Art in the Park 2013 x Brixton Block Party

Last Saturday, I was at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village, Makati for the seventh Art in the Park. I wrote an extensive feature for Supreme, and I wanted to thank the exhibitors personally for helping me with the article. I also wanted to see what the 40 participating galleries had to offer, so off I went even if the skies didn’t look too friendly for an outdoor affair.

Art in the Park is a project of Trickie Lopa, Lisa Ongpin Periquet, and the Museum Foundation of the Philippines. Lopa and Periquet also launched the first Art Fair Philippines, which I wrote about on my blog and for Supreme. Art in the Park aims to remove the intimidating air of the art world by bringing it to the non-threatening atmosphere of a public park and capping the price of all art works to P30,000. This year saw 40 of the best galleries exhibiting the works of both emerging and established artists.

Maybe it was because I came earlier this year, but this year’s artworks were more provocative, more intense. If I had to choose my favorite galleries, it would have to be Vinyl on Vinyl, Secret Fresh, and Silverlens. These three seem to have their identities down pat – from Vinyl’s and Secret Fresh’s crazy and colorful toys and artworks to Silverlens’ serious and brooding pieces.

The galleries were wonderfully curated, representing every school of thought from modernism to pop art to abstract. Art in the Park is one of my most anticipated events of the year because it is so inclusive. You don’t need to be an art patron or a gazillionaire to enjoy art and purchase it.

Speaking of purchases, I bought a print from JP Cuison at Secret Fresh. It has always been one of my dreams to own one of his prints, and I finally got one for a very good price. Cuison is known for his posters,  and his most prominent is that of the Cinemalaya favorite Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank. His style is reminiscent of those old comics and I like the way he uses color. I plan to have my print framed after Holy Week. I’m so excited!

I was with my friend Stefan, and he introduced me to stylist Melvin Mojica. Such a great guy. We had a few glasses of white wine and talked about art, food, and fashion.

We soon went on our separate ways, but we all agreed to meet at Brixton for Heima’s Brixton Block Party. The cult lifestyle store has opened a branch in Pasig and is celebrating its launch together with the release of Ang Nawawala‘s soundtrack on vinyl. I had a slight buzz because I downed my last glass of wine, so I was feeling good about myself and my purchase. So good…. that I left my camera in the cab.

It was so frustrating because the camera has been with me for only three months, and I bought it because I lost my previous camera. I’m really careful with my things, but sometimes shit hits the fan and this happens. I would like to believe that the loss of my first camera wasn’t really my fault, but this one was an act of carelessness and I hate myself for being so relaxed. What hurts more is that I bought the camera with my own money. That definitely took away the great buzz I had from Art in the Park.

I met Nikko and we had a quick dinner at Edgy Veggy Cafe (also at Brixton). They’re a cozy restaurant that proves being vegetarian doesn’t have to be boring. According to Nikko, Edgy Veggy is owned by Carlos Celdran’s wife, Denise. I had the Korean, a large plate containing spicy bibimbap rice, tofu mushroom bulgogi, and salad. The flavors were exquisite, and the combination of rice, bulgogi, and salad provided an explosion in my mouth that countered the depression I had with my camera. The dish was both light and heavy – I became full but not the horrible kind of full where you just want to lock yourself in the restroom and cry and purge.

Heima’s new store was lovely. If you’re familiar with the store’s aesthetic, their Brixton branch is just that, except more polished. The shop doubles as a showroom, with gorgeous couches tastefully arranged around the store. Their standard products – books, stationery, prints, and home furnishings are all there. The store was packed to the hilt with friends, supporters, and fans of the store.

To celebrate the release of Ang Nawawala‘s soundtrack, DJ Toti Dalmacion of Groove Nation and Terno Recordings, Pulso, Hanna + Gabi with Outerhope, Pedicab, Tarsius, Jazz Nicolas and Kelvin Yu, Ebe Dancel, Daydream Cycle, and Buboy Garovillo performed. All the performers played really great sets, but what stood out for me was Pulso’s. They played really great instrumentals, but the best thing about the band was Robby Mananquil, who aged really well. The group I was with were practically creaming, and I can’t say I wasn’t one of them.

* Art in the Park photos from their Facebook page
* Heima interior photos from their blog
* Heima crowd photo from their Facebook page

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