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‘About Face’ exhibit plays on Rizal, opens on June 2 and will run until August 27, 2011

Exploring the idea that the face represents the persona with which one confronts the world and how penetrable these public facades can be, Lopez MemorialMuseum presents About Face. The exhibit features works by contemporary artists xVRx, Renan Ortiz, Louie Talents and Alvin Zafra.

These include works by Juan Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, Macario Vitalis, Fabian de la Rosa, Vicente Manansala, Juvenal Sanso, Fernando Amorsolo, Benedicto Cabrera, Fernando Zobel and the extensive Rizaliana holdings in light of the 150th birth commemoration of Dr. Jose Rizal.

As the museum has established a reputation for being a repository of Lunas and Hidalgos and rare Filipiniana, museum curatorial consultant Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez said that the artists were asked to “consider images within the museum and library archive collections in taking on the proposed theme.” She added “The intention is to have contemporary artists look upon the practice of pictorially rendering personage as a means of circulating a persona or a public face, as opposed to a repressed alter ego or possibly a totally fictitious avatar.”

The featured artists used and incorporated portraits including the less explored aspects of the collection such as its Rizaliana holdings and its LVN still archives, among others.

Zafra who has exhibited his work in various galleries in the Philippines as well as in Tokyo, Taipei, Singapore and Hong Kong, did a portrait of President Emilio Aguinaldo that he found in the book “I Shot the Presidents” by Honesto Vitug. He said that “I use my fingernails as drawing medium on fine sandpaper. .. It’s blank. You only see his upper garment and some elements of the background where the photo was taken. I think of it as a reaction to my own art practice as well.”

Ortiz , who was awarded the Sinugdanan Grant by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2007, takes on Rizal and Indio-Spanish dialectics in three multimedia installations cutting across the museum’s galleries.

Talents who was awarded a scholarship grant from the Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Beaux- Arts and the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts Best Thesis Award, also mounted a multimedia work exploring notions of itinerancy and registration of self in relation to sacred verse and texts by Rizal. He called his installation ‘Playing with Matchsticks’. He said: “The burning as part of my process resonates since my method combines a technical meditative approach and a childhood penchant for burning as a device to decorate the edges of cards.”

xVRx who has participated in arts festivals and residency programs such as Outlooke Pointe Foundation and AX (is) Art Project Baguio City, shows a stenciled portrait of an old man, dually alluding to images of everyday life repurposed and sited surreptitiously in luminal urban space.

About Face opens on June 2 and will run until August 27, 2011. For more info, visit or call 631-2417.