The Artist Space of the Ayala Museum presents “The Godmakers,” the recent anthology of works of JCrisanto Martinez. With a set of highly detailed sculptures, Martinez reveals the grim face of human worship as he shows us the archetypes of “God” as conceived by man. Martinez exhibits an iconography all presented in an emblematic comportment, though despite its certainty of form, is evidently anthropomorphic. The figures are also enthroned in separate niches/kingdoms, and what binds them together are their crowned heads. At some perspective the figures in the sculptures appear to be mythological.  

One major standpoint of these recent artworks is the concept of demigods; human by flesh, treated and given the attributes of a god. The demigod, as inevitably prone to the clasps of human worship and divination, is often dignified beyond mortal means. “We crown them, we worship them, we listen intently when they speak and we play servants to their beck and call,” the artist explains.  With the church’s universal central dogma on the foreground that concentrates on preaching the evasion from carnal transgressions; these flesh-based iniquities which ironically are those that we paradoxically consider (or presume to consider) as what make us human. Contradictory then is the fact that there constantly and consistently parade in our midst the “deities” we covertly idolize the most. It indeed emphasizes the matter-of-fact that we worship the gods we crafted and pay them reverence because of our own personal clandestine desires and urges.

By practice a multitude of the human race pays worship for images of those who they engage in prayers and acts of devotion. There is a representation of someone revered for chivalry, for the true, the good and the beautiful, and the like. Why is there not a representation of a persona which in reality and beyond hypocrisy people really patronize the most in their everyday grind?  Perhaps an image that man idolizes and worship for his carnal cravings? Such raison d’être then becomes the pivotal declaration in Martinez’s artworks. These eidolons correspond to the ‘ramp models’ of society, the social chimeras that we adore much and exalt to a degree that is even beyond gods. We want them. We want to be them. These are the man-manufactured Gods complete with fake crowns and apocryphal kingdoms in which they habituate and rule. These faith-induced monsters, who suck everything that we are or what we own, like black, fat leeches with gilded crowns on their cranium, draining blood, dreams, and even freedom itself.

But then again, we are not in the position to blame because they did not create themselves. They did not install those golden tiaras on their heads. They never called themselves God.   

Oh but we did. And continue to do so.




The Godmakers opens on 05 May 2010 and shall run until 17 May 2010 at the Artist Space of the Ayala Museum located at Makati Avenue corner Dela Rosa St., Greenbelt Park, Makati City 1224 Philippines. For inquiries please contact (632) 757.71.17 – 21 or visit the website





JCrisanto Martinez, “Face of a Saint, Hands of a Sinner,” Mixed Media on Old Wood / Relief Sculpture, 2010



Dave Lock and JCrisanto Martinez, “Of Gods and Godmakers”

13:52 GAWA DOS



Ongoing from July 3 to 30, 2009 is “13:52 GAWA DOS,” the GSIS Museo ng Sining Lower Gallery art exhibition for the month of July. “13:52 Gawa Dos” looks at the state of Contemporary Philippine Art from the country’s largest metropolitan centers – Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. The exhibition, which tackles the diversity-similarity of aesthetics and art making in both regions as they affect and effect in the making of Philippine Art today, presents the works of the Cebu City artists Bambie Beltran, Gary Carabio, Sio Montera, Palmy Pe-Tudtud, and Javy Villacin; and Manila artists Aaron Bautista, Joey Cobcobo, Jes Evangelista, Josef Laureano, Amanda Legasto, Derrrick Macutay, JCrisanto Martinez, and Marga Rodriguez.


The pluralism that characterizes Filipino aesthetics is a consequence of its lengthy and extensive period of cultural history. Philippine art is a result of the country’s cross cultures from its colonial past. A number of cultures permeated into the nation across the centuries ranging from polytheism to the current demands of virtual reality.


The centralization of resources to city centers gave rise to metropolitan cities. Over and misdirected development churned out variant nightmarish residues in the form of pollution, end user trash, and traffic jams – the milieu of many artist’s perfumed aspirations or incensed pragmatism. Supermegamalls, CATV, and the World Wide Web obliterated borders of culture. Themes arise to interweave common fibers of our culture as a result of divergence of topography and orientation. Visual artists position their proverbial subject matters in their historical milieu. Thus, cultural identity became the quest for which the precedent is used to enlighten the current.


Such background is necessary to confront the status of the diversity-similarity of aesthetics and art making in both regions as they affect and effect in the making of Philippine Art today. Cebu City and the City of Manila are similar to each other in one perspective – and yet so diverse from each other in another. And this diversity-similarity has further nourished the country’s cultural uniqueness. Their visual arts are molded by features that also effect the nation. Religious conviction, political beliefs, geographic backdrop as a reflection of multicultural traditions, and the Occidental interference which has left an ineffaceable blot in the consciousness of the Filipinos are the most common of these.


Artworks reflect split visuals of Philippine culture and technology. The schism of Christian faith and pantheistic folk mysticism, the socio-political-economic anxiety of the people, and the traditional, vernacular, ethnic cultures as opposed to contemporary modernistic inclinations are mirrored in the artworks from the provinces just like in Manila.


What becomes unmistakable in 13:52 Gawa Dos is that the artists struggle to conceive expressions that stem from a rekindling of ancestry and heritage, distinguishing an aesthetic distinctive to one’s culture, or locality. The oeuvres projected global concerns such as the desecration of the environment, women and gender biases, the unending twofold tension amidst the rulers and the ruled, the influential and the impotent, sanctified and unconsecrated, calm and uproar, war and peace, etc., captured the imagination of the artists who reacted with artworks and concomitant aesthetic norms.


As a collective exhibition, 13:52 Gawa Dos impacts a visual conscious collective aspiration, a voyage of ascertaining the artists’ selves, not only the likeness they share, not only a tyrannical colonial experience under different imperialist supremacies, but also certain cultural, ethnic, spiritual, aesthetic and verbal communication patterns, parallel to the immediacy of themes, sources and inspiration found in Philippine life and culture, as they truly nurture and sustain artmaking in the present times.


Presented in the exhibition are the expressions of the Cebu City countryside in the works of Gary Carabio and the homage to his native Angono in the oils of Aaron Bautista; woman in womanhood as evoked by flora in Marga Rodriguez’s flower-portraiture, the erogenous transcriptions of experiences as accounted by a woman’s legs in the canvases of Bambie Beltran, magnanimity in the portraiture of Amanda Legasto, and woman substantiated by form and issues in the paintings of Palmy Pe-Tudtud; the portrayal of tempered emotions in freeform in the mixed media of Sio Montera and the bold gestural brushstrokes of the internal orations in the abstractions of Josef Laureano; man engulfed by technology and digested by man himself in the figures of Derrick Macutay; the visual oratory of personal faith and the hope for salvation in the woodcut monoprints of Joey Cobcobo side by side with art meets science meets philosophy in the dreamscapes of Javy Villacin; the collective images rendered in layered shapes from flat to textured media in the paintings of Jes Evangelista; and, the personal/interpersonal critique in the acrylic washes on burlap of JCrisanto Martinez.


13:52 Gawa Dos thereby testifies that despite and perhaps because of economic need, the Filipino artist persists to tread on the artistic passageway, motivated as much by pure fortitude as by aptitude, articulating home-grown art refined by society’s various influences. Unrestricted creativity as an artistic perquisite is brought beyond the confines of Western prototype/archetype of what is noteworthy and what is not. Like their fellow Filipino visual artists, the Cebu and Manila artists in 13:52 Gawa Dos scrutinized the interior (covert) self as they discard the trimmings of the exterior self covered with Western formulations and other pretensions.


The 13:52 GAWA DOS exhibit opening and reception with the artists is scheduled on July 3, 2009, Friday at 6:00 pm and shall run until July 30, 2009. The GSIS Museo ng Sining Lower Gallery is located at the GSIS Building, Financial Center, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1308 Philippines. For inquiries please call Ms. Leslie Fangonil at (632) 479.35.88 or Mr. Joey Martinez at (+63) 922.331.41.08.





Ricco Renzo Galleries puts on view a three-person exhibit entitled “EKZENA” which opens on May 22, 2009. Revolving around the perception of “scenes,” the mind-set of Zen and the concepts of lyrical abstraction, the title has inference to a philosophy where art is presented in a style that combines maximum of technique and a minimum of planning and deliberation. However, the abstractions presented are not the haphazard approach for art’s sake, but of the manner by which the artwork impacts on the viewer.


Scenes are very much a part of everything that is art.  A scene can be a subject or the content the artist will portray but it can also be the place and venue where an event takes place.  To create and make a scene implies action and movement.  This action of a scene is the very essence of the phenomenon of a happening.  The occurrence of an art happening alludes to an improvised spontaneous art activity or exhibit where the eyes of an audience are treated to art that is free and unpredictable.  Spontaneous abstract art can not be planned and predetermined.  Pure and clean abstraction excites visual perception.  Looking at an abstract painting oftentimes creates individualistic episodes depending on how the viewer views it.  Abstraction is open to varied opinion and interpretations.  It combines free will, intellect, intuition and instinct. 


EKZENA, an abstract art exhibition by the triumvirate of artists namely JCrisanto Martinez, Sio Montera and Javy Villacin suggest all of the things and incidents mentioned above.  Each artist presents a personal series of works that tackle chosen themes like time, space, the journey of life, death, wisdom, and the paradoxes of our human condition.


JCrisanto Martinez’s oeuvres reflect on “time” as a sinuous medium to be maneuvered similarly as paint. His washes of acrylics on burlap delve into the continuum of time. By layering images, Martinez incorporates undertones and meanings that summon a response by the viewer. At one end of the premise of his series’ working concept is to defy the notion of art as perceive merely by sight. Intuition – which is the state of knowing something instinctively, or the immediate knowledge of something – as a word and a process came as a challenge to the artist in developing this series.


Sio Montera’s mixed media explore on “free form.” These impasto art pieces bring him to the state of mind where the cerebral authority rules over “art;” an awakening of the artist’s subliminal self. As the outcomes are unpredictable, the artist is conscious all throughout in what he is doing, while freeing himself at the same time from representations that limit visual perception.


The large canvasses of Javy Villacin continue and deepen his foray into the dream world. The aggregate of works aptly about “shambala” which is a “higher level of consciousness and spirituality,” Villacin reinforces his fascination with this dream world that straddles many states of consciousness by focusing more on the emotional atmosphere and visual resonance. But the basic elements of a Villacin artwork are the usual pencil backgrounds that rejoice the reticence, the daring even, in some cases, the mayhem of drawing.


The three artists are highly individual players who have all made a niche in the arena of abstraction.  Though a happening is a scene or an ekzena in the confines of a gallery it very much includes the creation of an overall feeling of a contained atmosphere in a walled environment.  Abstractions can be a trip to an altered state and an environment in an alternate dimension.  As products of potent minds, abstract art embraces all and everything the heart and mind can originally conceived and at the same time alienates impossibilities.


EKZENA will be on view at Ricco Renzo Galleries starting May 22, 2009 at 7pm with an opening cocktail. The exhibit runs until June 11, 2009. The Ricco Renzo Galleries is located at the LRI Design Plaza, 210 Nicanor Garcia St., Bel-Air II, Makati City, Philippines. For inquiry please call 898-2545 or 0927-386-1460, email or visit [ARTEPINAS / JCrisanto Martinez / Ritchie Landis Doner Quijano]






Third Solo Exhibition

Avellana Art Gallery’s showcase of the third solo exhibit of the works of Joey Vendiola Cobcobo opens on May 6, 2009. Resonant of his previous solo exhibit, Cobcobo continues to walk people through a process of transfer, transformation, and choice. In “Seven Heads And Ten Horns,” Cobcobo fuses the apocalyptic and the autobiographical to present his current theme of “art” and “spirit” or “soul” in a multi-disciplinal figurative expressionist perspective.


Joey Cobcobo is a multi-awarded artist working on painting, printmaking and woodcarving. He combines these disciplines in assemblages and installations. Cobcobo’s ethnicity (he is an Igorot who has lived and studied in Mandaluyong City since his early youth) has its influence in the endemic and actuated tensions apparent in his work. His art combines contemporary and transmedia approaches to traditional art practices, revealing an introspective interest in the critique and construct of a moral/ethical re-imaging of what is endemic and prevalent in social and cultural practices.


“Seven Heads And Ten Horns,” shall be on view at the Avellana Art Gallery from May 6 until May 31, 2009. The Avellana Art Gallery is located at House A-19, 2680 F. B. Harrison St., Pasay City, Philippines. For more information and queries about the exhibit and the gallery, you can contact the landline number at (632) 833.83.57, or email at



“Arteries and Excavation”

Recent Sculptures in stone, glass and metal


Mervy Pueblo & Noell EL Farol

February 5, Thursday, 6 pm.

Art Informal, 277 Connecticut Street, Greenhills East, Mandaluyong City

Telephone  725.8518

EL Farol exhibits his new cast glass and constructed steel “assemblies” as concurrences of Archaeology and Sculpture. His “Excavation” pieces reconstruct the recovery of diagnostic artefacts as metaphor of Archaeology.

Mervy Pueblo explores the potentials of natural and modified stone in her search for universality and purity in the sculptural form.

Pueblo and El Farol represented the Philippines in the International Sculpture Symposium held in Russia last October 2008.

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