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Photos and Portraits at the Ayala Museum

Posted in events, Snapshots by juned on the April 22nd, 2008

I left the office early that day. The day before I was under the weather and missed the opening the exhibit at the Ayala Museum. Missed the free food snd the free entrance to the museum, today I had to pay to see the exhibit. Still … it was worth it just to see the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson and other famous photographers.

But what a surprise. First, there was only one photograph shot by Bresson and Brassai and Second, there was another exhibit.

“Sir, Do You want to see the exhibit?”
“Yes the one that recently opened?” (The one I missed because I was sick.)
“That will be One Hundred Fifty”
“OK”
“But that will allow you to go around the museum”
“Oh?! … I saw na the dioramas … as in ten to fifteen times already”
“Sir … we have a new exhbit by Simon Flores”
“Ah..”

Simon Flores who? I said to myself. Curiosity and a sense of OK-rather-than-be-boorish-and-go-straight-to-see-the-exhibit I trekked to the nearest lift or elevator and went up to the third floor. And went to the gallery to see who Simon Flores was.

Who is Simon Flores y dela Rosa?

He is Filipino who lived between 1839-1902.

He was born in Paco, Manila

He was a painter. The first Filipino painter to have won an international award in painting, Silver Award at Philidelphia Universal Exposition for his painting La Musica del Pueblo. Unfortunately, the painting has since been lost or destroyed: It cannot be seen.

Flores’ expertise was in painting portraits and he was also adept at miniturismo: the minute detailing of costumes and jewelry.

He was a much sought after portrait painter. Several wealthy families had their portraits done by Flores. One could see why people really liked his works the amount of detail and the play between light and shadows is amazing. It was as if the paintings became alive in your presence.The Quiason family, Severina Ocampo de Arroyo and that unnammed woman was before you as if ready to leap out and tell their story if they could. One could actually sit for hours admiring the work.

There was even one work that almost looked like a photograph.

Alongside Flores were the works of other famous Filipino paintes: like Fernando Amorsolo and Juan Luna.

After that I skipped the dioramas and went to the photo exhibit.

There was only one photo taken by Bresson and Brassai. It wis his most famous work and epitomizes his belief in capturing the decisive moment. And the thing is Flores and Bresson has one thing in common and it reflected in their work. Both were painters. One became a famous portrait painter and one went into photography.

In the photography exhbit you will meet the works of pictorialists, surrealists, humanist photographers, and photojournalists. You will see the work of takes photos for a living or who pursues it as a pastime.The themes are as different as the time of day. Some are poignant, some are funny, some are sad, some can shock and some can inspire a smile in one’s face.

Certain photos do tend to do that. I would have spent more time in the museum if I could but then I had to go back home. Ride the MRT and walk to my house. The experience was worth it and more.

I did not take any picture of the event. And this is because it is something worth seeing whether you are into photography or one who would savor and appreciate art. I think it, the photo exhibit, is still there.

Photographers, snapshot people, and art lovers should not miss this experience.

Spot

Posted in Snapshots by juned on the April 11th, 2008

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But can you spot the difference in the smile?

Smile

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Incidental model - Jayvee

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Phoebe Ann