Visual arts

Book campaign highlights best of Philippine visual art

In celebration of National Arts Month in February, SM recently showcased the life and works of some of the most fascinating visual artists from Rizal at the My City, My SM, My Art book exhibits at SM City Masinag and SM City Taytay

The exhibit featured pages from the book, which is a compilation of the My City, My SM, My Art campaign highlighting the best of Philippine visual arts – painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and filmmaking.

The My City, My SM, My Art exhibit at SM City Taytay include Jose ‘Pitok’ Blanco’s memorabilia of photos of the artist at work, attending significant events, and his achievements

During its three-year cultural journey from 2016-2019, My City, My SM, My Art featured masters, modernists, and millennials in a roadshow around the SM Supermalls as far north as the Cordilleras and as far south as General Santos.

Named after our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, the province has been known as the Cradle of Philippine Art for its artist communities and folk festivals. Rizal is also known as the hometown of National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco and Master Artist Jose “Pitok” Blanco.

Today, cultural spaces like the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo serve as gateways for modern and contemporary art. And a new generation of artists is being nurtured in art-oriented schools like the University of Rizal System (URS).

During the exhibits, mallgoers had a rare glimpse of the book at the My Art house, which is inspired by Luzon’s Bahay na Bato.

At SM City Masinag, the larger-than-life book pages showcased the life and works of National Artist for Painting Carlos “Botong” Francisco.

Known as the Poet of Angono, Botong single-handedly revived the art of mural painting and was named the most distinguished practitioner of his time. In panels like those of his masterpiece, Filipino Struggles through History at the Bulwagang Katipunan at the Manila City Hall, Botong turned fragments of the historic past into vivid records of the legendary courage of the ancestors of his race.

Also highlighted was a capsule collection from Carlos “Totong” Francisco II, a full-time artist and the grandson of Botong Francisco, who is also the estate keeper of the Francisco Family collection and assets.

At SM City Taytay, the My Art book exhibit showcased the life and works of Maestro Jose “Pitok” Blanco.

(From left) Rizaleño artists Erwin Leaño, Pogs Samson of Pinto Art Museum and Carlos ‘Totong’ Francisco II, grandson of National Artist Carlos ‘Botong’ Francisco during the recent ‘My City, My SM, My Art Book Exhibit’ at SM City Masinag

Jose “Pitok” Blanco is known for his mural-size paintings depicting the joyous celebrations in Angono that capture the faces of real people in town. His masterpiece, Pag-ahon ng Pagoda, a depiction of the fluvial parade of the San Clemente fiesta in the 1970s was obtained by the Rockefeller Foundation in New York. Angono Town Fiesta shows more than 100 figures at various states of delight and celebration during the feast of San Clemente, Angono’s Patron Saint.

Pitok’s children, Glenn, Noel, Michael, Joy, and Peter Paul, who are second-generation artists, also gave mallgoers a glimpse of their works during the exhibit. Also featured was Angono KUTA Arts Group founder Isidro “Manong Jon” Santos whose works are free-flowing abstract forms that fuse into randomly recognizable images that are often visually arresting and have a window to his imagination.

My City, My SM, My Art is the latest edition in the My City, My SM series, which celebrates the beauty, culture, traditions, and great people in cities around the Philippines where SM has malls. This comes after My City, My SM, which highlights tourism; My City, My SM, My Cuisine, which features heirloom recipes from prominent families around the country, and My City, My SM, My Crafts, a celebration of traditional arts and modern Philippine design.

Visit and to learn more about the My City, My SM, My Art campaign.

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