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Art in Focus: Remembering Rembrandt

October is Museum and Galleries Month! And as the Metropolitan Museum of Manila celebrates its 43rd anniversary, it featured a guided viewing of a couple of the famous works the great Baroque artist, Rembrandt van Rijin which also coincides with his 350th death anniversary.

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Photo from https://www.nationalreview.com/

In a museum visit on a Saturday afternoon – an unusual break from the hourly streaks of readings and reviewers, I immersed and got lost in Rembrandt’s flair to depict the pinnacle of any presented moment, all works artistically suspended on a larger-than-life canvas. As a new admirer, seeing his works and understanding its narratives may be happily overwhelming. But later, with eyes fully satisfied from the beauty of his collections, I left the  museum’s premises seeking for more. 

October 5, 2019 celebrates the 43rd anniversary of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila which then gave the opportunity to commemorate the 350th death anniversary of the great Baroque artist, Rembrandt van Rijin. The museum featured a guided viewing of a couple of his famous works as presented by Ms. Alec Madelene Abarro, through a projected presentation. Although the actual works were not on display, the discussion transcended the technological constraints by carefully dissecting each piece, reveling in the masterpieces of Rembrandt, all the while paying attention to his palpable play of lights and its significance not only in his works, but on the phases of his remarkable life. 

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp anatomy lesson - rembrandt

Photo from Wikipedia

Prior to showing this piece, thirty or so individuals were seated on the carpeted floor of the museum. We were invited to a game of guessing if the artwork shown is a Rembrandt or not. Several group portraitures were presented, some were recognizable as other artists’ works and some were convincing enough to believe it was part of Rembrandt’s collection. What was common among the  group portraitures were the cramped lines and rows, seemingly placing the subjects in a structured frame. Then Rembrandt’s recognizable formulas of dark backgrounds and dramatic flares popped up on the screen that had the audience muttering silent yeses. 

What Ms. Abarro pointed out about this piece is its boldness to highlight what a spectator must engage with: the corpse and tendrils of its arms, Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, and the masterful hand of Rembrandt in finding the peak of the narrative – all given importance by his famous light and shadow techniques. Moreover, its diversion from the usual formality of group portraiture make it a plausible odd thumb of sorts. 

The Jewish Bride

Photo from Google Arts and Culture

Perhaps Rembrandt’s artistic branding is his ability to frame the dramatic instances of his works and to carefully put the pristine details on canvas, from the mere muskets to the anatomical details of his craft which all serve as an amalgamation of his theatrics. However, “The Jewish Bride”, a picture which exuded an enthusiastic admiration out of Van Gogh, were stripped off his usual branding. It is still bathed in the Rembrandt light, but the schema of the narrative revolves around the tranquility of the moment, a picture which diverts from the loudness of “The Night Watch” and other works from his collection that seem to overhaul chaos. 

The Marriage of Jason and Creusa 

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Photo from Google Arts and Culture

Metropolitan Museum of Manila has acquired a copy of the famous Rembrandt etching that depicts two subjects: the marriage of Jason and Creusa and Medea’s picture of revenge, all inspired by the Greek mythology. 

It is quite known that Rembrandt’s works are inspired from mythologies and the Bible. This was most evident in “The Three Crosses” and “The Return of the Prodigal Son”. This etching, however, is the figurative cherry-on-top of the afternoon as it showcases the skillful and prolific lighting of Rembrandt, even with a metal etching. If one would scrutinize on the artwork, it elaborates how Rembrandt gives such importance and attention to intricacies. The tangible copy, however, is caged on a frame, just a mote piece on the wall beside the guided viewing, waiting to be appreciated by spectators. 

If there’s one thing that Rembrandt is known and celebrated for, it’s his ability to bathe his works with lights, casting a shadow here and there to indicate the picture’s prominent subject and to engage the spectator to take two glimpses: firstly, with expectant eyes ready to digest the work and secondly, with an unsizeable heart that glorifies the existence of the dark, an element necessary to let the light string in. 

“The best way to honor [an artist’s] legacy is to take a look at the artwork,” Ms. Abarro concludes with a call to the audience of different ages – sitting presently in front of the projected wall, mostly cramped beside the sculpture of the body sitting in the middle of the floor – to bask in the details and let it arrest you enough to inspire and expand your horizons. 

For upcoming events and exhibits of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, visit their webpage at https://metmuseum.ph/. You may also visit National Commission for Culture and the Arts‘ Facebook page for other events and exhibits in other museums and galleries around Metro Manila. 

Photo from Metropolitan Museum of Manila facebook Page

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Thomasian musicians to add to your playlist

With all the new takes on OPM, let’s not forget about our fellow Thomasians who are persevering to let their craft be known in the mainstream media. Support local, support Thomasian artists.

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The rise of Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and other music-streaming platforms paved the way for more artists to share their craft with a broader audience. It is now easier to promote your material through social media, while people can seamlessly listen to your music through different audio platforms on-demand without splurging too much cash. A basic subscription plan lets anyone stream all the music they want and play your songs on repeat. With this boom in the music industry through technological advancements, artists are inspired, now more than ever, to produce more music and give sick beats to avid listeners.

Here is a shortlist of Thomasian musicians you can stream on your music platforms.

1. Al James

(Photo courtesy of Jilson Tiu)

Before he was front and center in most gigs and before his music was blasted through the speakers of bars, Alvin James Manlutac, famously known as Al James, also sat in the rooms of Beato as a student under the College of Fine Arts and Design. In launching his first hit, he also doubted himself because he knew his style did not follow hip-hop norms. But fast-forward to today, his crafts are among the most famous songs played in the nightlife scene, as well as in casual get-togethers with your friends.

Manlutac permeated the fine line between underground and mainstream when he released his song ‘Pahinga,’ gaining more than 7.3 million views since its release three years ago.

Screengrab from Presko Life PH

2. Migo Señires

(Photo from DBTK)

Like Al James, Migo Señires also spent his college days in Beato, studying Advertising Arts in the College of Fine Arts and Design. They are both a part of the Baryo Berde crew, a multi-talent collective that fixates on culture and art. 

Señires released his song, Kara,which garnered more than 141,000 views since it was posted on his channel. He claims that he wrote it for the younger people who forgot their roots and the older ones who get frustrated when they can’t keep up with modern times. 

3. Schumi

(Screengrab from YouTube/Schumi)

When he is not walking around the halls of Ruaño, he may be singing center stage. Albert Guallar, famously known as Schumi, has been catching ears in the local hip-hop scene. He first started producing music and uploading it to SoundCloud, which then garnered the attention of people who had an interest in hip-hop. In an interview with TomasinoWeb, he said that his Schumi persona — writing music and such, is his gateway to express his emotions. It was an effective venue to vent out feelings of heartbreak and sadness, which, in this instance, was his breakup with his girlfriend. 

Schumi’s hit song ‘Bakit Why Not’ talks about breaking norms and protesting against some stereotypes like gender roles. Its music video has amassed more than 10 thousand views within two months of its release.

 

 

4. Himig Borhuh

(Photo from Himig Borhuh’s official Soundcloud)

From walking around the halls of the Albertus Magnus to being in the spotlight of #USTPaskuhan, Himig Austin Borja, a Music Technology student from the Conservatory of Music, has been making a name for himself. In an interview with UST Tiger TV, he said that he didn’t really envision himself to major in music since he was inclined to sports and was a basketball varsity player during his high school years. He also did not expect his hit song, ‘Watawat,’ to become well-known and was surprised that lines from his song became widespread after its release.

Himig Borja’s ‘Watawat,’ featuring Schumi, was a song that garnered attention during the last UAAP season. The line ‘ang medalya at korona ibalik na sa España,’ reflected the community’s yearning to secure another championship and showed the support Thomasians have for all our sports teams as well as the pride we have for our school. 

5.  Adrian Aggabao

(Photo from Adrian Aggabao’s official Instagram account)

Adrian Aggabao, popularly known as ‘Don Bao,’ is a Raymund’s local from the College of Commerce and Business Administration. Like Schumi, his music career also began when he started publishing his music on SoundCloud. Since then, he has secured multiple gigs during his downtime. Most of his music speaks about social realities and what’s nice about it is that he has his family as his inspiration. 

Don Bao’s song ‘Pasanin’ emphasizes on the lessons that a life filled with struggles and obstacles brings. Having dropped this first video on his Youtube channel about a year ago, it has garnered more than 2.3 thousand views. 

6. BarbaCola

(Photo from BarbaCola’s official Facebook page)

From UST Musikat’s band pool, the band BarbaCola was formed with Renz Jerique from the Faculty of Arts and Letters on vocals, Raja Rayas from the College of Education on bass, Cedrick Santa Cruz from the Faculty of Engineering on lead guitar, and Raemonn Petr on drums.

BarbaCola’s song ‘Senseless’ runs along with the themes of alternative and indie genres, mainly focusing on the ups and downs of love and how it is a war that one might not survive.

7. VFade

(Photo from Patrick Valentine Cabanayan’s official Facebook account)

Patrick Valentine Cabanayan, more commonly known as VFade, hails from the College of Science under the Department of Mathematics. In an interview with UST Tiger TV, he stated that his interest in music developed when he was in Senior High School, specifically during an apprenticeship under the Music, Arts, and Design track. He tried out music production and also ventured into rapping. 

His song ‘Andito Lang Ako’ expresses love and affection for a significant other. The song itself embodies the wide array of emotions one might feel when in love and how some minute details in the world seem brighter in the presence of strong feelings of attraction.

8. OMEN, Carty and Ballen

(Screengrab from YouTube/OnlyOneOmen)

All coming from the same Advertising Arts class in the College of Fine Arts and Design, third year students OMEN (Ron Flores), Carty (Zack Garcia), and Ballen (Allen Agulay) recently made their brainchild available to the public. The trio, who consider themselves brothers from another mother, has collaborated to release a new song entitled ‘Karma Comeback.’

As a collective, they claim that they made the song ‘Karma Comeback’ for fun since quarantine made it hard for them to bond and share their sentiments. By collaborating, they delved into their passion, music, art, and dumb sh*t, as they say.

Thomasians have always been present in every field, more prominently in the music industry. Their growth as artists and musicians will be exponential if we continue to support them and their work. With all the new takes on OPM, let’s not forget about our fellow Thomasians who are persevering to let their craft be known in the mainstream media. Support local, support Thomasian artists. 

 

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How to apply clown makeup

Did you know that circus clowns make $60,000 a year while you’re out here doing it for free?

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(Artwork by Patricia Jardin/TomasinoWeb)

When Miles Edgeworth said, “You are not the clown. You are the entire circus,” I felt that.

Did you know that circus clowns make $60,000 a year while you’re out here doing it for free? It’s the first day of April and what better way to commemorate this annual holiday than putting on your best clown makeup! From McDonalds to your local emoji, we’re here to help you channel that inner Boo Boo the Fool in you. 

First, make sure your skin is prepped nice and clean. Bold assumptions and hasty generalizations usually make a good base. These tend to last longer because you refuse to take them off. You can use your two fingers, a sponge, or your foolish thoughts to apply it evenly. 

Now it’s time to build on those assumptions and paint your canvas. Start off by carving out spaces on your eyes and mouth where you will be applying the colors. Depending on your preference, you can choose to paint the eye with the same color or two different colors. When deciding which color, be quick and impulsive. Then, remember to paint it with inconsistency just like your thoughts and words. 

The cheeks and mouth will be red. Luckily, there are a variety of rouge shades in clown makeup. We recommend using the palette “Red Flags,” which you can get for free when you use the code “NOLABELS” or “CAN’TCOMMIT” at checkout. Color in your cheeks with a soft red color, perhaps in the shade “Here for a good time, not a long time” or “Only talk about themselves but never ask about you.” Don’t spend so much time blending because the key here is completely ignoring it.

The mouth is the highlight of clown makeup. Our tip is to overline your lips to the degree you overthink. You can then go ahead and color it in, but this time with a more intense shade of red. The shades “Entitled,” “Manipulative,” and “Caught cheating in 4K” are the most tolerated in the clown community. 

Accentuate the details of your look by making outlines around your eyes and mouth. Again, depending on the look you’re going for, you can make the outline as thin as your chances with that person you’re simping over or as thick as your audacity to get back with your ex after getting off a 3-hour phone call with your best friend who clearly told you not to. 

Of course, we can’t forget about the cherry on top and the crowning glory of clowns: the wig. There’s a wide variety of colors you can choose from but select a wig that will fit your head and perfectly cover up all your tomfoolery, bamboozlement, and wishful thinking. 

If you have cash to spare, throw in a costume and some oversized shoes that will help you jump into conclusions better. Don’t forget to pop on a red nose and voilà! The circus is complete. 

The art of clownery is one that is hard to master, yet the community keeps growing. And that speaks volumes. Clowning isn’t just a coping mechanism, it’s a cultural reset, a lifestyle, a reason to breathe, and an escape from this cruel world. 

Most importantly, it’s harmless because the only person you’re fooling is yourself. Happy April Fools‘!

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