An Extended Fête

Photo Credit: Dane Cruz
   As promised, I told you guys that I will write a post about the day after my birthday (July 06) - which was declared a national holiday. And so the evening before, during my intimate gathering, I told some of my best of friends (Pam and Dane) that I wanted to go to this art gallery, and so we all decided to go! I don't know why exactly I had that certain caprice to, but perhaps it's probably because last year Dane took me to the National Museum for my birthday, as you guys already know. 
   I guess I can make it an annual thing, huh? ;)
   So there was this specific exhibit that I saw, and I knew that that was where I wanted us to go. So the next day afternoon, we all got ready and met up to head over to Leon Gallery in Makati. I was definitely excited to see their exhibit "Filipinos In The Gilded Age," that showcases never before seen works from our national artists of the Colonial Era. And if you guys didn't know, I absolutely looove World History, other than the fact that I love seeing and being surrounded by art. 
   We then arrived there at around four in the afternoon. At first, we weren't entirely sure where it was exactly, but fortunately, we were able to find it - which apparently, wasn't all too difficult to find, considering as it was near Greenbelt 1. When we went in, we were met by these beautiful paintings on gilded frames, along with baroque wallpapers. The ambiance certainly matched with the masterpieces that the gallery was unfolding before us. 




One of my favorite pieces: "Untitled, (Retrato de Una Hidalga)
(A Spanish Noblewoman) by Juan Luna y Novicio"

   We spent an amount of time there, taking in the rich history and the fact that these pieces have never been exhibited here in the Philippines before. As I was speaking to one of the curators, Ms. Liliane Manahan, most of them have been shipped directly from Spain. So to have this piece of information, made the whole experience even more enriching and yes, even more special. Other than the fact that I enjoyed our conversation about the Spanish Colonial Era and the famed Illustrados; we also talked about how some of the Spanish artists' works parallel some of their styles in some pieces, which they also showcased. The exhibit was arranged in an order that created a story and a more magnified look at our history. 

"Untitled, (Normandia)
(Normandy) by Felix Resureccion Hidalgo y Padilla"
"Untitled, (Retrato del Pintor Juan Jose Puerto y Villanueva)
(A Portrait of the Painter, Juan Jose Puerto y Villanueva)"
   Into the next room, with red painted walls, unraveled a bunch of religious images that were carved from ivory. They all looked seamless and magnificent. The handiwork was absolutely amazing, and one would probably think that they're new and not actually aging for about three hundred years already. There were also a few other paintings displayed that were early works of some of the Illustrados. And one would be able to see how their styles seemed to have improved overtime, and how they seem to have found their own signature style.  There were also some embroidered baroque furniture that were used for holy masses situated at some areas of the gallery.




   After nearly an hour at there, we finally signed the guest book and began to leave, considering as it was already about to close (at 5PM). We were actually supposed to go to Silverlens, another gallery in Chino Roces, Makati, but it was closed due to the holidays. I was actually quite sad about it, but oh well... We just headed back to Glorietta and grabbed something to munch on. Then, we went around stores, which were mostly on sale, and I ended up buying a pair of leather pants, lol.

(L-R: Me, Dane & Pam)
   Overall, it was such a wonderful day. I feel like I haven't exactly been able to hang out with these girls for the longest time considering as life - or more appropriately put - school continued to intervene. And I'm actually very grateful to have considered that day as an extension of my birthday celebration! I even learned a lot during that experience at the gallery, and I'm just glad to be surrounded by great energy and rich history.
   I assure you that this wouldn't be my last visit to Leon Gallery - or any art gallery in general. In fact, I'm always on the lookout for great exhibits to visit, and until then, I will let you guys know and make sure to write about it. ;)

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