Wednesday, 5 August 2009

"Tampuhan" by Juan Luna, 1895

In an earlier post about Pilipino, I found at that site my favorite painting by a Filipino artist. I first saw it in a coffee table book many years ago at a friend’s house in Manila. It is entitled “Tampuhan”. It appeals to me because of the composition and theme: the yesteryear way of formal dressing, the highly-polished hardwood floors, balcony posts, capiz windows, lots of warm light. The pair seems to be in an uncommunicative mode. Juan Luna was one of those artists whose genius-mind was way off: he killed his wife and mother-in-law, bipolar ngata iso, a. The poet Marne Kilates has written a lovely poem about this painting, with the first two parts quoted below:

Was it a time of grace, of smooth
And even things? How long ago
Was it, how far away that seldom
We make a visit, even in our dreams?

Sun on the floor of a varnished afternoon
Before Christmas, lace on the pasamano,
Curve of elbow under gossamer sleeve,
Hand as delicate, missing its abanico...

If Juan Luna were to paint this in 2009, the setting would probably reflect a minimalist taste for furniture and housing material: glass, metal, black would abound. The lass would be curled up in a highback asymmetrical three-legged rattan chair with a Baguio pink stone base, dressed in a striped Benetton shirt, Gloria Vanderbilt skinny jeans and Jimmy Choo slingbacks, the chap in a Yankees baseball cap with the visor on the side, camouflage shorts, black sando, Adidas chinelas, silver hoops, and more interested in the three chikas across the street at Condo II. Oh well, times do change. But the churning emotions that the Maria Clarita (1895) and the Marie-Claire (2009) ladies, respectively, would probably be still the same. Agpaspasugnod. There. That sounds deeper than Nagtatampo!
I'd love for Salvacion F-G to do a painting, along these lines!

Share your favorites! Paintings, pets, grandkids, books, whatever. With or without links to our high school yesteryears!

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