Art's girl power
by Radel Paredes, Cebu Daily News - Life! (November 17, 2009)
THEY are the local art world's equivalent to the Wonder Girls, making digital illustrations that (clap, clap) nobody, nobody can top. Not even the boys in the trade. Girlaloo, the all-girl group of illustrators, hopes to dissolve the digital divide and the gender gap in their first, self-titled exhibit.
Consisting of more than 30 computer-generated or digitally enhanced drawings, the show opened Nov.9 at the lobby of the University of San Carlos College of Architecture and Fine Arts building.
Most members were USC fine arts alumnae, so choosing to launch the exhibit tour in their alma mater is a gesture of homecoming. From USC, the works will be shown in the University of the Philippines Cebu Campus and the Benedicto College.
Targeting the the art school set is deliberate as the group aims not only to promote digital illustration as an "exciting outlet of expression and voice" but also to encourage other girls to consider it as a serious career option.
The artists thus flirt tipping the balance, making even the most macho digital art geek succumb to girl power.
And how diverse are the ways in which this power projects. There's the flotsam of bimorphic forms and cartoon monsters in the doodles of Govinda Trazo and Tambolbee Villarino.
There's also the strange digital and pop version of Art Nouveau in the portraits of women by Richelle Chua and Narki Hormiguera. Kristy Anne Ligones, on the other hand, is not as keen at the irony of simulating organic forms with a computer. Her own depiction of a woman combines the cute and the grotesque.
A mix of Mary Poppins and Yellow Submarine is hinted in the work of Kristine Oplando, while blinking stars and planets add cosmic aura to February Anne Ybanez's drawings of children. Childhood fantasy is revisited by Johanna Velasco-Deutsch, Luisa Gonzaga, and Madeth Villarosa. But rather than imagine a world of happy endings, the girls opted to portray a gloomy fairy tale.
Indeed the artists of Girlaloo have come of age. And despite the common fascination with the kikay, the kinky and the kitschy, they have proven that their works can still solicit serious reflection. Or, that high tech doodle, can be high art, too.
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