Art Appreciation at the Heart of a City

Being an Ortigas working girl and a regular MRT commuter, passing by SM Megamall is usually part of my itinerary on the way home. Normally it’s to wait out the rush hour because who wants to spend over an hour trying his/her luck getting on a train? Certainly not me. Anyway, whenever I stroll around this mall, especially when I’m heading up to the 5th floor where the different beauty salons are or looking for some place to have dinner at, I always see the different rows of art galleries located at the 4th floor. One fine afternoon, when I felt like being artsy-fartsy, I decided to check them out.

I started with the Art Center where one can view works of active Filipino visual artists.  The paintings I saw on display evoked of playfulness, youth and some morbidness for me.



My favorites from Art Center in particular were the following:


Painting on the left is called The Street while on the right is Pretty Eyes

The artist’s name is Paola Germar. She likes to veer towards the morbid yet countered with their bejeweled festal decadence which is clearly translated into her paintings where ghoulis figures perform an infinite danse macabre. These paintings which were displayed in the Art Center particularly are representations of the Japanese folkloric figure, the Yokai – deemed as dangerous yet mysterious phantom enchantress that are harbingers of bad luck and calamity. It’s an analogy to societal conventions of seeing independent women as seemingly deviant to the stereotype of being rather meek and domestic.

A couple more of her works:



The works of Isobel Francisco, a graduate of Ateneo de Manila University also captured my attention. Oil and graphite are this artist’s weapons of choice and she’s also well versed in ink and digital tools.


Matador by Isobel Francisco


Bull by Isobel Francisco

Her works can be recognized for her preference with vivid shades of red, blue and purple and through her subject’s piercing expressions: often strong, stubborn, and struggling. For this particular exhibit, her themes were on bondage and the primal viscerality of such play.



Meanwhile the above paintings are the works of Gab Lopez. The defining trait in her work whether its pen and ink on paper or acrylic on wood panels, are her bold lines. Her subjects are often feminine and alluring, in waves and curls as you would notice on the photos I took.  I probably would buy them if I was the type who bought art since I’m all about flirty and feminine designs.

At Impressions Art Gallery, what I liked there were paintings that showed the Filipino life such as the following paintings which show two different types of Palarong Pinoy.



And this artwork of a bahay kubo.


Check out the next page for more!


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