In today’s era of modernization, digitally editing photographs is a common and easy practice for both professional and amateur visual graphic artists already.
But for the late Mario Parial, a renowned and multi-awarded Filipino painter, printmaker, sculptor and photographer, images must adhere to conventional and traditional techniques. This philosophy is best seen in his famous Painted Photographs exhibit.
On view at the Globe Art Gallery until August 13, the famous exhibit features 39 of the artist’s painted photographs, all were captured using his collection of vintage cameras.
To paint the photographs, Parial first scanned the film to digitize and resize. Before printing, he did not resort to computerized image manipulation, instead he dashed the photos with acrylic color, pastel and pencil. He then crosshatched them with felt tip markers and paper collages to make pictographic a reality all his own.
Some of the highlights of the exhibit include “Mother and Child,” in which Parial takes two photos of mothers feeding their babies, with Jesus carrying the cross as backdrop.
There was also “The Kiss” showing devotees praying before Christ on the Cross with one devotee kissing the bloodied palm of Jesus. While “Secret Text,” pictures a young man facing a wall with assorted lines while busily texting.
A true artist
Parial graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Santo Tomas. He taught printmaking and painting, first in his alma mater in the 1970s and later in the 1990s at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.
Known for his folk and mythological interest where the woman figure was central to the composition in his art, he garnered top prizes from almost all the leading art competitions in the country.
In 1972, the Cultural Center of the Philippines honored him as one of the year’s Thirteen Artist awardees. He exhibited extensively in the Philippines and in other countries following his first solo show in 1965.
In early 2000, Parial encountered health problems, which forced him to set aside large-scale painting and rekindled his romance with photography, a passion he had since he was in college.
Instead of simply collecting vintage cameras, he availed of them to advance his art. His exposure to these gadgets immensely expanded his knowledge of photography and its history, as gleaned from the make and capability of the various vintage cameras and lenses that passed through his hands.
Some of Parial’s vintage cameras are also displayed at the Globe Art Gallery, located at the basement of the telco’s corporate headquarters in Bonifacio Global City.
Supporter of art
Parial’s Painted Photographs is the third art exhibition to be featured at The Globe Art Gallery since August last year, when the company moved to The Globe Tower.
The gallery initially featured the works of film and television make-up artist Leo Velasco who won the company’s 1st ImaginART competition. Velasco also bagged up to P1 million in prize money and exhibition grant.
Recently, the Globe Art Gallery also showcased Biag, an exhibition of artworks made by Cordillera artists from the Tam-Awan Village, a venue for art and cultural activities in Baguio City aiming to increase awareness and appreciation of the Cordillera culture and at the same time preserving the region’s heritage.
“Biag”, meaning life, features five artists, namely Mark Tandoyog, Alfonso Dato, Alfred Dato, Art Lozano and Herwin Buccat.
Globe Telecom’s support for contemporary art and the people in the art community in general speaks of its advocacy for creativity and innovation.