We used to not go out on weekends. As in we would just stay home and "chill". A habit we picked up from living abroad. When you have to stay home on weekends to go to Costco, do the laundry, and iron clothes, haha.
But the thing is though, now we have two young kids who need to go out and see the world. They need to have life experiences, see things, meet people and go places. So we would take them on drives out of town, usually to the South.
Sundays are particularly hard. Because you don't want to go too far lest you get tired and not be up for the work week ahead. So when I realized that Pinto Gallery was open on Sundays, and that it was less than an hour's drive from where we lived, I thought, aha! This is the place to go! Especially since Dada and I just recently started collecting art and learning all we can about it.
The parents of my best friend Nina, are close family friends with Dr. Cuanang. So from her past pictures, I already knew that it was a nice place to spend a weekend at. A mix of Mykonos and Mexico, with lots of fantastic art.
The weekend we were there, the artist Jia Santos-Estrella, who I knew way back when she was the buyer for Ferragamo and Gucci at SSI, still had pieces on display from an exhibit of her work, called "Le Maison".
Most of the pieces had been sold so these were the only ones there:
Like Sonya's garden in Tagaytay, I love the breezy feel of the place and the pockets of pretty at Pinto:
Of course, people go there to see major artwork. Such as this one below called "Karnabal" by the artist collective Salingpusa.
Plenty of pieces by Neil Manalo:
...including the astounding "Confluence", a great 64 piece social realist masterpiece by the same artist. A departure from the work he typically does now, which is, to my mind less social realism and more positive vibes.
Plenty of amazing pieces by Manny Garibay in this gallery as well.
A small door opens up to another wing that houses major, again I use the word major, pieces by Elmer Borlongan, Ronald Ventura, Marina Cruz, Nona Garcia, Mark Justiniani among others.
Here Berry plays on the ramp (yes, Pinto is wheelchair friendly) with walls full of Borlongans.
There's Disabled Fiddler on left by Borlongan. Haunting and touching at the same time. Aha! Is the ramp an installation meant to complement this piece?
Should you go hungry, or you just want to take a rest from art overload before heading off to the new wing filled with the latest generation of contemporary art, there's Bizu at Pinto:
So imagine yourself sitting there, sipping a cup of coffee with some cake, the wind blowing, bamboo leaves rustling in the background. Or maybe you're having a tall glass of cold Coke and gambas? Which is what we had, ahihihi. Relaxing no?
Once, you've recharged, then you're ready for more art from the likes of Winner Jumalon, Joven Mansit, JP Antido and the gang:
JP Antido above and Joven Mansit below
Kariton Katedral by Tence Ruiz with background piece by Jaypee Samson
Costantino Zicarelli's "We are the kids that your parents warned you about"
painting also by Zicarelli
More pieces by up and coming artists and pockets of pretty spaces:
Exposing Berry to art at an early age, even if she's happy with a kalachuchi
Even a random bench is pretty. Or is this artwork I am not supposed to sit on? Haha.
A video installation by Geraldine Javier. I was mesmerized by the story of an old lady who collected dead birds. Oooh! More benches! Ok fine, that was a real bench above ahaha.
Again, paintings and pockets of pretty:
Spot the triptych by Zean Cabangis and a painting by Keb Cerda
I want a Ferdie Montemayor, doesn't have to be as humongous as these. Love the spirit of movement captured in all these pieces.
Another pocket of pretty:
And a huge wall of fabulous pieces by Demetrio Dela Cruz, Dale Erispe, Erick Villaruz, Lynyrd Paras, among others as a parting shot.
I love that the museum is set up by "time frames" starting from the 90s. While you get to wander each wing, it feels as if you are led from era to era in Philippine contemporary art, allowing you to trace its history and development. Thoughtful, powerful curation on vast white walls, bright and airy spaces, amidst an idyllic spot in the mountains a short drive from the city. What's not to love?
Whether you like art or you just want to go to a lovely place with plenty of fresh air, or maybe you have visitors and tourists from abroad, this is a fabulous way to spend a Sunday, or any day that Pinto Gallery is open, for that matter.
In case you're wondering, that's Friday to Sunday.
Pinto Gallery & Museum
1 Sierra Madre St.
Grand Heights, Antipolo
Tel: +632 697 1015
Open Fridays to Sundays