How Artists Are MADE: A Celebration of a Golden Legacy of Excellence in Art & Design

In celebration of Metrobank’s 50th anniversary, Metrobank Foundation recently  recognized a new set of outstanding artists and designers and showcased their works side by side with artworks done by  former winners who have made a name in the art scene. Another set of Filipino amateur and professional artists, and designers has joined the roster of winners in this 28 year art & design competition.

“It tells a story on its own, a history, a legacy of discovering artistry and talent. We celebrate the golden era of Metrobank through our past and present winners who are now living testaments of excellence in the artistic field. This year’s set of winners is a manifestation of the fearless nature of our young artists to go beyond the usual norms, defy the formalist standards, post challenging questions and issues relevant in our present society. We have faith that our rich Filipino culture will continue to flourish through these young artists and designers.” said Metrobank Foundation president, Mr. Aniceto M. Sobrepeña.

A display of courageous audacity in breaking conceptual and artistic norms dominate the winning art pieces of the 2012 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) national competition. For 2012, all winners carry the Grand Prize winner title in their own right. The first Grand Prize winner of the Painting Competition under the Water Media Category is Christopher L. Gomez for his painting entitled Asong Tao : Taong Aso. Making use of the aqueous nature of the water color medium, Gomez depicts a human face rendered using dry and wet wash techniques revealing the artist’s freedom and experimental take on the nature of the medium. With the face looking at the audience, in its massive scale and confrontational air, the artwork faces the issues and various emotions of human existence, struggle and human relationship expressed through the movement of the colored pigment onto the paper.

Under the Oil-Based Medium Category, another Grand Prize winner is Michael G. Villagante for his artwork “Sagad Hanggang Buto”, employed using heavy brush strokes similar to the iconic modern artist Vincent Van Gogh. Sagad Hanggang Buto depicts two human figures, side by side with a mass of human hands and crab claws reaching from under a veil where the head is supposed to be positioned. This mass of hands and crab claws is attached to the disintegrating skull of the other human figure standing at the side. This strong imagery employed with exquisite technique speaks of the artist’s disgust to crab mentality fueled by greed and selfishness. Like Van Gogh, Villagante aims to depict “vigorous emotional reverberations” in order to awaken, shake and challenge some pre-existing social conditions.

Capturing mundane scenes of everyday life, fading memories and perishable dreams moved the hands and imagination of Ronante S. Maratas in another Grand Prize work in the Oil-Based Medium on Canvas category, “Undoing Ruin”. Obscure images of eyes, unrecognizable figures, figures of a different species, hands, and thick slashes of colors chaotically displayed and rendered in bright colors. Maratas’ work speaks the language of neo impressionism colorfully depicting vivid images between reality and imagination. The artist depicts bravery not just by choosing this unconventional painting style but of the deeply personal emotions and memories embedded in the hard strokes and vibrant colors in the artwork. Undoing Ruin is the artist’s allusion to those moments in life where one makes a choice between having the courage to dive into unknown waters or regret that you never had the courage to even try.

Diving deeper into human experience and the discourse of psychology is sculptor Alexander A. Tee in his Grand Prize winning sculpture entitled “Batak”. The piece depicts a right arm with a clenched fist that extends until a part of the shoulder and lower half of the face. From a glance, one can see the muscular anatomy of the limb but upon closer look one can notice a line that cuts through the back of fists, near the knuckles, that connects until the side of the face. The artist refers to this as an invisible thread that enables the person to subdue emotions of outrage. Batak symbolizes Filipino’s resiliency, struggling with one’s self and stretching one’s limit. Tee confronts issues concerning mankind’s psyche through visual representations and forms.

Embodying Filipino culture in the living spaces best describes the “Tahanang Walang Hagdan” of Arch. Jonathan Dangue. An architect and a sculptor, Arch. Dangue was the 2010 MADE Sculpture competition Grand Prize winner for his sculpture “Walang Pinanghahawakang Anuman sa Palad” – an assemblage of bamboo toothpicks. Reflective of his artistic sense, his design employs the use of bamboo. True to its name, his design is literally of a house without stairs, employing the use of ramps for mobility. Why without stairs? “Ang tahanang walang hagdan ay idinesenyo upang hanggang sa pagtanda ng mga magulang na gagamit ng tahanan ay patuloy nilang tamasain ang pag baba at pag akyat upang makita ang mga magagandang tanawin sa lokasyon ng ating proyekto (The stairless house was designed for the elderly parents who will stay in the residence, so that they may have ease in going around the house and they may enjoy the scenery of the project site).” said the sculptor architect.

As part of the celebration of Metrobank’s 50th anniversary, a special selling exhibit by the MADE Network of Winners was showcased side by side with the top semifinalists’ during the awarding ceremony. A percentage of the proceeds from this special MADE NOW exhibit will support the various outreach programs of the alumni organization. This special exhibit is a vision of the future of MADE’s new winners, to be future masters in their craft.

The winners were awarded with a glass trophy designed by sculptor Noell EL Farol and a cash prize of P300,000.00 each. As the pioneering art & design competition of Metrobank Foundation since 1984, MADE was able to recognize art masters such as Bobby Feleo, Elmer Borlongan, Mark Justiniani, Duddley Diaz, Dan Raralio, Noell El Farol, Alfredo Esquillo, Jr., and Gabby Barredo. Established Architects and designers such as Architects Noel Tan, Michael Peña, Jericho Adriano, John David O’Yek and Angelo Mañosa. Interior Designers Marybeth Tabaquin, Jasmine O’yek Sy, Wilhelmina Garcia, April Frigillana and Karina Diana Cortez.