SCOUT
February 2016

SCOUT Magazine February 2016


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Release Date: 17 February 2016.

Last year I went to see a friend’s dad’s art exhibit. The dad in question was artist Oca Villamiel, who just finished creating an installation of more than 10,000 cast-off bovine horns. This massive event was the culmination of nine years of painstaking scouring and collecting. The horns seemed to spring from the ground like weeds on steroids, some creeping up the walls as if at last orchestrating a long-planned jailbreak. It was an eerie, imposing landscape to behold.

This morning I Googled Oca’s Mga Damong Ligaw to see what people wrote about it. The critics and art bloggers debate the meaning but share similar evaluations. It’s a grand, thought-provoking, goosebumps-inducing masterpiece from an inimitable visionary. What’s not much said about the experience is the actual going there. Oca, after all, chose to show in Light and Space Contemporary, a gallery space nestled in West Fairview. It’s far-flung, even by already impossible QC standards. Indeed an inextricable part of it all is the requisite long drive. Oca provided a family van to shuttle some artists and friends to the gallery and back to the main road home.

It only recently occurred to me, like a chance coup de foudre, that the experience of art largely involves intentional participation. To see the collections of the Louvre, one has to fly first to Paris. A three-Michelin-star restaurant is rated precisely thus because it’s “worth a special journey.” Of course the glass ceiling of galleries have long been shattered by audacious artists who brought art to the streets and other more inclusive fora. The medium of art is fundamental to this. I remember the time when Alexander McQueen’s “Plato’s Atlantis” was live-streamed online. Those armadillo platforms stomped to the anthem of Lady Gaga. You didn’t have to be seated front row in Paris to see that. When I was first approached more than a year ago to edit Scout, what I found most exciting about it was its trailblazing business model: The idea that you can bring a quality free product straight to your audience, and they need not journey for it. Scout is a free magazine for millennials, each month brought directly to them. Students can pick it up in school, and young professionals who are running a cappuccino errand can get it at cafés, too. We have since grown and multiplied our distribution points to include leading bookstores and other establishments that deemed Scout a valuable asset. After a year of being in Scout, I can’t be more proud of the achievements of our many colleagues and collaborators.

I guess you can say that this enterprise of actively bringing something or someone closer to audience is also what happened to our cover subject this month, Tommy Esguerra. He used to be just a fashion model, most often seen in magazines and on exclusive designer runways, until a new medium—television—introduced him to a new throng of adoring fans. Millennials tend to be cynical about fame and the cult of celebrity.

Yet even those who doubt must concede that what makes a character so mesmerizing to people is never a simple, replicable formula. And I think that’s always a fascinating story.

Language : English
Country : Philippines
Publisher : Hinge Inquirer Publications
Page Count : 48
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