works,

piled with non-traditional mixed-media materials

brimming with the fervor of experimentation. The works

are relief constructions, assemblages projected from the

picture plane with diagrams and directions, signaling

movements that derail the eyes from familiar paths.

An innovative approach comes with Valero’s

irregular shaped canvases, echoed by the protrusions of

wooden armatures nailed around the pictorial edge, a

decisive break from spatial limitations.

Both shows run until May 18.



“Invincible Hue” at Galerie Anna


Known to be a breed of sensitive creatures equipped with sharp instincts, artists are themselves vulnerable to many human frailties and fears, understandable in their being participants in an extremely competitive arena. From experience, artists have learned to adapt certain psychological defenses to protect them from “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

 Galerie Anna presents the show titled“ Invincible Hue,” featuring the works of Mark Nativo, Jeanroll Ejar, Jzy Tilos, Cyril Turao, and Darwin Japet Guevarra.

The various images depicted are journeys into wholeness, as expressed through humor and fantasy, illusion and desire, nostalgia for the past and aspirations for the future, self-indulgence and selfless relationships. But only through the production of Art will artists finally find their real safe moorings in life.

And while it is said that young artists today never had it so good, with an audience and market receptive to art collecting, competition has also become more intense and fierce. But Jeanroll Ejar is undaunted. Indeed, he has listed the attributes essential to succeed in the art scene: positive attitude, enthusiasm, energy, persistence, perseverance. Determination, a sense of belief and confidence in oneself. He believes that every obstacle is merely a stepping-stone towards achieving one’s goal. In fact, while the title of the show refers to a shade of color, hue is a homonym for “You.” And therefore, their show is about being the “Invincible You.” Inspiring and uplifting.

Hailing from the humble of town of Taytay, Rizal, Darwin “Japet”Guevarra is a self-taught artist, inspired by works of the masters as well as those of his peers. His stint as an artist in Dubai was a life-changing experience. Though he had a hard time breaking through Dubai’s competitive art scene, he managed, by dint of his dedication and commitment to his art, to achieve a measure of recognition for himself and for his fellow Filipino artists in the Emirates. Now back in is country, and based now in Laguna, Japet continues to develop his art through other mediums, such as sculpture, photography, and experimentation with scrap and found materials.

Mark Nativo believes that dreaming can bring either pleasant or disturbing recollections. As an artist, who by nature is a visual person, he places great importance to dreaming and letting his imagination run free. Says Nativo: “My art seeks to capture the dear and tender moments, especially when one’s dreams come to an end.” He readies and steels himself by willpower to face the coming harsh realities of life.

Jzy Tilos is an Ilonggo who grew up with his now departed grandfather, Lolo Julian, who was an herbalist, or albularyo,  in the dialect. As such, he has imbibed all the superstitious beliefs pertaining to creatures and various elements of the earth. His work alludes to a kasera, or landlady, the owner of a boarding house. But unknown to her, there is a real owner of the place, an invisible presence, whom the elders of the village call tag-lugar.

Creating a surreal and allegorical image. Cyril Tulao depicts a narrative of courtship and love, but the human figures are symbolic. The woman is transformed as a wooden chess figure, while the man, on his knees, offering his love in the form of a mask. Rich in symbols, the work unreels the themes of time consuming humanity, fidelity and deception, mortality and eternal love.

“Invinsible Hue” forces the young artists to mature beyond their years while serving as an inspiration that they can achieve their dreams.

  • Cid Reyes

(Reference: Artists’ Statements)



“Fables” at Galerie Anna


Galerie Anna presents “Fables,” a group exhibition featuring Emman Acacio, Alfred Capiral, Rai Cruz, Camille dela Rosa, Janos Delacruz, and Abe Orobia. The show opens on March 9, 2017.

The works illustrate personally conceived or chosen fables, which are defined as “a short story, typically with animals, as characters, conveying a moral lesson.”

Emman Acasio”s “Si Lolong at ang mga Uhaw na Paru-paro” is a tale of lachryphagy or tear-drinking, whereby butterflies and moths drink the tears of reptiles and animals. The reference is to the large Philippine reptile who died in captivity. Camille dela Rosa visually tells the tale of an orphan eagle adopted by a chicken family. “Resilient Warrior” is Rai Cruz’s preening rooster heavily decked with patterns and textures, a satirical comment on the makeshift ornamentation of common objects. At the core of Janos Delacruz’s “Kulo sa Utak” is a literal bottled-up rage on the edge of explosion, hinting at an imminent tragic end. A lone howling wolf in Alfred Capiral’s “Canis Lupus, Corvus” is an allegory of man attracting the attention of his pack. Abe Orobia’s “The Horse and the Rider” is a tender tale of man’s ancient and abiding relationship with the horse.

Purportedly meant for children, these present-day fables are timely narratives with seething underlying contemporary issues and concerns,

“Fables” runs until March 21.

Galerie Anna is at the 4/L, The Artwalk, Bldg. A, SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue. For inquiries, call tel nos: 4702511 and 4709869. Mobile nos: 0939-9127930 and 0995-9908202.


Nune Alvarado’s “Tapangko” at Galerie Anna:



“Tapangko” is the table used in the Negros Occidental marketplaces where staples of food items are placed on display and sale. As such, it becomes the hub of all trade transactions, where vendors and sellers interact, and thus, thus exposing all manner of human behavior. The keen and observant eyes of Alvarado transform all these scenes stored in his memory into artworks of deep social perception and analysis.

A painting  graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman, the multi-awarded Alvarado has been an icon in the art scene since the Seventies. He made his mark with his originally stylized and powerful depictions of the seasonal sugar cane workers known as sacadas, who work the fields under the scorching sun, and under oppressive terms and conditions. Immersing himself in the lives of his own people allowed the artist to understand and sympathize with their plight.

Alvarado’s “Tapangko” series presents a lighter side of his sensibility, now focused on the humorous foibles of human nature.  This is instantly signaled by the delightful and witty titles he has ascribed to these works. The human images are explicit enough, though they have been largely subsumed by Alvarado’s  energetic activity of ornamental designs characterized by repetition of patterns and invention of geometric elaborations.  Working with a precision that takes command of the pen-and-ink medium, Alvarado is challenged by the task of organizing the welter of details in an audaciously decorative, but appealing, presentation. His skill at orchestrating  the multitude of these richly excessive diagrams is spell-binding.

To be sure, it is a relief for the viewer to see that, once in a while, Nune Alvarado does come up for air, taking relief from the seething aggression and dark shadows that dominate his iconic works. What is on display – on the “Tapangko” of these works – is Alvarado taking pleasure in capturing the lighter side of the Negros landscape, inviting us to the lively marketplace of his ever restless imagination.




Just exactly what is a piece of sculpture?

Of course, you do know what it is, (and it’s not just the statue of National Hero Jose Rizal in our town plazas!)  but here is one reply to the question you may not have heard of:

“A sculpture is what you bump into, as you back up to get a look at a painting.”

Beyond the un-intended caustic wit and humor of the statement, it reflects the real state of the art of sculpture: regarded as secondary in importance to painting, with the public’s lamentable lack of appreciation.

No less than National Artist Luz remarked on how, way back in the Sixties, he himself had “strayed” into the field of sculpture. Said Luz: “My sculptures are the logical extension of my paintings.” Indeed, he had predicted that “the next boom in Philippine art will be sculpture, and this was precisely the time when one day, I looked around suddenly realized that the Philippines had only two or three sculptors to speak of, which I find very strange. We have a tremendous amount of materials to speak of.”

Helping to realize the predicted boom in Philippine sculpture is the Galerie Anna-organized show at the SM Megamall Art Center. Titled “Tri-Angles,” the show presents the recent works of the country’s emerging and established sculptors.

“Tri-Angles” emphasizes the appreciation of materials as material, as these sculptures make use of the traditional processes of modeling, casting, carving, constructing, and assembling, as well as an intermingling of these techniques. As well, various themes and temperaments are embodied in these sculptures that all address humanist emotion.

In distinguishing our appreciation of sculpture versus that of painting, it is well to remember what the critic Max Kozloff said: “Sculpture is ultimately an independent, volumetric entity. It is tangible, occupies a fixed space, and is in a specific state of matter, facts from which every sculptor has been obliged to make his point of departure.”

-Cid Reyes, Art Critic and Curator