An Artist Called Botong-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Thursday, September 12, 2013
MUSEO Negrense de la Salle will open tomorrow the traveling exhibit of Ayala Museum on Botong Francisco. From August 27 to September 10, the collection was displayed in the Ayala District Mall in the City of Talisay with no less than Fernando Zobel de Ayala in attendance for the launch.
This thrust of Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI) is to bring art beyond the confines of the Ayala Museum in Makati to new audiences outside of Manila.
The exhibit entitled “Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined,” features 25 reproductions of Botong’s paintings from institutional and private collections. Accompanying these images is a film produced by AFI who commissioned acclaimed filmmaker Peque Gallaga to introduce and tell the story of the vision and the artistic genius of this master.
So who is Botong Francisco?
The film opens with these words: “They call me Botong. I was born here in Angono and to the people of this town, I was known as the dark-skinned child: the dark child who loved to draw. In my eyes, in my mind is a splendor waiting to emerge from the tip of a pencil or a paintbrush. My hand moves leaving behind tracks—like an animal. The animal known as imagination. I thought I might learn to tame the animal, to refine my craft. But the animal would not be tamed. The artist sees, not with his eyes, but with his mind. With his mind he envisions and re-visions the world again and again. With his hand he brings the vision into reality, allowing people to glimpse the dream, creating new ways of seeing reality, recreating reality itself out of empty space, by claiming it, organizing it, marking it. A new reality born out of a new way of seeing.”
The exhibit can now be admired and appreciated in the 2nd floor Textile Annex of the Museo Negrense de la Salle and will run until October 10, 2013.
The paintings are fabulous and the film by Peque allows the beholder to visualize how this dark skinned child of Angono brought his visions into reality.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 12, 2013.