Alternating Atmosphere • Eugene Jarque, Mac Valdezco, Joey Cobcobo, Mark Andy Garcia, Dex Fernandez, Lynyrd Paras, Doktor Karayom

Mar 11 to Apr 30, 2021 • Tall Gallery

To alternate is to take turns. In our current pluralistic environment, we have developed a conditioning that we can have manageable expectations, but at the same, accept that there is a great deal of uncertainty in living the art(ist) life. This exhibition brings together alumni from the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), who were also recipients of the coveted Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Awards, to map out testaments to the possibility of sustained creative growth while being supportive to your peers. An apt timing as the CCP recently closed the call for nominations for the triennial awards, these seven contemporary artists remind us of the diversity of the types of art and artists the university in dense Manila has been consistently producing. When Roberto Chabet wrote the curatorial guide for the awards, it was emphasized that the awardees should be “a new generation of artists that promise to dominate Philippine art,” who “constantly restructure, restrengthen and renew artmaking and art thinking.”

taas | baba
In a 2020 news feature titled “The T.U.P. Artist has finally arrived”, struggle in art life was central to the candid interview, revealing a lot about the group’s value systems. Most, if not all, artists here come from working-class families and had to grapple with economic limitations to live and produce art. The comfort and liberty they now experience are products of rising above obstacles as they were able to transform these hardships into fuel in artistic conceptualization and creation. This exhibition then does not aim to manifest a specific statement. But it is a display, a demonstration, of camaraderie that is fostered through time and has embedded amongst them mutual respect.

liwanag | dilim
When asked how TUP shaped the exhibiting artists’ competitive nature and unconventional practices, they all pointed at Eugene Jarque, who was a former teacher to most of them. They attest to the inspiration and influence that was dynamic through its openness, honesty, and challenging yet nurturing manner. Of course, the existence of art competitions that was crucial to their production because of the prizes and eventual validations in the artworld was also acknowledged. Inevitably, Jarque attributes this encouraging and alternative thinking to Lirio Salvador, the TUP alumnus who was instrumental in lifting the university into the art spotlight. Salvador brought the experimental ethos that was appreciated and embraced by many, especially by the artists in this group. The medley of styles and approaches displayed is proof of this radical spirit.

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Jarque’s and Valdezco’s persistent experimentation with materials, Cobcobo’s methods of marking, Paras’s and Garcia’s evaluation of identity and the self, Fernandez’s and Trinidad’s fictional worlds – these concerns and modes of making are all by-products of self-development forged in fire that is constant in the midst of the realities in life. Awards and recognitions are but part of the chains of validation in the ecosystem of art. They may inspire or stimulate artists to do better and be better. Ultimately though, it is the sense of belonging, and to be able to cultivate one’s creative life to take part and impart in this milieu is central. (Con Cabrera)

Artworks from the Show

Anghang

Anghang, Joey Cobcobo, 2021, oil on canvas, 48×36 in

Ye cannot serve two masters

Ye cannot serve two masters, Joey Cobcobo, 2021, oil on canvas, 72×72 in

Walking by two

Walking by two, Joey Cobcobo, 2021, watercolor on paper, 20×26 in

Rekweba

Rekweba, Joey Cobcobo, 2021, woodcut on handmade paper, 32×22 in

736.202902

736.202902, Dex Fernandez, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 60×96 in

Fetish

Fetish, Dex Fernandez, 2020, acrylic, thread, ink, acetate on archival print, 25×31¾ in

Grow Up a Bit 1

Grow Up a Bit 1, Mark Andy Garcia, 2021, oil on canvas, 47×47 in

Grow Up a Bit 2

Grow Up a Bit 2, Mark Andy Garcia, 2021, oil on canvas, 47×47 in

Self Portrait

Self Portrait, Mark Andy Garcia, 2021, watercolor on paper, 22½×30 in

Far and Wide

Far and Wide, Mark Andy Garcia, 2021, watercolor on paper, 30×22½ in

Four Corners 1

Four Corners 1, Eugene Jarque, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 48×44 in

Four Corners 2

Four Corners 2, Eugene Jarque, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 48×44 in

Steady

Steady, Eugene Jarque, 2020, acrylic and cardboard on wood, 25×19½×1¼ in

Slice

Slice, Eugene Jarque, 2020, acrylic and cardboard on wood, 9×16¾×1¼ in

Saglit Kung Pumikit

Saglit Kung Pumikit, Doktor Karayom, 2020, acrylic paint, thread on canvas, 48×82½ in

R.E.M

R.E.M, Doktor Karayom, 2020, acrylic paint, thread on canvas, 56×30 in

Tulog Mantika

Tulog Mantika, Doktor Karayom, 2020, ink and watercolor on paper, 12×18 in

Gago 2Hrs Lang Tulog Ko

Gago 2Hrs Lang Tulog Ko, Doktor Karayom, 2020, ink and watercolor on paper, 12×18 in

Calm

Calm, Lynyrd Paras, 2021, oil on canvas, 54¼×42¼ in

Mask

Mask, Lynyrd Paras, 2021, mixed media, 33¾×26¾ in

Guhit Bilog

Guhit Bilog, Lynyrd Paras, 2021, mixed media, 20×16 in

Ako Ano Lang Ako Dito

Ako Ano Lang Ako Dito, Lynyrd Paras, 2021, mixed media, 16×12 in

Tumutubong Gulugod

Tumutubong Gulugod, Mac Valdezco, 2021, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 36×36 in

Balahibong Tinik

Balahibong Tinik, Mac Valdezco, 2021, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 36×36 in

Hollow Eyed Blue

Hollow Eyed Blue, Mac Valdezco, 2021, PLA plastic, 47×39×18 cm

Two Tone #1

Two Tone #1, Mac Valdezco, 2021, bag handles, size variable