I was asked to write about 2014 art– what an honor! But then the assignment started a lengthy discussion in my head about what constitutes “art,” which was pondered while tiptoeing around the word “best,” “important,” and other qualifiers.

I settled on an arbitrary definition: art-things. Not necessarily exhibited works, not necessarily anything. Just a list of things that changed the way I thought about what was beautiful and true (naks), and how I saw things in general.

Also, I didn’t go out much this year, so I didn’t see everything. And some of these people are friends, so I can’t help but play favorites. But still. Ang galing niyo lahat. F*ckers.


Via lopezseum.blogspot.com
Opening the list with this exhibition at the Lopez Museum is me whispering a safe word before we go into the nitty-gritty. We look to the past, skewed towards a discussion of Philippine Art (see what I did there?) Then the brilliant ladies of Planting Rice start singing: “What is art? (Baby dont hurt me!)” through a reorganization of the Lopez Museum’s permanent collection, integrating materials collated from the “unsung treasure trove that is the [Lopez] Library.”



Via Sweet Ecstasy's facebook
Talk about beautiful and true– this slice of heaven can now be had in Makati. I love you, SweetXDouble. You are a true work of art. I will collect you. In my belly.




Pong on Earth by Louie Cordero | photo by Carina Santos

If I had one peso for every time I submitted an article late, and two pesos for every time an editor cuts up a run-on sentence, I probably would have been able to afford one of Louie Cordero’s bizarro ping-pong tables. I’d put it in the rec-room of my tastefully decorated mansion. I’d spontaneously throw bizarro ping-pong tournaments. I’d probably commission a miniature replica so I can have it by my bedside while I sleep. Huhuhu. But no money no honey.



Mona Lisa Project | photo by Carina Santos

Hi boys. This is Soler Santos showing us all how to do it. The Mona Lisa Project is an elaborate love letter (to his wife, Mona) that incidentally serves as a snapshot of Philippine contemporary art. It’s currently up at the Solaire Resort & Casino.

(A Soler exhibit at the Solaire {sorry, di ko natiis.}.)


Voice-of-a-generation Rob Cham and Voice-of-an-older-generation Apol Sta. Maria (pis tayo bro) started something that needs to be EXPERIENCED: a transformation of the very personal experience of reading a comic into some #netizenapproved hybrid of stand-up comedy, poetry reading, and performance art. Two thumbs up.

PLUS! A discovery from this new world of Reading Komiks is the Joanne Casario & Michelle Bacabac writer-illustrator tandem. Their latest work, Footnotes to Misplaced Items, is beautiful. And a lot wiser than its creators’ combined years.


Via wildernessph.bandcamp.com
These guys have always been the punk Pinikpikan— a “9-member psychedelic demolition crew.” The surprise here is that, their single Pasaway is soooooo punk, that it crosses the extreme threshold of punk into the negative un-punk. Instead of twee however, Wilderness dials up the Dr. Francisco Santiago to 11. Kundiman not dead.




Faulty Landscape by Nilo ilarde | photo by Carina Santos

There are few times you see other artists shaking their heads at a peer’s work: in disbelief, in OMG. You see people reevaluating what they do and how they think about what they do and what others do. You know that the work is the beginning of an oscillation— someone does something that makes others do something that makes others do something ad infinitum. Tapos nganga ka nalang.


Via loveradio.com.ph


Love Radio’s Shwelve achieves what I project to be the ultimate goal of art-things— unexpected assimilation, the absurd becoming part of the vernacular. Shwelve is annoyingly brilliant in its simplicity. In honor of whoever you are that gave this to the world (if you’re out there, thank you…), I will end this list by typing the word Shwelve again and again, shwelve times in succession. Happy new year everybody. Here’s to more art-things in 2015.

Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve. Shwelve.

8List Editor

Related Posts