A show of creative prowess: “Figment Beyond Pigments” by Vice Versa Artists

by Noel Sales Barcelona

QUEZON CITY – Artists belonging to Vice Versa Artist Group have put together their creative prowess into Figment Beyond Pigments, a show that opened last June 16 at the Robinsons Galleria ARTablado open gallery.

Joseph Albao, Vicson Apostol, Gab Villalobos, MJ Palma, Carlos Alferez Castro, Dhennis Sigua, William Abao, Jonathan Jalac, Medardo Olaco, Bernard Oronos Jr., Anthony Esqueta, Ada Panopio, Tannie Enad, Cheyzer Manalo, Alexandra Marie Monserrat, Vince Martin Macatangay, Anna Lumpas, and Edward De Castro were part of the show. They showcased several works — from paintings to lamp sculptures — presenting the creatively diverse group. Their works are products, of course, of hard work and perseverance in their studios or workshops.

But the exhibit is more than a showcase of artistic talent; it is actually a show of positive vibe and a message of hope, especially amidst a storm called the Covid-19 pandemic.

Images of Hope, Abundance, and Love

Beyond imagination, the images pay homage to the experiences and understanding of the artist as human beings existing in a specific social and cultural milieu. As beings of creativity, the artists have been able to translate into visuals the things they have felt, thought of, and wished to come into being.

Biyaya sa Takipsilim by Gab Villalobos | Photo by Noel Barcelona
Fate by MJ Palma | Photo by Noel Barcelona

The koi paintings of MJ Palma; the image of fisherfolks hauling their midnight catch of Gab Villalobos; the beautiful painting of an Arowana, or dragon fish, of Ada Panopio; and Pagsusumikap (Perseverance) of Dhennis Sigua (who is an architect also by profession), to name a few, are harbingers of abundance and prosperity. Cheyzer Manalo’s Tanging Yaman (Only Wealth) reminds the audience to love, protect, and preserve Mother Nature. Finally, Anna Lumpas’s Emergence brings the mystery and the calmness of Mother Sea.

One of the interesting pieces in the show was Olaco’s Happy Memories Life, which reminds us to think of happy things and memories and not wallow in sorrow and despair. Moreover, another rising star, the young painter Vince Macatangay, has prolifically captured in his Living Hope the spirit of not giving up and putting faith in the power of the Divine Providence.

Another set of noteworthy works is from Alexandra Monserrat. Titled as Bughaw (Blue), Kahel (Orange), and Dilaw (Yellow), this young artist from Antipolo City has effectively captured the emotions and the state of mind of her subjects. Also, another beautiful set of works is from Carlos Alferez Castro, the most senior among the group, still painting at 73.

The Beauty of the Village by Vicson Apostol | Photo by Noel Barcelona

Vicson Apostol’s mini towns remind us of the beauty and idyllic life in the countryside, while Jonathan Jalac’s works are about nature, family, dreams, and hopes. The same goes with the works of Bernard Oronos Jr.

The paintings of William Abao, Tannie Enad, Anthony Esqueta, and Edward De Castro are also noteworthy and warrant a new interpretation.

The Pigments of the Filipino Soul

The Vice Versa Artists | Photo by Noel Barcelona

The exhibit is aptly titled Figment Beyond Pigments, for they showed the creativity and craftsmanship of the creators of each work and captured the spirit of the Filipino. Each work presented in the show tends to represent the creator’s worldview as a part of Filipino society. Even the aesthetic process that the artist employed in creating these pieces. Most artists have the positive message of hope, love, abundance, and even perseverance, hard work, patience, and faith. All of these are actually part of the Filipino soul.

Figment Beyond Pigment will run until June 30.

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