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Showing posts from September, 2018

MATT MANALO: "POCKET PAINTINGS"

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POCKET PAINTINGS
MATT MANALO October-November 2018
(click on all images to enlarge)
Interview Between Eileen Tabios (ET) and Matt Manalo (MM)

ET: I'm interested in some thoughts and/or preconceptions that you might have had before starting this mini or tiny works project. You had mentioned, for instance, that in your experience artists are encouraged to "go large." In your example, what was the rationale for that advice?


MM: In considering tiny works, at first, I had to take a pause. I was worried and excited at the same time. I knew I can pull it off but I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I agreed to the challenge because I always enjoy doing things that will question my usual, tried and tested art practice. I’m not a person who usually plans much to make something. Typically, I solidify an idea in my head and I just go and make. Through the process of making, I decide on what to add or remove. 
I believe the whole idea of “going large” was brought about by sublimin…

JEAN VENGUA and REA LYNN DE GUZMAN with MATT MANALO and VENANCIO IGARTA

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As a writer, my raw material is words. For some in this position, specificity is important—and yes, it’s important to me, too. But what I’ve mostly taken from decades of dealing with words is the instability of language and meaning. Thus, when I look at visual art that’s partly based on words and/or letters, I have an interest in seeing where the text deteriorates or melts against fixed definition(s).
Consequently, I’ve followed Jean Vengua’s haptic explorations, and was truly honored when she created this sketch that she was willing to call a “Portrait of Eileen Tabios”—yup, me.Indeed, instead of an author photo on my website, I use this image:

I love the haptic that she calls my portrait specifically because it’s asemic. Much of my work as a poet has been interrogating English, thus often subverting dictionary-based definitions, in part because of English’s history as a colonizing tool for my birth land, the Philippines (for more on that aspect of my poetics, go HERE.) How one rea…