Text by Arvee Gomez
The signs of The Twins and the Bull crosses paths in the month of May and has become the theme of Pens N’ Brushes Philippines’ second installment of nude figure drawing, The Life Drawing Session PH: Taurus x Gemini: The Zodiac. As opposed to their previous theme of the historical assassination of Julius Caesar, the Singapore-based non-profit group, for the promotion of art in all possible mediums, turned to stars for their next inspiration. They opened the doors for all unique artists, and became one of the avenues to celebrate the timelessness of the human body as subject for art with their astrology-inspired setup.
According to popular literature, the people born under the sign of Taurus are strong-willed, striving, and sensual. Taureans are also considered as lovers of beauty, ruled rightfully so by the planet Venus. The Gemini in contrast, is described as being inhabited by of a double-faced persona, with origins tracing to the Dioscuri, two oppositional personalities residing in one body; one versatile and communicative, the other serious, tense and restless. An unlikely combination, it will take a great deal of energy for the Taurus and the Gemini to synergize. A male and a female model represented each sign respectively, in a staged set-up, unlike typical lifedrawing events. They take turns showing both the strenths and weaknesses of the signs, before joining in together for the final poses. Taurus x Gemini: The Zodiac appeals to the thespian, with the use of body-paint, dotting and spotting the limbs of the models and upcycled horns for an additional effort to achieve the theatrical and dramatic effect.
Against the minimalist backdrop set by the interior design firm Detalye Design Group of twinkling lights, the rising half-moon, and comets in dusky, translucent elastic, The Open Space Makati became the haven of the artists, both aspiring and adept, to capture in their own respective visions the edges, angles, and curves, every inch and sinew of the human body. Faber-Castell, as official partner to the event, provided additional art supplies.
Angel Altura from Pens N’ Brushes, remarked that it is vital for the local artists community to have a place where they can further enhance their talents and admitted that there are reservations at first, on the prospect of bringing the lifedrawing event in the country, considering that most members of the society uphold a conservative stance against the art of nude figure drawing in general. However, after seeing the positive reception their debut event has gathered in the past months, they believe that there is nothing to worry about at all, and have mapped out next projects in the future.
Aside from the highlight of the event, there was a poetry slam, courtesy of Ampalaya Monologues, featuring stories of heartbreaks and bitter love, and a live musical performance of Quartet Manila, which performed both famous classical and pop culture music pieces for the models’ last poses.