You Can Now Buy Items Featuring Fernando Amorsolo's Paintings As Rustans Honors Him In This Exhibit
True to its commitment to celebrating Filipino art and artists, the most recent Rustans Makati 5th floor art event was one dedicated to Fernando Amorsolo. Born in 1892, Amorsolo passed away in 1972; but to this day, his work is highly regarded, valued, and celebrated as the work of a true Filipino master. Declared the very first National Artist in painting a few days after his death, Amorsolo is best known for his portraits, his rural countryside scenes, and his mastery of light and illumination.
Photos by Philip Cu-Unjieng
All this was brought to our attention via the wonderful tableaus that dotted the exhibition area at Rustans. Similar to how they had celebrated other artists, Rustans had arranged for a variety of merchandise and decorative items to celebrate the paintings of Amorsolo. From plates, to placemats, to postcards and notebooks, to T-shirts, tote bags, toiletries cases, and little reproductions—a myriad of retail items were on display to help make Amorsolo’s works accessible, democratized, and part of mass culture.
His "Fruit Pickers Harvesting Under a Mango Tree" (1939) was recently sold by auction at Leòn Gallery for a reported P46.7 million; and the joke was going around that yes, the buyer paid that much, but could he (or she) wear it as a T-Shirt? At Rustans, you could get a T-shirt with the very same painting, and not pay anywhere close to P46 million.
In this day and age, it’s wonderful that institutions such as Rustans carry on the legacy established by their founder, the late Glecy R. Tantoco, of making Rustans exist, not just as a department store with pure commercial interests, but also as a ‘cathedral’ of Filipino culture and artistry. Because, let’s face it, more people will walk through the doors of retail establishments such as Rustans than through the doors of our museums.
Lead images from @rustansph