A Space for Art’s Sake: The Newly Opened Ides Contemporary Art

Ides Contemporary Art opens its doors to undiscovered and established local and international artists to broaden art appreciation

Words Gabrielle de la Cruz and Ides Contemporary Art
Interview and Images Gabrielle de la Cruz

Envisioned as “the ultimate source of the finest contemporary Filipino artworks,” Ides Contemporary Art brings to the fore a broad spectrum of artists ranging from emerging artists to established masters. The gallery invites undiscovered and renowned local and international artists to participate in their collective shows. “We believe that the exciting fusion of local and international artists provokes a fresh and exhilarating aesthetic response,” says the gallery.

Housed in an approximately 336-square-meter space, two spacious gallery areas namely Robbe Art and Art Jahn provide the “ideal settings” to display artwork. The placing of each piece observes proper distancing, with the space having a controlled temperature to befit the excellence and quality of all works.

Ides Contemporary Art’s grand opening on April 15, 2023. The gallery is located at Upper Ground Floor, Expansion Wing, Festival Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

“Our goal is to provide a venue that allows our artists to express the full dimensions of their art and to conduct a personal and universal discourse with the current dynamics and notions of contemporary life,” shares Ides Contemporary Art. “A new generation of Filipino artists now reflects the power of art to critically examine and assess their present-day realities, challenging the society that shapes and influences our lives.”

Fitz Herrera and his art piece, As the Music Plays, 54 x 42 inches, acrylic on canvas, 2023. Herrera on his art: “My primary goal is to provide a positive outlook through my art. When people see my work, I want them to feel at ease and free from problems or worries. I just want people to be happy. No politics, religion, or whatsoever. Just bliss.”

Ides Contemporary Art and ManilaBang Executive Director Atty. Leonides David shared that Ides Contemporary Art belongs to an umbrella of art galleries. “We have been in the scene for quite some time now. We decided to let go of our previous space in Molito and move to a bigger space to be able to feature more artists and their works.” 

In celebrating its opening, Ides Contemporary Art launched a series of five shows entitled “Celebration.” This will run up to June 30, 2023. In Celebration I, artists were tasked “to express their joy in their own unique and exhilarating ways.” The gallery handpicked most artists for the first show, adding that they were “chosen for their distinct vision, individual style, idiom, and high level of skill and craftsmanship.”

Mayi Peñaflorida and her work, Rose Harvest, 48 x 48 inches, oil on canvas, 2023. “I want people to remember that as we grow older, we must never forget the inner child in all of us. Sometimes we forget where we came from and the happy days of our childhood. This is the message that I wanted to deliver even as I was starting and I stand by it up to this day.” 

David shares that what he likes most about contemporary art is that while it often refers to what is current, “it can also be traditional, classical, impressionist, and more,” therefore allowing artists to freely create pieces that are “destined to be timeless.” 

Ombok Villamor and his piece, Moving to Your Heartbeat, 48 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas, 2023. “There was a time that I had to quit school and accidentally got into an island. My aunt adopted me and I spent most of my time near the ocean. This is why my work is inspired by underwater. I would say this piece is a kinetics of emotions.”

Featured artists during Celebration I stress the importance of modern-day art spaces. Most of them gained exposure through art galleries and are grateful that such spaces exist. “In the early 2000s, art competitions were how we got exposure. Galleries were very picky and would often ask if an artist has already been featured in a book or someplace else. It was a sad reality,” narrates Aner Sebastian. “Having spaces such as Ides Contemporary Art now means so much, as more generations of creatives are guaranteed to have places where they can share their talents.”

Toti Cerda and his piece, The Restoration (After Rubens), 48 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas, 2023. “I don’t have a formal art education. Books became my teachers. If you notice, most of my pieces are like self-portraits, where an image of me is seen facing the painting. I just want to show the world who I am as an artist and individual and hopefully inspire more to do the same.”

Toti Cerda adds that “back then, before one could take part in a show, an artist would have to beg gallery owners to take them. Now, it’s the other way around.” Mayi Peñaflorida, who started showcasing her works in a gallery in Makati sometime in 2015, shares that “if not for galleries, it would honestly be difficult for artists to have that exposure.” Herrera also joins in the conversation, saying that aside from providing venues for artists, galleries also play huge roles in marketing artworks and helping artists financially. 

Aner Sebastian and his piece, Myriad, 36 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas, 2023. “Sometimes I do monochromatic works. But I’m a colorist because I find that colors can make people feel alive. Hanggang may kulay, may buhay (as long as there is color, there is life).”

Ides Contemporary Art underscores that they are “committed to presenting bodies of works that are decidedly compelling and engaging on multiple levels, emotionally and psychologically charged, and drawing from unexpected perspectives, even as they defy easy and conventional categorization.”

James Andrew Imperial and his piece, Kawangis, 48 x 36 inches, mixed media, 2023. “My works are like prayers. This piece was inspired by Genesis 1:27, which states that man was created in the image and likeness of God. It is only right that we live with love and kindness in our hearts. There is no certain picture of God, so I created this to showcase how man should paint himself to follow the goodness of God. Details include the stop signs that represent restrictions, the flowers symbolizing beauty and goodness, and the clock which reminds us that we always have time to correct our mistakes and make the most out of our lives.” 

“Art is a synthesizing factor,” ends David. “The call is to improve our culture through art and to inspire more people to appreciate the art scene. There is so much talent in the world and we need to see them.” •

Celebration II, curated by Kris Del Villar, will open on May 3, 5:00 PM. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *