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Reposo mural adds color to thriving art colony

By Joscephine Gomez
First Posted 02:22:00 06/25/2006

Filed Under: Culture (general), Arts (general), Monuments & Heritage Sites

Published on page A20 of the June 25, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE new mural along Nicanor Garcia St. (formerly Reposo) in Makati is an apt addition to the area, which wants to be known as the city?s art center.

A project of Grupo Reposo, an artists? association headed by Ed Soler based at the LRI Business Plaza on Reposo Street, the recently-unveiled mural showcases the individual expressions of 17 Filipino artists, both the established and the promising. The artists are Gig de Pio, Hermes Alegre, Egay Fernandez, Gino Tioseco, Tony Nunez, Camille dela Rosa, Poch Naval, Joey Ibay, Michelle Herbert, Jerry Ingco, Pancho Piano, Elmer Torio, Monn Taneza, Egay Roxas, Aileen Lanuza, Vincent de Pio and Bogie Ruiz.

The mural is unique in that it is not just one painting but a showcase of 17 complete compositions.

Paintings with themes of social realism dominate the whole ?canvas.?

Emotional outlet

Ruiz, winner of the 2003 Araw ng Maynila Award and two-time Illustration of the Year awardee in Singapore, said, ?I readily accepted Ed Soler?s invitation to paint as it gave me the opportunity to express how I felt about the emotional distance between my father and I. It was like he was missing when, in fact, he was really there all the time.?

Quite interestingly, his father worked with the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. for 35 years. The mural is in front of the PLDT building on Reposo Street so Ruiz felt it was only appropriate to put his father?s face on the wall.

?Missing,? the title of Ruiz?s painting, is also about people who are made to disappear by people who are drunk with power.

Ambivalent feelings

In ?Duality of One,? Fernandez used the sun to express ambivalence: the longing to give and the existence of selfish desires at the same time.

?Sunlight is beneficial while at the same time damaging, ? he said.

Of these individual expressions, ?Three cellists? by Vincent de Pio and the painting beside it, ?Dalawang Mariang Clara? by Aileen Lanuza, easily catch one?s attention.

The former, an impressionist painting, is done in black and white while the latter, a mix of impressionism and expressionism, is in color.

Women now and then

Done by two of the country?s most promising young artists, the paintings reflect the sharp contrast between Filipino women then and now.

?I wanted to express the traditional concept of the Filipina beauty?with morena (brown-skinned) complexion ?which in these days of skin whitening, has long been forgotten and made to appear inferior to white skin,? said Lanuza, the youngest in the group. The artist has a Fine Arts degree (cum laude), major in Visual Communication, from the University of the Philippines.

Vincent de Pio, son of portrait artist, Gig de Pio, on the other hand, said, ?I wanted my work to convey that music is part of Philippine life and our women in the performing arts are at par with their foreign counterparts.?

The painter, whose works were a hit at a recent exhibition in Singapore, admitted that the consciousness evoked in his impressionist works reflect values he grew up with, such as maintaining excellence in everything he does, as in ?Three cellists.?

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