Monday, March 26, 2012

wild about bidibidi's flowers

monday, 26 march 2012
alvin yapan
philippine daily inquirer

Georgia O’Keeffe became famous for the same subject. Flowers done in large format and closeup. Instead of flowers presented in bouquets, they were drawn almost always singly or in sparse numbers, focusing instead on their anatomical structure. But that was O’Keeffe then in America. What we have here is Bernadette de los Santos, “Bidibidi” among her friends, doing her paintings in Baao, Camarines Sur. What sets Bidibidi apart from O’Keeffe is her treatment of colors in painting her flowers from the Bicol region, both endemic and naturalized. In Bidibidi’s paintings, colors are boundless expressions of creativity. Colors are never subdued. They are permitted their vividness, their lushness. No apologies here for starkness. Deep blues can exist side by side with the brightest of yellows. Reds take a radical turn to orange against a blue background with no transitional hues. Sometimes, Bidibidi does use pastel colors, as in her “Flower” Series (2000). But she indiscriminately applies them to all the color palettes in the canvas. Pastel then no longer becomes a hue, an indication of gradation. Pastel develops its own expressive value.
In her earlier works exhibited in Gallery of Walter Lee Avery City Hall (1999) of California, we still observe a nervousness on Bidibidi’s part as an artist. There is still an apology to mark boundaries, as if to assure us that it was a conscious decision on her part, to set these contrasting and opposing colors side by side. But in her later works, as in the series “Wild About Flowers” (2003), these linear boundaries are now done away with. Deep colors are made to exist beside each other. Here, her visual style has finally blossomed.
What makes Bidibidi’s floral paintings excitingly feminist are precisely these colors, aside of course from the obvious sensual yonic references, an influence from O’Keeffe. She roots these colors to her experience of childhood in the Bicol province. Those were days recollected with a bounty of flowers being strewn, in all their chromatic glory, at the feet of the Blessed Virgin for the annual Flores de Mayo. It is to this hometown now that she chooses to go back to, to promote her love for organic farming. To this end, she has set up F.A.R.M. (Fabulously & Absolutely Rural Made) to help develop small and medium enterprises among rural women. At the same time, she opened up Café des Artes where Bicol artists could exhibit their works. There is in Bidibidi’s artistic ventures the symbiotic relationship between the arts and agriculture. Feudal and therefore patriarchal with its long hacienda history in the county, agriculture is now reclaimed in Bidibidi’s work as a site of womanhood.
Bidibidi’s vivid colors remind us of the copiousness of life offered up by the provincial soil. And yes, indeed, our flowers here in the tropics never scrimp on colors. They lavish us with a sensory overload of richness sometimes impossible to imagine. Bidibidi now sums up her journey as an artist in a one-woman inaugural exhibit at La Huerta de Rosario, Baao, Camarines Sur, on April 1. The exhibit will then be transferred to Café des Artes where the paintings will stay for a month.
The exhibit is aptly called un rêve de bohême, a bohemian dream, not just as a hark back to the ’70s but, more importantly, as a celebration of life in the tropics.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

49: un reve de boheme

the purpose of life, after all, is to love it!  
to taste experience to the utmost, 
to reach out eagerly and without fear,  
for newer and richer experience, of a life in colour!
life is good!  bwahahaha!
this exhibit features bidibidi's 49 works to celebrate with 49 friends and family her 49th!

Monday, March 12, 2012

"orog karahay" exhibit opens

leah boquiron, rose cruz, fabi arejola, belen llamas, dollie chavez, cecile pardo, luzviminda maristela, bidibidi, cristy palma
the month of march marks the observance of the international women's month.  this year's theme:  "empower rural women"  is fittingly celebrated by the 'orog karahay' (fully blessed) visual arts exhibit which featured 13 women artists.  the statement has been made:  we, women, can!
the orog karahay women artists group during their meeting @ bob marlin, nc
this group of professional women pulled their creative forces together to come up with the first all-women-artists show at the cafe des artes, here in baao, camarines sur.  they represent different sectors and professions but are bonded together by their common passion, the arts.  works will be displayed at the gallery till 30 march 2012.
fabi arejola & her flowers

belen llamas & her flowers

cecile pardo & her women

rosenda cruz & her landscape

luzviminda maristela and her works
the women arts initiative celebrates the collective ability of women.  all the artworks have been created by diverse women from the bicol region, to inspire, challenge, entertain and provoke thought from a gender angle.
dollie & her stallion

cristy & her flower series 3


wying manlangit-tam with her landscape & bidibidi
the impressive artworks, especially the floral paintings, celebrate the artistic grace of women.
armi interviews cristy for a tv feature on gnn

the women artists with guests

bidibidi with artists / friends:  cristy palma & dollie chavez

bidibidi, tootsie, lilette with wying and guest

belen llamas, luzviminda maristela & rose cruz with guests

cecile pardo & luzviminda maristela enjoy the snacks with women guests
this initiative has been the first and only of its kind in the bicol region, if not in the entire philippines, and will not be the last, as bidibidi was heard saying.  the group have reserved occupancy at the gallery in march next year, to launch a recipe book of favourite bicol delicacies with artworks from contributor artist.
kristian cordero & bidibidi with ateneo de naga students


kristian cordero, bidibidi, robin christopher brehm
men do it good,  women do it better!  bwahahaha!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

orog karahay

the arts connect us all - anywhere, anytime.  this exhibit celebrates the artistic grace of women

burikbutikan group, inc.
celebrating this year's international women's month