One weekend at the mall, my family and I happen to pass by a truly captivating art exhibit located at the upper levels of the mall. We just came from church which was also located at the upper levels and were about to go down the escalator to finally do our weekend shopping when we caught a glimpse of the exhibit. We just couldn’t resist taking a look.
The paintings were marvelously done with a Pinoy culture and a religious touch in mind. There were even several old vintage seats turned into a painting canvas. I have to say that they really caught my attention…and I couldn’t resist taking pictures of the fascinating splendors or art right in front of me. I had to take pictures of them so I could relish the beauty all over again when I get back home. It was simply inspiring to see such splendid artworks made by a fellow Filipino.
I quickly searched the Internet for information regarding the artist, but there were very little information available about him. What I saw were more of his artworks but very few write-ups. I even saw his Facebook page and fan page, but there’s also very few words to describe his personality and his work. It seems Pinoys have not yet fully discovered and talked about the creative skills of Aris Bagtas.
But I think I am at a lost here. For there is a saying that a painting is silent poetry. Pablo Picasso once said “As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language.”
Aris Cecilio Bagtas is obviously a gifted painter. He is a Filipino artist whose aspiration is to fill the local churches with his painted murals. He is one of those Filipino artists who aims to contribute a deeper national psyche by way of their artworks and masterpieces.
One of his write-ups would start with “Like the Artist’s name “bagtas” literally means to walk the path, the journey for artistic excellence of Aris Bagtas is overwhelmingly short and spiritually guided.
It is deeply an honor for me as a Filipino seeing all these fantastic art collections comparable to the works of Picasso, Chagall, Hundertwasser, Van Gogh or Dali, and the rest of the great artists of the world.
The exhibit that we saw in the mall was entitled 20@20 Vision by Aris Bagtas. It showcased a few of his artworks. Just scroll down below to see them and begin to appreciate their beauty. My family and I sure did.
There’s a site which speaks of Aris Bagtas and his 20@20 Vision exhibit entiled “20/20 Vision: Twenty Years of Creative Evolution” written by Drei Toledo, though I had a hard time reading it because of the choice of font of the author or website designer.
The article starts with:
“Triangulating art genres, function, and the path to a noted artist’s evolution in the past two decades, can be quite daunting. 20/20 VISION offers critics, art collectors, art enthusiasts, and aspiring young artists the opportunity to behold an impressive collection of some of the best works in folk, religious, and abstract art by Aris Bagtas.“
This is how Toledo describes Bagtas:
“A loyal son of Obando – a town in Bulacan famous for the magic and mystery of its fertility rites – Bagtas has wisely stuck to his roots. He was once a small-town artist, who aspired to contribute a legacy in the history of Philippine art. To date, Bagtas has had eight solo exhibits, and numerous group exhibits in Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Vienna, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, London, Madrid, Rome, Luxembourg and Paris.
His big break as an artist happened almost a decade ago, and yet he chose to remain rooted where he comes from. Furthermore, Aris Bagtas knows deep within himself that entering the genre of abstractionism today does not make him lose his identity as an artist who has already established his name in icon painting, folk art, and neo-realism.”
and ends with the following paragraph:
“Living in the Age of Art and Heart, wherein talent and creativity serve as one of the most valuable currencies, Bagtas gifts us with something utterly priceless: a way to focus on the quintessential Philippine religiosity, the beauty of everyday life in the province, an abstract appreciation of Europe – seen from the eyes of Filipino painter – and a distinctive view of Philippine history as he brings to life antique furniture and seemingly useless material from demolished structures, and renews them with his artistic vision and acrylic paint. It is this level of conscious focus achieved through paintings that names like Aris Bagtas is sure to be remembered in the history of Philippine art.”
You can check it out here: http://www.drei.me/feature.html
Scroll down to see some of Bagtas’ works in the exhibit:
We appreciated the art of Aris Bagtas so much that we couldn’t keep ourselves from taking our pictures with them. It’s definitely Pinoy culture and religion that we can instantly think of and feel once you see the works of Bagtas. Artworks which will undoubtedly have a place not only in our churches, but in the hearts of true Filipinos as well.
His vision is clearly one of pride towards the beauty of Filipino culture and religion.
Let me leave with this statement from Henry Miller:
“The artist is the opposite of the politically minded individual, the opposite of the reformer, the opposite of the idealist. The artist does not tinker with the universe, he recreates it out of his own experience and understanding of life.”