Thursday, November 8, 2012


Time was when every 50s and 60s home had "works of art" such as this--a 3-D painting of some generic rural scene, often bought at furniture shops and downtown bazaars. Cheaply produced, the paintings featured subjects such as nipa huts that were cleverly raised in relief from the canvass using sticks, paper mache and cardboards. Elements such as the roof, the walls and the fences were then gesso'ed and painted, in the hope of achieving a more realistic, three-dimensional look. Think of it as "extreme impasto".

Nevertheless, despite this technique, paintings still looked kitschy and naive. But nowadays, period kitsch have been elevated to the status of folk art, Filipiniana style, and this example--sold at a swap shop--carried quite a price tag, many time its original price.Not even the fancy frame can hide the hideous execution of its theme--from the waterfall that cascades down to become a multi-tiered stream, the cockroach-looking carabao and the bahay kubo that looks like a cross between a log cabin and an Ifugao ulog hut. But as they say, one man's awful painting is another man's precious "outsider art".

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