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A World of Color: Carlos Makes a Comeback with an Art Exhibit Featuring NFTs

A World of Color: Carlos Makes a Comeback with an Art Exhibit Featuring NFTs

Special Features | July 1, 2022
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Galeria Paloma and Samsung debut a series of art exhibitions with traditional paintings, sculptures, and NFTs by Filipino artist Carlos.

Non-fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are just some of the many new art forms to debut in the market. Joining the likes of traditional paintings, modern installations, sculptures, and more, these virtual pieces have been displayed in art exhibits both here and abroad. But what exactly makes NFTs so popular today?

Although digital art made its appearance following the advent of computers, the ownership and provenance of these works are not in the physical custody of its owner or creator. But through these NFTs—blockchains that prove the ownership, provenance, and authenticity of one’s art in a transparent fashion—people can now freely own digital art.

With that came the rise in the adoption and collection of crypto art, not only among collectors and digital-native artists, but even among traditional artists who harness their creativity as they explore this innovative medium.

Carlos, The Music Salon, 35×35, acrylic on canvas

Painting a World of Color

In the Philippines, one of these artists is Carlos. A painter and sculptor with an art career spanning 40 years, he is known for the use of vibrant colors to liven up what would otherwise be mundane scenery. And as one of the first to delve into the world of NFTs, his works come to life through animation.

“Life is about the colors you and others paint your world with,” he says simply.

While traditional paints and canvases have been his tools for creating art for the past decade, the artist added crypto art to his repertoire. But beyond minting ownership for the digital pieces he creates, he sees it as a means of expression—one that tells a story that inspires joy and optimism in the viewer beyond the canvas.

In that regard, he collaborated with artist and motion designer Isaiah Cacnio, who brings to life the vivid colors and brush strokes through choreographed colorization and animation. Through this, the crypto art pieces envelop the viewer deeper into the warmth and joy of the many scenes that he creates.

But not many know that Carlos too is a sculptor. Bringing that vivid and raw energy from his paintings into his sculptures, he too portrays motion captured in the stillness of art—specifically of people, and most notably, people undertaking physical work. And while he rarely creates sculptures, the select few he did were sold out within minutes in his first exhibit at Power Plant Mall almost 20 years ago.

“It is not to display the toil of labor. I am most interested in depicting the nobility of hard work,” he says about his sculptures. Referring to his tableau of fishermen hauling their nets, he explains: “There’s a joy, a camaraderie, even, in working arm-in-arm with others to fulfill a task.”

Carlos, Where the Weathered Boats Lie, 48×48 acrylic on canvas

The Colors of Carlos

Making a return appearance after the pandemic, Carlos is back for another exhibit from July 8 to 12, 2022. Set to debut at the North Court of Power Plant Mall, it will be hosted by Galeria Paloma, in partnership with Samsung The Frame. Much like his previous exhibits, it will showcase colorful artworks in various iterations—from paintings to sculptures, but now with crypto art NFTs.

Dubbed as “The Colors of Carlos,” this exhibit is a prelude to a series of upcoming shows by Galeria Paloma—one that aims to connect the familiar media of visual art with the emerging genre of crypto art. A marriage of traditional and modern, so to speak. Thus, in these exhibitions, traditional forms of art will be displayed side-by-side with crypto art on Samsung The Frame TV screens.

What’s more, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Mano Amiga. This organization provides quality education for underprivileged children and sustainable livelihood opportunities to families from disadvantaged communities.

“Children from low-income families have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic-induced educational disruption. This partnership with Galeria Paloma enables us to provide more scholarships and help more students bounce back from the learning loss, and to receive the quality education they need and deserve,” says Lynn Pinugu, Mano Amiga co-founder and executive director.

“We are incredibly grateful to Galeria Paloma and Carlos for choosing to support the scholarships of disadvantaged children at Mano Amiga Philippines,” she adds.

Carlos, Of Hearts and Blooms, 26×44 acrylic on canvas

A New Era for Art

One of the highlights in this exhibit includes the use of Samsung The Frame TVs for all digital artworks. Since The Frame’s launch five years ago, Samsung has curated an innovative way for people to display digital art in their homes. “Samsung’s The Frame has helped to democratize access to art by placing it into the homes of people around the world. However, this partnership with Galeria Paloma featuring their new NFT art collection is something new for us and extremely special,” says Mahir Al-Rubah, head of AV product marketing at Samsung.

“We look forward to taking part in this digital-art series and help the gallery foster greater appreciation and understanding of this emerging art genre,” he adds.

But for great art to be showcased, its vessel—the Samsung The Frame TV, in this case—must boast of exemplary specs. “We were impressed by its features, some of which are its matte screen and incredible resolution, and, of course, the bezel that melds seamlessly in an art exhibition and ultimately, a collector’s home,” says gallery director Kimberly Delgado.

“The Frame is poised to serve Galeria Paloma’s discerning art collectors who appreciate that their collections must be displayed in the best way possible. This applies equally to digital artworks,” she continues.

With the growing hype in collecting and selling NFTs, especially since the good ones quickly rise in value, the question remains: will they replace digital art? The gallery director thinks otherwise. “Crypto art is not meant to displace the traditional art forms, like painting or sculpting, but rather broadening what we consider art and how we secure art in this new digital era. We are hoping to familiarize the local art market further and provide seamless ways to collect and display crypto art.”

Carlos, To Touch Forever, 26×44 acrylic on canvas

RELATED STORIES:

Into the World of Carlos: Carlos Rocha on NFTs as a New Art Medium

In the Scene: Art Fair Philippines Goes Hybrid

Kenzo Takada’s Parting Gift to the Everlasting Mah Jong Sofa


The public is welcome to visit the exhibition on July 8 to 12 at Power Plant Mall. For more information, visit www.galeriapaloma.com.

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