PINTO ART: Filipino Contemporary art opens in new york and to the world

Thursday June 1, 2017

Urban Zen, the sanctuary of Donna Karan in Greenwich Village, Manhattan became the fitting venue last May 22nd to showcase Pinto Manila’s maiden opening to showcase Philippine contemporary artists to the world. In his welcome speech, Dr. Joven R. Cuanang, Founder of the Pintô Art Museum, chose no less than New York, being the melting pot of cultures, as the gateway to present the artists and their works. It was very well attended with a powerhouse of cats led by David and Susan Rockefeller and Josie Natori as Honorary Chairs. The Benefit Committee included Donna Karan, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Mercedes Zobel, Daniel Romualdez, Phyllis Hattis Rubin, Joanne de Asis, Renée Price, Rafe Totengco, Edwin R. Josue, Jerry Sibal, among others.

The initial hours of by invitation only private viewing audience were welcomed with an overflow of champagnes and wines matched with canapés and fine hors d’oeurves as they savor the works by Mark Justiniani, Elmer Borlongan, Emmanuel Garibay, Tony Leano, Rodel Tapaya, Marina Cruz, Raffy Napay, Jigger Cruz, Kawayan De Guia, Martha Atienza, RG Habulan, Dexter Sy, Jaypee Samson, Gil Batle, Jim Orencio, Winner Jumalon and others. A number of these artists have already gained international renown. There were live performances during the exhibit as highly respected artists, curators, gallerists, collectors, politicians and journalists in Manila mingled with the New York crowd. Federico de Vera curated and pared down the pieces from sixty four (64) artworks by forty five (45) artists. This initial offering was overwhelmingly received with over ninety per cent of the works sold during that period. Proceeds of the benefit went to support Asian Cultural Council’s Philippines Program. Ms. Teresa Rances, ACC Philippines’ Director, showcased its program in supporting chosen Filipino artists for research and fellowship in the US as well as a new upcoming residency program for artists at the Pintô Art Museum. This initiative has been supported by Pintô Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal, a private institution/repository of Philippine contemporary art through its founder, Dr. Cuanang, a major Philippine art collector whose collections have been donated to the museum.

Following the 2 hour vernissage, activities included live interviews with luminaries in the Philippines including that of Senator Lauren Legarda, also an environmentalist, journalist and champion of the arts, who spoke of the Philippines’ presence in the 57th International Art Exhibition, (Saturday 13 May to Sunday 26 November 2017) in Venice, Italy. The orchestration of this Pinto exhibit was but fitting in increasing Philippine contemporary art visibility in the international scene. Activities eventually opened to the general public and continued the next day. The show is organized by Pintô International, under Luca Parolari, its Director. After New York, Pinto has planned its international appearances in Tokyo (June 12 2018), Milan and Paris and another come back appearance in New York in October 2018.

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