writings, projects and exhibitions of Clarissa Chikiamco

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fine Print

Preview May 2008 - My article on wonderboy, Andrei Salud! As mentioned in my previous posts, I curated a solo video art exhibition of his in Cubicle last January. View his videos at youtube.com/masarapmatulog. Picture of the article thanks to Andrei :)

Fine Print

Most visual artists in Manila come from either three universities: University of the Philippines – Diliman, University of Santo Tomas or Philippine Women’s University. Yet, Andrei Salud, a quietly emerging artist who is a graduate from the Mapua Information Technology Center in Makati, is showing that creativity can breed no matter what school you come from.

Not being formally trained or associated with any art clique, Andrei is making work that refreshingly lacks the heavy and complex academism and theory which usually inform other artists’ works. Themes he likes to tackle are with the familiar. Says Andrei, “I like working with popular subjects/objects that people can relate to: a face, dreams, toys, Imelda Marcos, seafood… I get ideas from everyday things, like shrimp or postage stamps, and even paper bills (money).”

Pero minsan spontaneous naman pag malaking project or elaborate siya, I draft out a plan on my notebook. Nandun yun workflow at yun schedule ng work hours ko and rest time. And I give myself deadlines also.”

Andrei’s choices of media are prints, clay, video and street art, his works often cheeky pieces with his particular brand of humor. His forays into art started with making t-shirt prints, even having his own t-shirt line, “Sell Out Shirts,” with girlfriend Sheina Tobias, that led onto making bigger prints that could also be used in the everyday (sofa, bed sheet, etc.). He started probing into video as well, having learned how to edit in Mapua during his Visual Communication Management studies. So far, even without an art crowd to call his own, he has staged two solo exhibitions, both at the independent art space Cubicle Art Gallery, and has joined a few group exhibitions as well.

While the informal training has certainly had an influence in keeping Andrei’s aesthetic unique, Andrei does wish he had gone to a mainstream school for the basics at the very least. “I still wish I could have been able to take up fine art sa UP kasi bumagsak ako dun eh. Importante pa rin yun pag aral ng foundations of art and design.” Seeking to learn more, he undertook a Personal Enrichment Program at the Academy of Art in San Francisco last year, taking silkscreen, color and design classes amongst others.

Asides from visual art, Andrei also does a bit of work in graphic design. When asked about it, he sassily replies, “I'd rather work for myself and give me a promotion every weekend!” His future projects and plans? “Secret.” Hopefully, just like the artist, not a secret for long.

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