‘Retrospective’: Art Fair Philippines mounts special exhibit for local artists under collector grant

February 16, 2024 - 3:32 PM
Composite photo of artworks by three Karen H. Montinola (KHM) Selection recipients, namely, Mike Adrao, Gean Brix Garcia, and Carlo Villafuerte (Interaksyon/Catalina Ricci Madarang)

This year’s Art Fair Philippines celebrates a decade of local artistry under the prestigious Karen H. Montinola (KHM) Selection.

Art Fair Philippines 2024 runs from February 16 to 18 at the Link Carpark in Makati City.

The KHM Selection, meanwhile, is a grant offered to artists by the Montinola Family in honor of an esteemed art aficionado and collector named Karen Hernandez Montinola. Montinola died in 2012.

Since 2014, Art Fair Philippines has been hosting exhibits by local artists who were awarded these grants.

“It was created by the Montinola family in memory of Karen H. Montinola and her support for up-and-coming young artists,” the exhibit’s profile reads on the website.

To celebrate the initiative’s 10th anniversary, Art Fair Philippines features a “special retrospective exhibit” that showcases the current and past art projects of all KHM Selection recipients, including this year’s grantee.

Curated by Norman Crisologo, the art galleries comprised paintings and other art installations in a variety of themes, materials, imagery, and concepts.

The local artists behind the premier collection were:

  • Pio Abad (2014)
  • Mike Adrao (2015)
  • Mac Valdezco (2016)
  • Mark Valenzuela (2017)
  • Alvin Zafra (2018)
  • Liv Vinluan (2019)
  • Carlo Villafuerte (2021)
  • Melvin Guirhem (2022)
  • Faye Abantao (2023)

Here are pictures of some of the installations.

Mark Adrao (Interaksyon/Catalina Ricci Madarang)
Carlo Villafuerte (Interaksyon/Catalina Ricci Madarang)
Mark Valenzuela (Interaksyon/Catalina Ricci Madarang)

This year’s recipient, Gean Brix Garcia, has a solo showcase at the art fair called “Ceremonials.”

According to the Curatorial Notes of his exhibit, it was stated that it “presents a selection of social gatherings, from the lofty to the quotidian. Its massive scale pulls its audience in to become part of the odd assembly.”

“Garcia’s works call for its viewer to spend time and stay a while in these imagined worlds. The longer one stays, the more stories are revealed until it expands infinitely outside the frame. If one starts to feel a sense of familiarity, as if one recognizes these characters from real life, it may be Garcia’s crafty way of delivering his commentary on contemporary social dynamics that are at times difficult to talk about,” the notes read.

Garcia earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree majoring in painting at the Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology.

He mounted his first exhibit, “Alchemy,” at the Kaida Contemporary in 2023.

Gean Brix Garcia (Interaksyon/Catalina Ricci Madarang)

The KHM Selection area at the art fair was also promoted on Facebook and Instagram. These pieces are located on the 7th floor of the Link.

A regular art fair ticket costs P750 and is only valid for one day.

Ticket holders have access to:

  • Four floors of numerous art exhibits and booths
  • Exclusive talks from experts
  • Daily tours

Tickets can be purchased online or onsite.

Those who are interested to visit the Art Fair can find more details about the three-day fair on its official website: https://artfairphilippines.com/afp2024/.

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