Manila Art is a gathering of the best galleries of the Philippines. Here they get to display works for the local and international art market. I went last weekend and picked out my top ten. 

When looking at art, I am struck by works that have an "idea". The advertiser in me is constantly looking for innovative ways of thinking and not just things that are aesthetically pleasing. I find that I also gravitate towards works that exhibit an inherent Filipinoness. Some may argue that in art, the painter is dead (and therefore has no home country). But living in a global village, makes me more nostalgic of home and lonesome for art that shows that.

 Here are my picks from Manila's Art 2010. 
(No ranking)

1. When I Grow Up (KKKlassroom) by Juanito Torres 

There is so much energy in this painting. It makes me think of our revolutionary heroes and what they were like during their grade school days. 

2. Abaniko by Joven Ignacio 

Layering four Philippine pinya fans on top of each other 
gives an old world item, a modern look.

3. Lightbox photography by MM Yu

The artist placed similar images together creating a wall of wall signs.
You can look at this work as a whole or pick out each photograph. 

(I have to ask the artist what the exact title is.) 


 4. Anak ng Tupa by Guerrero Habulan 

It's a painting of a middle-aged woman breast feeding an overly eager baby. 
She's in limbo surrounded by symbolic objects. 
There is so much to derive from this work that you can't help but look at it again and again. 

5. Graffiti Art by various artists 

As part of the opening ceremonies, this wall was painted on the spot.
I don't particularly like how it looks but the idea of immediate collaboration is very organic and Pinoy.  

6. Terra Cotta Sculpture by Roberto Acosta  

I'm not sure why this strikes me as very Filipino. 
Maybe it's the earthiness of the medium and the warmth of the facial expression. 

7. Leo Velasco 

A mixed media painting. When you look at a piece of art, a lot of the times you try to figure out what the artist is trying to say. Here, he spells it out. Literally. 

8. Isang Araw sa Binondo by Jim Orencio 

A scene from old Binondo. This feels like a memory: choppy, chaotic, faded but still lovely. 

9. Pipol Pawis by Jerson Samson 

This is a painting with an idea. You think you're seeing a trillion dots.

But no, they're people!  Alavet. 

10. Promenade in Old Manila by Dominic Rubio 

I saw the artist's work last year and instantly, I was drawn to it.
Time has only made it more endearing. I think this is love.