Monday, January 21, 2008

NATURE, trees in particular, emerged as the theme of the joint exhibit of painter Del Garcia and sculptor/carver Benny Pagayon. With the double title “Honest Expressions/Emerging Imagery,” the exhibit, which runs until Oct. 13 at Le SoufflĂ© in The Fort, celebrated nature—its imagery, beauty and the message it holds for all who behold it.My husband and I took particular joy and pride in being present at the exhibit opening as Del and his wife Becky have been our friends for many years. Del was with Pie at the Art and Audio-Visual Section of the Corporate Affairs Office of San Miguel Corp., and upon leaving the corporate setting returned to what he calls his “first love,” painting.Indeed, many of the pieces on exhibit looked familiar, and we recognized them as scenes we glimpse in the as yet untamed garden of our home in Alfonso, Cavite near Tagaytay. We got quite a kick spotting the trees in our lot, as well as the landscape of adjacent lots. Clearly, Del was doing more than just taking in the cool air during his many visits throughout the phases of the house’s construction.Del calls his painterly expressions “honest” because, like the Impressionists he emulates, he believes in “capturing reality and depicting what (one) sees at a given moment.” It’s no small accomplishment to take such everyday items like trees, branches, roots, and even seascapes and turn them into images that delight and leave distinct impressions.

* * *

I MADE a faux pas when I first spotted Benny’s pieces, asking if they were sculptural pieces or found objects. It turns out they’re both. To fully appreciate the artist’s work, though, one needs to pick up the tree roots, branches or bark and examine them carefully. For on these wood pieces are carved images that Benny alone discerned, enhanced by strokes of a knife or whatever tool he had in hand, including a screwdriver.Benny found his calling when, handling some driftwood and pieces of dead uprooted trees, he “saw” images in the whorls and knots, rings and patterns and decided to outline them, adding features like eyes, feathers or limbs when necessary.To experience Benny’s artworks, then, is to engage in an intimate, almost archeological, viewing. Holding the pieces up close, one needs to search for the images “emerging” from the surrounding wood, an experience full of surprise and discovery, and sometimes, even the thrill of exploration.He may be working with “dead” wood, but Benny proves that with the mind’s eye fully opened to possibilities, it is possible to give new life even to pieces we would otherwise discard and dismiss as mere junk, waste material.

Twisted Fate Oil on canvas 20"x 30" 2007

"Jordan Farm" Acrylic on Canvas 24" x 33" 2007

"Fern" Oil in Canvas board 18 "x 24" 2007

"San Juan" Acrylic on canvas 20" x 24" 2007

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My latest posts from my exhibit at Le Souffle'

Del with Guest Mark Floro Advertising Photographer
Del Garcia left) with daughter Mitch Garcia (2nd fr.the right) &
Ian Madrigal ( right)- Multimedia Artists,along with Ian's relatives.

Above : Guest Relatives

Maryanne, Nancy Reyes Lumen and my wife Becky Garcia.

From Left: Rod of GMA, Del Garcia &
Rio Q.Ambrosio (owner of Artes Oriente Gallery, Mall of Asia)

Lester A.Harvey( Le Souffle's co owner ), Rina David of Inquirer &
Rod Cornejo of GMA at the opening night

Nick Tayag, writer & creative director with Del Garcia at the opening of
Honest Expressions Le' Souffle' Nick Tayag wrote text for the invitation posted in this blog

Untitled, 16" x 20", Oil on Canvas board 2006
Serenity 2 , Oil on Canvas 17" x 24" , 2007
These are some of my old works.Also part of the "Honest Expressions" exhibit at Le Souffle' 2007