“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


“Wind in the trees, thunder, flowing water, falling leaves, rain, animal voices --- we live amid a teeming polyphony of natural sounds. Add to these the sound of human activity, from soft footsteps to pneumatic drills, from muted conversation to pounding trains, from jetting fountains to jet planes. Then we have the articulate, measured, imagined sounds of art --- all the many kinds of music, which so specifically and directly convey the spirit of a people. Our world is permeated with sounds, some calming the heart and mind, some keeping us frenetic and on edge.” Thus, the spiritual writer Thomas Moore on the subject of “Noise and Silence.”

Cognizant of the assault and violation of our aural sense, and making a plea for the redeeming sound of silence, is the concept behind the show titled “Noise,” now  on view at Galerie Anna. Curated by Robert Besana, the works demonstrate in visual terms much of the anxiety and stress of modern life generated by the destruction of silence, when peace and quiet have been denied to the human spirit.

Indeed, we now have the phrase “white noise,” which is defined as “a constant background noise, especially one that drowns our other sounds. It could also mean “meaningless or distracting commotion, hubbub, or chatter.” For the more technically inclined, white noise is “a sound that contains every frequency within the range of human hearing (generally from 20 hertz to 30kHz) in equal amounts.”

 Interestingly, there is another variant phrase, “pink noise,” which is white noise “that has been filtered to reduce the volume of each octave.” Whether white or pink, and no matter the color, noise is simply nuisance: the blaring of the neighbor’s karaoke, the din of roaring vehicles poised for a road rage, or the raucous voices of politicians ringing in what are supposed to be the hallowed portals of the state. They are all, each one, “wounding sounds.”

Thomas Moore, once more: “Sound is one of the most direct and simple means we have at our disposal for enchanting life and caring for the soul. There is no reason why we could not tune our world, keep it at a pitch, and allow only the most forgiving dissonances. The soul would then be ready for joy and pleasure, and not be crimped into protective postures in absolute horror at the noise we allow to be characteristic of civilization.”

                                                                        -Cid Reyes

Conversations of the Birds

Galerie Anna proudly presents master colorist, multi-awarded, universal visual
artist Rodney P. Yap and his new collection CONVERSATIONS OF THE BIRDS from
October 19-November 2, 2016 wherein 15 works on canvas metaphorically narrate
stories of life and fanciful tête-à-têtes of living.
“This series convey a lot of things,” opens Yap. “It combines a show of faith,
metaphor and at some point satire; the birds in allusion to man present a different way
of looking at everyday experience and even behavior.”
The never-before-exhibited centerpiece “Negotiating the Betrothal of the Last
Princess; Ending Clan Wars,” was a finalist in the 2012 Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Tanaw Art competition. “Much of the conflicts and tensions not just in the country but in
the global sense could be resolved if men would set aside indifference, negotiate and
find a common or middle ground,” Yap explains.
The six 18x24in paintings flow in metaphors – images that leave to the spectator
his/her own conclusions about the slice of life. The dreamy “Mountains of the Great
Poet” is like a refuge – a haven to heal broken souls. The quadriptych “Conversations”
is like a gathering or assembly. “I remember from way back when I was still in
elementary school. The townsfolk described the way the tribes talked to each other;
dialect sounded like birds. From then till now, this painting is my homage to tribal gettogethers,”
Yap said.
“On the whole, I believe that like birds, life should be worry-free. Worry, though
part of life, is futile. And I based that on the Bible that says: That is why I tell you not to
worry about everyday life. Look at the birds.”
Bacolod-born Davao City-based Rodney Yap is an alumnus of the Ford Academy
of the Arts. From 2007 he has consistently been a Philippine Art Awards winner in both
Regional and National levels. He has exhibited in Poland, Germany, Brussels and
Rotterdam and has been featured in international art fairs and expos in Malaysia,
Singapore and Seoul. In 2013 he was long listed in the Artraker art for peace
competition and in 2015 he was one of the nine delegates for the Florence Biennale.
He is currently an Art Instructor at the Philippine Women’s College in Davao City.


“ “Embodied Meanings” at 2016 Manila Art


Galerie Anna presents “Embodied Meanings” at Manila Art 2016, with participating artists: Ricky Ambagan, Cezar Arro, Grandier Bella, Ferdie Cacnio, Jun Impas, Toti Cerda, Melvin Culaba, Ivy Floresca, Gerry Joquico, Vincent Padilla, Iggy Rodriguez and Glenn Cagandahan.

The phrase is derived from the American critic Arthur Danto, who himself was influenced by the philosophy of art of the German philosopher Hegel, who writes: “The work of art, as a sensuous object, is not merely for sensuous apprehension; its standing is of such a kind that, though sensuous, it is essentially at the same time for spiritual apprehension; the spirit is meant to be affected by it and to find some satisfaction in it.” Explains Danto: “The originality of the artist comes from inventing modes of embodying meanings she or he may share with communities of very large circumference.”

Toti Cerda deconstructs the revered masterpieces of the country’s greatest muralist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, while Jun Impas celebrates the nobility of age and culture of the Manobos.

From  his abstract layers of gestural brushstrokes emerge the ambiguous and haunting figures of Cezar Arro, contrasting with the definite sculptural line of Ferdie Cacnio’s ballerinas.

Vincent Padilla’s nostalgia for a vanished past is transformed into a narrative of personal longing for a beloved’s absence, made more meaningful as a classic kundiman or love song. Gerry Joquico’s “Haliging Asin” alludes to Lot’s wife in the Biblical tale in Genesis, who was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at Sodom.

More a reflection of contemporary times is a topical subject of violence personified by the feared and loathsome death squad, as embodied in Melvin Culaba’s artwork. Violence, too, is the inherent theme of Ivy Floresca’s “Gospel at 35 Degree” where trigger-happy  hands metamorphose into actual bullets.

Grandier Bella paints an ode to childhood in the portrait of a young boy fantasizing himself as an Indian chief, while fantasy is flaunted by Iggy Rodriguez as a forbidding and towering palace floating in space.

Glenn Cagandahan’s “Jose Rizal” and “Andres Bonifacio” lend their ineffable presence as a projection of their enduring role in the shaping of  our country’s future history, putting pressure on the present to learn the lessons of the past.

 Manila Art 2016 is at the SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, on view October 6-9.  For inquiries, call Galerie Anna, cell nos: 0936-713-9213 and 0909-591-8495.