Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Art’

Fake or Fortune? The Winslow Homer in the trash, the fakes at the Courtauld, and other art detective tales.

June 27, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Television No Comments →


Fake or Fortune? unfolds like a detective series, with a painting in the office instead of a corpse in the solarium. Each episode begins with presenters Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce taking on an art mystery: Is this a genuine Turner (or Vuillard, Gainsborough, etc)? The show derives much of its charm from the pairing of Philip, an art dealer and art historian, and Fiona, a broadcast journalist. Philip is the expert, knowledgeable in the ways of the art business. Fiona is the stand-in for the audience, asking the questions we want to ask and articulating our bewilderment. Philip is generally calm and unflappable, while Fiona is emotional and expressive — she wants the paintings to be genuine, and looks crushed when they aren’t. As viewers, we feel we have a stake in the outcome of the investigation.

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Chilis and traffic

April 18, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Art No Comments →


Chilis in a celadon bowl by Butch Perez


Atasco (Traffic jam) by Jay Lozada

See you at Art in the Park on Sunday.

March 28, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Art No Comments →

AIP2016 evite Invite FA

It’s the time of year when you can hear the thought waves at Salcedo Park, and they all go, “I want I want Iwantiwantiwant.” Check out the Tin-Aw booth, which features the work of our friend Chus, among other fabulosities.

Art, Bozanians, and the Secret History of the Edsa Revolution

March 10, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Cats, History No Comments →

On view till March 26 at Tin-Aw Art Gallery: Transmission, an exhibition of the work of artist-mentors and their mentees. The anniversary show features pieces by Elmer Borlongan and Mike Adrao, Renato Habulan and Alfred Esquillo, Eduardo Orozco and Mark Justiniani, Don Salubayba and Henrielle Pagkaliwangan, Santiago Bose and Alwin Reamillo, Jose Santos III and Ioannis Sicuya, and Leo Abaya and Lee Paje.

The minute we stepped into the gallery we knew which piece was by Leo Abaya.

Panginoong Alipin

Next to Leo’s painting was an arresting copper etching by his student Lee Paje.


The panels on the right tell the story of alien spacecraft who arrive on Earth and abduct gay couples, including pairs of Disney princes. The spacecraft look like the Bozanian ships on Voltes V, which reminded us of a piece we wrote many years ago.

It was Roby Alampay, now the editor of InterAksyon and BusinessWorld, who first saw a link between Japanese robots and People Power.

Leo’s painting also reminds us of Steph’s cat Twister.


Tin-Aw is on the Upper Ground Floor of Somerset Olympia, Makati Avenue, Makati City, across from Old Swiss Inn. Somerset Olympia is next to the Peninsula. For more information, call (02)892 7522 or visit

Culture Shock and Awe: A diary of National Arts Month

February 27, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Movies, Music, Theatre No Comments →

A scene from the Met Opera’s Bluebeard’s Castle

ON SUNDAY we ran into Grace at the ballet at the Cultural Center, and on Wednesday we saw her again at the opening of the Art Fair. “Uyy, culture!” she said, and there has been an unusual number of arts and culture events in February. I know, because otherwise I would’ve seen Deadpool five times (You snobs don’t know what you’re missing. My favorite line: “Of course looks matter! Ever heard David Beckham speak?”). For a few weeks it felt like Manila was a Culture Capital, fairly teeming with plays, screenings of classic Filipino movies, art expositions, even opera.

Then I learned that February is National Arts Month, which means that when it ends we go back to being, as Noel puts it, culture lower-case.

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Two poems on Bruegel’s Icarus

December 30, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books No Comments →

XIR3675 Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, c.1555 (oil on canvas) by Bruegel, Pieter the Elder (c.1525-69); 73.5x112 cm; Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium; ( Icarus seen with his legs thrashing in the sea;); Giraudon; Flemish,  out of copyright
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, c.1555 (oil on canvas) by Bruegel, Pieter the Elder (c.1525-69); 73.5×112 cm; Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium. From Wikimedia Commons

Musée des Beaux Arts (1940)
by W.H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just
walking dully along;