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Datuin and Salazar make a statement for environment at XI Florence Biennale

Joe Datuin and Allanrey Migz Salazar, visual artists, took Filipino art to the global arena’s centerstage during the XI Florence Biennale, one of Europe’s prestigious, large-scale, juried exhibitions catering to the international art community.
Their participation, together with three more Filipino artists, in the 2017 edition themed “eARTh: Creativity and Sustainability,” gave the Philippines a voice in the huge festivity celebrated by 462 artists, who represented 72 countries. The festival was held at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, Italy, from October 6 to 15, 2017.
Datuin, who was dubbed as “the Philippines’ Visual Olympian” after winning the grand prize for sculpture at the 2008 International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Art Contest during the Beijing Olympics, impressed biennale goers with his sculptural piece entitled Toxic Earth. The mixed-media sculpture is the artists’s personal statement on the ill effects of environmental pollution caused by human emissions of chemical substances that are threatening life on the planet. It intrigues with the artist’s signature stainless steel ring from which emerges a human skeleton, symbolizing nature’s ultimate toll — loss of life.
Meanwhile, Salazar, an artist based in Paris, “gave biennale goers a reason to dream with his mixed-media painting titled Give Me A Daydream on the Stratosphere. It is the artist’s commentary on the paling color of the earth due to environmental degradation. Showing a cartographic image of the earth (or the earth as seen from the stratosphere) in vivid greens and blues, it is a depiction of the world that he knows “Il mondo che conosco” — one that perfectly delineates the seven continents and the seven seas. A nostalgic take on nature, it is both a reminder of the good and a warning of impending doom.
For two decades now, the Florence Biennale has gathered thousands ofartists from around the world to participate in its large-scale contemporary art event in Italy, the “cradle of the Renaissance.” Unlike other festivities, the biennale showcases works of artists independent of intermediation of traditional galleries. Moreover, it includes digital art, video art, photography, installation art, performance art as well as painting, drawing and calligraphy, mixed media, sculpture, ceramic art, textile and fiber art and jewellery art.
The biennale welcomes artists with different cultural backgrounds and at different career stages, and features guests artists of honor. Participating artists compete for the ‘Lorenzo il Magnifico’ International Awards, which are conferred by an International Jury composed of outstanding personalities in the world of art and culture. Among renowned artists who have received this award in the past editions are David Hockney, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Marina Abramoviو and Anish Kapoor, to name a few.
Three more Filipino visual artists who represented the country during the biennale were Melbourne Aquino, Jun Gueco Cruz and San Lubay.

1 comment

  • Bobbie Mcpeck

    Hi. Just wanted to share with you the best of Europes festivals over the past few months. I have visited most of these in the past year and I can assure you that they are great fun. Find time to enjoy life and attend one of these this year. Looking forward to some more interesting posts on the Marina de Bolnuevo blog ( Have a great day.

    Bobbie Mcpeck Saturday, 09 December 2017 06:08 Comment Link

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