contrary to my caveman attributes, i do appreciate some of the finer aspects of life. despite the fact that my art critique vocabulary is limited to "a-ha!", "uhhh", "huh?" i am sure i can muster more than those three, deeply meaningful gems of wisdom.
armed with my witty remarks, cat and i planned to visit the amorsolo collection, a tribute to the life's work of Fernando Amorsolo spread over seven museums all over metro manila. (click on read.more)
considering that we only have half a day, we figured we can only fit in three and made a choice to start in manila city for BayANInanding: The Motherland And The Harvest of Maestro Amorsolo (Metropolitan Museum, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), head off to adjacent pasay city for Saliw: Rituals in Amorsolo's Art (GSIS Museum of Art, GSIS Building Financial Center) where we also got to see the infamous Parisian Life of Juan Luna that was the subject of a controversy over the purchase worth Php 45M by GSSIS President, Winston Garcia. Last stop for us was at the Ayala Museum where we walked through Amorsolo's Women, Concealed and Revealed.
in contrast with the Metropolitan gallery, the GSIS presentation is shoddy with poor lighting that did nothing for the artwork. the Metropolitan collection is much better and the curator did a clever job of arranging pieces that are related to each other.
apparently, amorsolo eventually went into reproducing themes (aka commercialism) of harvest and nature as "post cards" for the american patrons. it was a strange feeling of déjà vu every time we get to a painting and tried to remember where we've seen the same scene. for some reason, the art work of 40's leading to the 50's seem washed out and not as detailed as his earlier works. at one point in his life he was turning 50% of the commissioned work. postcard amorsolo.
Ayala Museum had the best collection for that day as majority of the work are commissioned by patrons of the artist and moneyed members of post world war two society. unfortunately, the fact that the work are commissioned by society belles suggest that amorsolo did more than just painted the visage of his subjects. liberal amount of body sculpting, skin tightening and downright paint surgery created lovely visions of regal women. truly, amorsolo is an impressionist.
cat and i still have the other four listed in our itinerary. interestingly, the remaining collections are more diverse in theme covering amorsolo's art in storytelling, his drawing studies, war themes and the tsinoy portait collection.
there was nothing that surprised me in the amorsolo collection as i have seen samples of the same theme and art in previous visits. on the other hand, my interest is piqued by the unusual themes of the other collections. perhaps another day when the cat and the bear prowl the alleys of museums for another look. hmmm.
Juan Luna's Parisian Life had its own room surrounded by articles written about the controversy surrounding its purchase. For such an "expensive" piece of art, there were no guards to be seen.
Visit the Amorsolo Website for more details and schedule of exhibits. Except for the ticket, all pictures are downloaded from the web. The museums have a strict NO-PEKTYUR and BIDYU policy. I swear, that's the filipino translation posted in Metropolitan Museum.
Disclaimer: I never claimed to be an art expert :)