Filipino Artists Exhibit, New York-bound.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Article excerpt

SIX Filipino artists of varied persuasions, media and techniques have come together for a group show at the Philippine Center Gallery in New York, in celebration of Philippine art. The artists - Hermes Alegre, Fatima Baquiran, Remy Boquiren, Edgar Talusan Fernandez, Caloy Gabuco and Jonathan Olazo - have each something that largely and quintessentially Filipino character reflected in their choice works that, to a certain extent, sums up the endearing qualities, not to mention the major directions, of contemporary Philippine art.

"A Confluence of Diverging Views from Six Filipino Artists" is the result when six visual artists with different persuasions and genres pool together in a group show. Their pre-departure preview was produced by the management team of Noli and Agnes Romero of Studio 21 and Joselito O. Tolentino, a publicist and writer who has been co-producing art exhibits in New York over the past years.

Hermes Alegre is an accomplished figurative painter who depicts his two major concerns with an abundance of colors and zestful energy. Working along the modernist tradition, Alegre transforms rural scenery into vibrant compositions by focusing on gardens, blooms and foliage. The artist likewise explored the Filipino rural folk as the icons of beauty, subjects both alluring and mysterious. Alegre grew up in Camarines Norte and later went to Manila to pursue his studies in Fine Arts at the Philippine Women's University. It was in this institution that he became closely associated with the late Ibarra dela Rosa, Manuel Rodriguez, Jr., Pandy Aviado and National Artist Jerry Navarro.

Alegre, a consistent prizewinner in national art compositions, he is the recipient of the Provincial Treasure Award from the province of Camarines Norte, a distinction earned for his artistic contributions to his province.

Fatima Antonio Baquiran is best known for her paintings of floral still life that exude a wide array of vibrant colors and dominated by rich textural qualities. Her works explore the juxtapositions of various elements from vases to tabletops and mantle pieces - in her attempt to highlight contrasts. Her recent works have begun to incorporate spatial backgrounds of window exteriors, as well as rough-hewn surfaces through applications of thick impastos. The artist comes from a renowned family of artists. Her parents are the illustrious artist couple Angelito Antonio and Norma Belleza, and the equally popular Marcel is her elder brother. Although she took up interior design in college, she later shifted to painting, and has since made it as a full-time career.

Remy (Remedios) Boquiren remains as one of the country's most renowned female artists who has painted the subjects of women for the past 25 years now. Her women bear endearing Oriental features, and are often engaged in such traditional activities as planting, harvesting, or in contemplative poses. Her paintings, usually done in pasel have also explored the subject of nature in general, particularly plant life and exotic flowers that are as colorful and vibrant as they come. An artist starting from her college days, she briefly worked under National Artist Arturo Luz, and became a zarzuela costume designer, with a stint as instructor at the University of the East College of Music and Arts. …