In February, designated as Art Month throughout the Philippines, Manila House Members had the opportunity to listen to two riveting speakers share their own personal discoveries in art.
Giorgio Guglielmino, a.k.a. the Italian Ambassador to the Philippines, is an avowed art lover, as well as the author of several books on contemporary art, for which he confesses a deep passion. He selected some key works of art, dating as far back to the Renaissance with Portrait of Federico da Montefeltro (1465/1472), by Piero della Francesca, as well as the early 20th century via Pablo Picasso’s The Absinthe Drinker (1902) and Oskar Kokoschka’s The Bride of the Wind (1913), all the way through to the 20th and 21st centuries, citing the works of such artists as Joseph Beuys, Tracy Emin, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Anish Kapoor, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. His lecture traced the intriguing trajectory from representational and figurative art to postmodern and conceptual art.
A week later, the art of the Colombian figurative master Fernando Botero was examined under a different microscope, with his grandson Felipe Botero presenting an interesting lecture that was in itself a history of art from a unique point of view.
The young Botero, a philosopher, translator and author, discovered fascinating parallels between Maestro Botero and Filipino artists, informed by a shared history of religion and Spanish colonialism.