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Art highlights for January

By CARLOMAR ARCANGEL DAOANA, The Philippine STAR Published Jan 23, 2023 5:00 am

One of the quiet but undeniably powerful players in the art scene today is Art Cube which, since 2012, has been putting out some of the country’s most compelling exhibitions. Even the pandemic did not dampen the gallery’s resolve to showcase the best work of contemporary artists. A recent example is Michael Villagante, the first Filipino to have received the gold medal from the Lorenzo il Magnifico Award of the Florence Biennale, who displayed his award-winning painting, Pagtahan, at Art Cube.

The roster of artists that the gallery presents is deep and extensive, as evidenced by the current exhibition, Regeneration, which formally inaugurates Art Cube’s new location at the OPVI Center in Chino Roces Ext., Makati City. All of two floors, the space is a study in sleek modernism, with long white walls and high ceiling that can easily be configured to stage four simultaneous exhibitions. Regeneration, however, occupies the entirety of the gallery, featuring around 75 artists with varying material, thematic, and stylistic preoccupations, providing a veritable snapshot of the artistic production in the country.

Art Cube formally inaugurates its new location in the group exhibition, “Regeneration.”

Participating artists include Alee Garibay, Anthony Palomo, AR Manalo, Archie Oclos, Arnica Acantillado, Art De Leon, Art Sanchez, Arvi Fetalvero, Bam Garibay, Brave Singh, Brian Uhing, Carlo Tanseco, Cedrick Dela Paz, Daniel Dela Cruz, Demetrio Dela Cruz, Demi Padua, Dex Fernandez, Dexter Sy, Don Bryan Bunag, Dondon Jeresano, Elmer Borlongan, Elmer Roslin, Emmanuel Garibay, and Erick Villarruz.

The roster also features Hersley Casero, Ian Inoy, Iggy Rodriguez, Ioannis Sicuya, Isko Andrade, Jason Delgado, Jay Yao Campos, JC Sicam, Jep Dizon, Jim Orencio, Jonathan Dangue, Joven Mansit, Joy Mallari, JP Duray, Julio Jose Austria, Julius Redillas, Kris Jan Gavino, Lawrence Borsoto, Linds Lee, LJ Ablola, Mark Andy Garcia, Mark Justiniani, Mark Laza, Mark Lester Espina, Mr. S, and Marrie Saplad.

Concluding the list are Martin Honasan, Max Balatbat, Michael Delmo, Michael Villagante, Neil Pasilan, Nina Garibay, Noel Elicana, Norlie Meimban, Orley Ypon, Otto Neri, Paul John Cabanalan, Plet Bolipata, Pongbayog, Raffy Napay, Ramon Orlina, RC Caringal, Reen Barrera, Renz Baluyot, Rey Labarento, Reynold Dela Cruz, Ryan Jara, S-Ann Ch’i, Sam Penaso, Victoria, and Winner Jumalon.

Joel Butuyan, Lori Juvida, and Alex Tan have always believed in providing a platform for emerging and established artists to express their interpretations of the world.

On view until Jan. 28, Regeneration begins a busy year for Art Cube as it prepares for upcoming solo and group exhibitions at its new site as well as its participation in the Art Fair Philippines, which will resume its onsite engagement in its original venue at The Link.


Another highly anticipated event is the Xavier Art Fest, which will run from Jan. 27 to 29 at the Fr. Rafael Cortina Sports Center of Xavier School in Greenhills, San Juan. Over 50 galleries and collectives are expected to join, making this showcase one of the major highlights in the art calendar. 

Mark Nativo’s solo show for Blanc, “Divergence,” explores the intricacy of experience from the point of view of a neuro-divergent individual.

Blanc, one of the participating galleries, will feature a group exhibition as well as a solo show by the Ilonggo artist, Mark Nativo. Divergence will highlight the artist’s monochromatic paintings that juxtapose various elements but still maintain a compositional wholeness. Central to this suite of works is a figure representative of a neuro-divergent individual. Through the artist’s sympathetic figuration, organic and geometric elements become the basis for the construction of a vivid, inner world.


“Re Orient” by Markus Jentes translates East Asian iconography into an abstraction of vibrant, shifting colors.

On view until Feb. 4 at 1335 Mabini is Re Orient by Markus Jentes. Both a photographer and a painter, the artist is keen to reveal hidden details as well as make visible the hidden compulsions of thought and feeling. For this series of works, Jentes ushers East Asian iconography through the prism of his sensibility, creating a type of abstraction characterized by vibrant, shifting colors. His creative process involves creating art that “elevates consciousness” and “seeks to inspire”—qualities that are present in these paintings that “re-orient” the viewer’s perception toward an attitude of stillness.

1335 Mabini is located at Karrivin Plaza in Makati City.