VISUAL ALLEGORY:
Exploring meanings beneath the surface through various media
October 02 – december 06, 2014

unknown VISUAL ALLEGORY is an exhibition that explores the figurative mode of conveying meaning in a wide variety of media. The works on exhibit present symbolic representation of subjects that may be political, historical, or philosophical.

Through narrative, the works capture the spirit of the times, often portraying human difficulties or sufferings. This exhibit offers a timely exploration of our world through the eyes of our artists.

The featured works, including paintings, sculptures, prints, and photography are from the Wili and Doreen Fernandez and University art collections.

 

 

Works from the Wili and Doreen Fernandez Art Collections

National Artists

  • Ang Kiukok
  • Carlos “Botong” Francisco
  • Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera

Prominent Filipino Modern and Contemporary Artists

  • Virgilio “Pandy” Aviado
  • Manuel Baldemor
  • Orlando Castillo
  • Onib Olmedo
  • Mario Parial
  • Pablo Baens Santos
  • Solomon Saprid
  • Lino Severino
  • Vin Toledo

 

Works from the De La Salle University Art Collection

  • Jeho Bitancor
  • Lor Calma
  • Jose Arevalo De Guzman
  • Wenceslao Garcia
  • Julie Lluch
  • Diosdado Lorenzo
  • Alma Quinto
  • Federico Sievert

Works of Lasallians from the Greenlight project

  • Vic Icasas
  • Niccolo Cosme

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Introduction

The Museum at De La Salle University features an exhibition entitled VISUAL ALLEGORY for the 2nd term of Academic Year 2014-2015. This exhibition explores the figurative mode of conveying meaning in a wide variety of media. Visual allegory is the symbolic representation of subjects that may be political, historical, or philosophical. It usually narrates a story.

Through narrative, the works capture the spirit of the times, often portraying human difficulties or sufferings. This exhibit offers a timely exploration of our world through the eyes of our artists. 

The featured works, including paintings, sculptures, prints, and photography are from the Wili and Doreen Fernandez and University art collections.

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ARTIST’S QUOTES

“Philippine art is going towards even greater freedom. The Filipino Artist will do what he feels he must do and will not be dictated by anyone…”

-Diosdado Lorenzo to Cid Reyes

“Sabel is, or was – I was told she died in 1972 – A real flesh-and-blooded person. I use to see her in the streets of Bambang, scavenging around garbage cans… I thought she made a terrific subject visually; I thought she made a terrific subject matter for my paintings. She used to gather these plastic sheets and wrap them around her body. They made the most beautiful abstract shapes.”

-Bencab

“Why not? Open your eyes. Look around you. So much anger, sorrow, ugliness, and also madness.”

-Ang Kiukok

“If an artist is true to him or herself no matter what, then he or she would always be a catalyst, or a strong influence in the community because of the truth that was found between his soul and his art.”

-Onib Olmedo

He says: “I consider what I’m doing my religion. When I’m printing, I go into a higher state of consciousness, so that I have flashes of insights into things in general. For me, it’s a mystical experience. Art takes me to another level of existence. It de-stresses me, changes me up, and connects things to one another. I basically do artwork to keep myself sane.”

-Pandy Aviado

"Lately I’ve begun to see lots of graffiti written on walls of old abandoned houses and sad to say most are profanities. So when I paint these houses I change these to the word of God.”

-Lino Severino

“All you need is to be honest and be true to your emotions. Painting is an expression of your personality.”

-Bencab

“I look at art not as a career, but as a spiritual expression. Art should bring out what is innately beautiful, especially to those who are hopeless.”

-Alma Quinto

“Botong’s murasl, in key locations such as government buildings and other institutions, address a public audience, frequently portraying scenes of struggle and persecution, while the subjects and characters were always dignified.”

-According to the art historian, Patrick Flores on Carlos “Botong” Francisco

“I like warm colors, like vermillion and orange and yellow. Cool colors are for the dead. Warm colors give me a sense of life.”

-Diosdado Lorenzo to Cid Reyes

“Historical materialism looks at humanity as the sovereign creator of history. Using its viewpoint, we should see optimistic pictures of society being transformed into higher stages within given periods, through class struggle. If this is true, it should promise an irreversible victory for the oppressed class. Yet, real freedom always melts when it is at hand, shaming humanity’s hubris. To look at the development of history as resulting from plain interaction of two principal forces, namely, forces of production and relations of production, is insufficient. To hope that we can plan society’s destiny with mechanical precision based on this is frustrating. History is not a machine. There is more to it than material forces. If the Old Testament is an account of the history of the Jewish people, no one else has the clearest hand in it but its author—God.”

-Pablo Baens-Santos

Passion
Orlando Castillo portrays the plight of the people in the image of Calvary, the site of Christ’s crucifixion as setting of the struggle. This agony and transcendence is paradoxical because death on the Cross had been decreed as disgraceful in Christ’s time. Catholic belief, however, would reshape Christ’s identity as criminal and the Cross of his punishment into a precondition to salvation. The Crucifixion, therefore, lends itself well to allegorical interpretation as it strikes at the heart of an ethical dilemma, making its “penal character” indispensably penitential, the “deep structure of Christian thought and devotional feeling.” Two works cogently express this, centered on the grisly procedures of torture. In Iba’t Ibang Uri ng Torture: Alay sa mga Bilanggong Pulitikal (Different Forms of Torture. Tribute to the Political Prisoner), 1975. Castillo strips political prisoners naked and relocates them in their own calvary. Tied to wooden posts and evoking the ritual of slow death in the different permutations of persecution. In his other works, a winged figure bears witness to the life in the fields and hovels, the revolution, and even the aftermath of strife. ”

-According to the art historian, Patrick Flores on Orlando Castillo

“How do my works reflect my vision/view of reality? I am a realist and a feminist. I take a hard look at the world and find many things lopsided. I’m also a romantic and a dreamer but the mess around—deteriorated national life, flagrant inhumanity and environmental degradation, social injustice, hunger, suffering and oppression have changed my gentle view into anger and belligerence. Society is a letdown and something must be done about it. I take a confrontational position towards the world.”

-Julie Lluch

 

 

 

 

 

Collateral Activity   

ART TALK

Practices in the Preservation and Conservation of Artworks

by

Mr. Peter John Natividad Art Conservator and Art Collections Management Consultant

on

October 24, 2014, 1:30-3:00P.M.
2nd Floor Yuchengco Hall
The Museum at De La Salle University
2401 Taft Avenue, Manila

 

This lecture is in conjunction with the celebration of Arts Month and a collateral activity of the Museum’s ongoing exhibition entitled VISUAL ALLEGORY: Exploring meanings beneath the surface through various media.

Mr. Natividad will talk on the practices that can be applied to preserve and conserve works of art.  Basic techniques will be discussed and case studies will be presented in the lecture.
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Peter John Natividad is the Art Collections Management Consultant of Lopez Memorial Museum and Library and the former Art Collections Manager and Registrar of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.

His recent project is the Iglesia Ni Cristo Centennial Museum where he is also the Art Collections Management Consultant.

He studied at the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property in Lucknow, India. He finished his undergraduate course at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts.