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List of Articles by Recah Trinidad



Come catch the Last Full Show

By Recah Trinidad
PhilBoxing.com
10 Dec 2016

THERE’S a color portrait of the late National Artist for Literature Franz Arcellana, sparkling in its uniqueness, that will be worth digging for in the Last Full Show retrospective exhibit of the premier multi-awarded painter Danilo Dalena that opens today at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Curtain call is 4:p.m. but the poet-novelist Erwin Castillo, a collector and dear ally of Dalena, has promised to show up early. Just like members of the Arcellana family, Castillo never had the luck of laying eyes on the red-and-white portrait, done in a single seating one afternoon at the University of the Philippines campus.

Dalena has never bothered to display that portrait, so with the one he did, also in a single seating, of the amiable writer P.A. Zapanta, a war veteran with a perpetual smile and the Star of David tattoo on his left Ilongo forearm.

**

The two portraits, full-fledged masterpieces, could easily get buried in the truckload—make that read shipload—of great works that will trace and bare Dalena’s noble 50-year artistic odyssey. The frames, numbering close to a hundred, will illuminate the walls in the 3rd and 4th floors of the CCP main and small gallery. The show runs through February.

Too bad that the masterpiece Tres Seis Dehado, which topped the Art Association of the Philippines contest in the mid-70s, will not make it to the opening. Its whereabouts has remained a secret following a tug-of-war between two parties, the sponsoring bank and the family of the bank’s late president, on who rightfully owns it. That priceless frame touched off Dalena’s celebrated Jai-Alai series

**

Do look for the Maninilip, a canvas on Cubao’s thirsty and tired side-street peeping toms, whose only after-work solace was to steal through wooden window slats of the dark, sleazy Alibangang beer parlor for a glimpse of gleaming, half-naked sexy female dancers. That rare work, bathed in mystical light, and which was reportedly abducted from a gallery by the family of a top government official during the Marcos dictatorship, rivals the jai-alai series anchor frame in depth, relevance and magic.

What promise to steal the limelight are the classic political and editorial cartoons, done in unerring pen and ink. These are stark and fearless commentaries against the wrath and tyranny of the Marcos regime.

Dalela, who has grimly refused to play art salesman by avoiding the cheap publicity mill through the years, has generously agreed to show the anti-Marcos works for the enlightenment of the innocent younger generation.

Of course, this can’t be the last full show; there are, in fact, early cries for an encore. More, more!


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