Quaderno: Page Talk with Marcel Antonio

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This National Arts Month, we highlight Filipino art through Quaderno's Page Talk—a platform where we converse with the extraordinary talents shaping the present and future of Philippine art.

Marcel Antonio mines the potential of existence—from memories, reflections, ideas, and musings—to create Chagallesque artworks that inspire stories and imagination.

Literature Is What Makes Us Humans | acrylic on canvas (2019)

Influenced in the beginning by Dada artists and early modernism, for Antonio, “his work is a product of randomness and discovery, of playing with the work within certain limits and free-styling from there.”

In today's Page Talk, Looking for Juan chats with the revered painter to talk about his craft, creative inspiration, and the role of the Filipino artist in today's uncertain climate. 

Insatiable Curiosity | acrylic on canvas (2019)

What inspires/motivates you to create?

“Inspiration comes to me in many forms, whether through books, films, art, etc. These forms speak to me emotionally and poetically, so the motivation is always the same. I feel the poetic component is more rarefied in nature than explicitly expressing an emotion; it takes a special kind of feeling to appreciate what is in essence poetic.”

What does your art represent?

“My paintings and drawings are a memory-store of these emotions and personal musings; they serve as vessels of ideas and stories that may or may not add to the meaning of existence (at least to me).”

Words Are What We Tell Our Children | acrylic on canvas (2019)

How can art influence change?

“Change, being the constant in life, can manifest from art on different levels in culture and society. I think the most I can expect is that a radical direction from such an agency will always start personal, from one individual to another. That said, an inspired work of art that started out from a solitary vision can grow in influence into a collective of like-minded force, enough to become a revolution for change and a great disruptor of the status quo.”

What's the role of Filipino artists in this time of misinformation, division, and pandemic?

“Our work as artists in these post-truth times will always be (and always has been) in pursuit of what is true and authentic, even if it means being a disruptor of the times and mores. Both sides of the equation of truths and lies will always have their artistic champions. It is up to the discerning reader to rally behind the artist who represents the closest embodiment of a free, artistic spirit, or to choose to follow the propaganda of lies and reality blindness.”

Inspired by Marcel Antonio's art? Support Philippine art while you write with Quaderno by Marcel Antonio, featuring four limited-edition notebooks designed in collaboration with the artist, created to find a renewed appreciation for Philippine art, probe ideas, and express yourself creatively.

Each collection contains four notebooks (lined, blank, dotted, and blank) with 64 pages of 100 GSM cream textured paper each—perfect for journaling, calligraphy, watercolor painting, and more.

A part of the proceeds from this Quaderno collection will go to book donations to children in disadvantaged communities in the Philippines in support of CANVAS' One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign.

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