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DEX N MUT: BEST BULALO IN TOWN
Bulalo with rice all you can
Posted by Dexter Matilla - - 1 comments


By Dexter R. Matilla
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:48:00 01/18/2009

Filed Under: Arts (general), Lifestyle & Leisure

OVER coffee one lazy afternoon, artist Edgar Doctor ponders on the popularity of watercolor as an artist’s medium, while largely remaining a marginalized medium in the contemporary art market in the Philippines.

“Perhaps it’s because we’re more Chinese,” Doctor offers. “In the Far East Asia, including Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and even Singapore, watercolor is more current.”

Doctor describes watercolor painting as a very fluid art where hard edges are not very much used.

“You’re after the atmosphere of the painting,” he says.

Doctor’s body of work is not, however, limited to watercolor; he has made award-winning pieces in oil, acrylic and mixed media. He has done sculptures as well.

But he admits he has identified more with watercolor, and his interest in the medium is in part due to the late National Artist Vicente Manansala.

“It’s because of Manansala that watercolor flourished,” Doctor says.

Thus, Doctor says he’s paying respect to Manansala when he opens his exhibit, “Homage to the Master,” at Gallery Nine (4/L, Bldg. A, SM Megamall; call 9108016) on Jan. 22, which will be the Manansala 99th birth anniversary. Some 22-25 watercolor renditions of landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes and still lifes will be on display.

Manansala was the first grand prize winner of the Art Association of the Philippines Annual for his work “Banaklaot” in 1950. Twenty-two years later, in 1972, Doctor would win the same prize in the AAP for his “Economic Aggression.”

It was during this time when Doctor would join Samahang Tubiglay with the likes of Lino Severino, Romulo Olazo, Ang Kiukok, Nestor Leynes and Ephraim Samson, with Manansala as the elder artist and inspiration.

As a member of the group, Doctor saw the increased significance of the watercolor medium. It is also here where he slowly developed his style. It helped that he had a watercolor class at the College of Fine Arts in UST.

“Some people see my work as abstract but it’s not,” Doctor says. “It’s very simple if you think about it. To simplify is the hardest.”

Best time

Amid the global financial crisis which is affecting the Philippines, Doctor insists this is the best time to purchase art even for those who are just starting to collect since buyers can get a better price on artworks with the economic slump.

“Collectors, in a way, become keepers of history,” Doctor says.

Watercolor is a good investment, Doctor declares. That the medium is easily damaged is a misconception. He explains 2,000-year-old Chinese watercolor artworks remain in good condition.

“All medium has its own weaknesses,” the artist explains. “Metal, when burned, it melts. Ceramic or stone, when it falls, it breaks.”

With his pieces, Doctor does offer to do restoration work, having just restored a 25-year-old watercolor piece brought to him by a collector.

Doctor adds that artists aspiring to hone their skills in any medium should work continuously and not just when they are commissioned to do something.

In keeping watercolor current and saleable, Doctor credits the annual “Kulay sa Tubig” competition, a project by Genesis Gallery owners Ernie and Araceli Salas.

E-mail dxmatilla@yahoo.com

One Response so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    If i'm not mistaken Dex, Botong Francisco won at the Grand Prize at the AAP in 1948 for his piece "Kaingin"...

    Doc Dan

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