Of the many galleries across the metro—and with the number still growing—a consistently worthwhile visit is one to West Gallery. Not in an area that one equates with art and galleries, and on a street that is bustling with commerce and its contingent congestion, West Gallery seems to have survived its consistent refusal to fall into the trap (and trappings!) of “being” gallery. Where “being” is so obviously about selling art, and exhibitions become the expected set of artists, and the art looks to be the most “sellable” at any given time.
On any visit at all, at least two of West Gallery’s four spaces would surprise with new artists, or with works that one would not see on the stretch of galleries on Pasong Tamo, for example, and probably not even in art fairs. It is not so much about the age of artists, but seemingly an attempt at engaging the multifarious kinds of art that many artists — young and old and in-between — are coming up with, beyond the pressures and limits of a profit-oriented gallery system.
This October, West Gallery features four artists worth seeing: Dina Gadia and her “Never Landscape,” Allan Balisi with his “Roomful of Elephants,” Tatong Recheta Torres’“001SNTE:ISOD – 0XXSNTE:ISOD,” and Constantino Zicarelli’s “Dear Father, Show Me the Stars. Dear Mother, Show Me How Far.” These are new works that are exciting not because they are “new,” but because these are part of individual artistic practices that might be as independent as it can be for cultural workers at this point in time. — KSS.
West Gallery is at #48 West Avenue, Quezon City. The exhibits by Gadia, Balisi, Torres, and Zicarelli run until October 22.