The Magazine

Street artist Blic tags Esquire

The spotlight's on art that goes beyond the confines of a frame.
IMAGE Paul del Rosario
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This is the fourth of a five-part series detailing the artworks on the five covers of our special all-illustrated issue. Check out the rest of the features: Annie Cabigting, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Carlo Vergara, Derek Tumala.

On a balmy Tuesday morning we set for the streets, “wall hunting” for a space that would be our canvas, eyes peeled for abandoned or forgotten buildings, eyeing construction sites with temporary fences. We jumped out of the car to chat with the people who stood guard for these places, trying to explain our art and our intention which would be met by either enthusiasm or confusion. In one of our potential sites we met a construction worker who, when he heard about what we were trying to do, pulled out a brown envelope and began to share with us some of his personal work—sketches in ballpoint pen on bond paper. We went around for two hours, both on foot and by car, until finally, a group of pudgy men working at a junk shop had opened their doors to us. Though hesitant at first, they didn’t mind that the stone wall by their shop needed a new paint job anyway. So we perched at a curb and let Blic do his work, attracting a handful of passers-by who stopped to watch with us.


"...naramdaman ko yung tibok ng kalsada, kumbaga yung kalyeng kanina lang e tahimik, ay ngayon biglang may tumatawa na o dumadaldal nung sinimulan ko ng bigyang kulay yung pader."

This month, we put the spotlight on art that goes beyond the confines of a frame (or a canvas for that matter.) Here is an artist whose street art comes to life in the form of personified hands, or “humands”. JAJA ADIA, the artist behind the pseudonym BLIC, is a member of the Cavity Collective (a group of Cavite-based street artists). Here, he talks to Esquire a little bit more about his work.

ESQUIRE: When did you start doing street art and how did you get into it?
BLIC: Nagsimula ako noong 2010, gamit ang wheatpaste para magdikit ng edge-cut figures on paper. Natuklasan ko yung street art dahil sa mga stickers at ilang murals nuon sa Taft, Manila—panahong nag-aaral pa ako sa Adamson University—hanggang ipinakilala sa akin ng kaibigan ko na si Triskaideka na mayroong Pilipinas Street Plan (a local street art community), at nadiskubre ko na sila pala yung gumawa ng art na yun. At dahil bata pa lang kinahiligan ko na magdrawing, nagkaruon ako ng urge na subukan at aralin sya kahit wala akong alam sa pagpipinta.

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ESQ:What do you like about it?
BLIC: Masaya at challenging sya para sa akin, dahil mas pinipili ko na mahirapan ako magisip ng gagawin kong artwork. Tuwing gagawa ako sa kalsada, kumbaga, kailangan laging labas sa comfort zone ko.

"...mayroon pala akong artistic hand, at sa tuwing gagawin ko siya, lalo siyang nagpapaalala sa akin na ako ay may talentong makapagpapabago sa isang gray o patay na pader."


ESQ: How did you discover your humands figures?
BLIC: Mula umpisa hanggang 2012, iba pa yung ginagawa ko: hoodie na walang mukha na galing sa idea na “anonymous,” dahil graffiti yung ginagawa ko. Pero habang tumatagal, dinesenyo ko na sya na may mukha, kumbaga, nilaro ko na lang ng nilaro hanggang sa biglaan ko lang naisip palusutin sa hoodie yung kamay. Maporma sya tignan at natuwa ako, kaya tinuloy-tuloy ko lang. Para sakin, hindi ko pa talaga alam kung bakit kamay—bakit ko sya pinagpatuloy hanggang sa nadiskubre ko na isa pala itong palatandaan para sa akin, na simula pa umpisa, ako na mismo pala yung artwork ko, ako na may biyayang talento para makagawa ng isang bagay na magpapabago sa paligid ko kahit pa hindi ako nakapag aral ng fine arts. Na mayroon pala akong artistic hand, at sa tuwing gagawin ko siya, lalo siyang nagpapaalala sa akin na ako ay may talentong makapagpapabago sa isang gray o patay na pader.


Maraming klase ng tao na mae-encounter mo kalsada: may pilosopo, may mga aral, may mga natatakot o nahihiwagaan, at yung iba inistereotype kaagad nila na art yan, o yung tipong standard na "art yan" na tawag.

ESQ: What have you learned going around cities and doing your work?
BLIC: Maraming klase ng tao na mae-encounter mo kalsada: may pilosopo, may mga aral, may mga natatakot o nahihiwagaan, at yung iba inistereotype kaagad nila na art yan, o yung tipong standard na "art yan" na tawag. At syempre may mga taong natutuwa o galing na galing sayo, ang laki ng naitulong ng street crowd sa akin, naramdaman ko yung tibok ng kalsada, kumbaga yung kalyeng kanina lang e tahimik, ay ngayon biglang may tumatawa na o dumadaldal nung sinimulan ko ng bigyang kulay yung pader. Kaya hindi ako tumigil dahil dun, yung pakiramdam na may makikiliti ka pa rin kahit hindi nila alam na yung tinatawag nilang “drawing sa pader” ay “art.”

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See all five covers of our Special All-Illustrated Issue.

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Kara Ortiga
Kara Ortiga is a writer and the editor in chief of Supreme.
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