Prepare to strain your eyes and cause major damage to your liver: this week is a busy one for the galleries and the art aficionado. Just last night, Nunelencio Alvarado's new works opened at the Blanc space in H.V.Dela Costa. Tonight, a huddle of groupies will part like the Red Sea when Roberto Chabet arrives for his 10,000 Paintings I Must Paint Before I Die at Magnet Gallery in Katipunan. Tomorrow at Silverlens, it's Neal Oshima's photograms on handcoated paper that will be the toast of the chic and artsy fashion crowd. On Friday, Robert Langenegger fills up the walls of the Tall Gallery at Finale Art File. The week ends with a double bill: Ling Quisumbing Ramilo's sharpened pencils will ever so gently puncture you at Manila Contemporary, and the collective Surrounded by Water (Geraldine, Wire, Yasmin, Mariano et al) presents their first ever group show in years at the sprawling, spa-like surroundings of Blanc in Shaw Boulevard. Crisis, you say? What crisis?
And if it so happens the art makes you want to yawn, oh, get over yourself and get a drink. Here, a couple of silver-lining notes from the artist Lena Cobangbang, part of an essay/list called The Good, The Bad and The Ugly 2008-2009 (one of the stories from a zine-in-progress called Pollution).
a) The availability of cheap but good-enough wines, found in Rustan’s, Shopwise and Marks and Spencer. P260+ to 300 buck wine will already quench your thirst for more enlightened booze without the vinegary after-taste. Beer nowadays in openings are like fruit punches, ubiquitous and the last resort to inebriated art viewership. But this requires the contemporary artist to be some sort of amateur sommelier. If the show isn’t so spectacular, at least the wine was good enough.
b) The steadily increasing mobility of artists whether through social network sites on the net or through cheaper airfares. Artists can now exhibit everywhere. But of course their passable knowledge of wine or any alcohol for that matter would help them go through all the language and culture barrier for artists everywhere really just want to get wasted, a valid but aberrant excuse to postpone work.
So pop that Liveraid. For tonight, we look at clipboards.
Images from Roberto Chabet: 10,000 Paintings Before I Die, acrylic on canvas on clipboard, 9x15 Inches.