What is “Garapata”?
Garapata is my trademark character for spreading my street art all over the city. It is the Filipino word for tick.
I became obsessed with ticks since I was child. Me and my brother used to collect ticks from our pet and soak it in a jar with gasoline. The concept is very simple, it’s like the idea of infestation: an unhealthy surface will easily get infested by ticks or whatever micro life-form, nevertheless it indicates a capable host.
I gradually gave ticks a deeper meaning from personal to even social and political. Fantasy and reality of life as I take in one place.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? And that would you give?
Keep working on, don’t stop because it’s an investment for your future. Work hard, and party hard on the other hand, give yourself a break! Take any substance you like, as long as you know to balance everything. Life is really tooooooo short, so enjoy everything with your energy. Always on the good vibes. Avoid negativity.
What are your thoughts on Filipino art in the world?
Filipinos are talented and skillful. But lack the ability to face the bigger arena. They need to boost their confidence first.
When it comes to the art itself what I find in Filipino art is really a reflection of the country itself, mix mix and blurred about the real roots: that’s the characteristic of us that set us apart from other artists around the world.
What project are you currently working on?
I just had an exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines: it was the completion of my two years in the making Garanimation, a Garapata Animation Project, whereas it involves interaction of friends and strangers.
Aside from the collaboration apparels I did with Vivien Ramsey of Eairth last year, last March I had another playful collab with Rita Nazareno of Zacarias 1925 launched in Aphro (art and design shop) in Karrivin Plaza, Makati.
In April to May I have been invited to be part of the first Street Art Festival in Taitung Taiwan.
On the side, I’ve been working on for some new works for the Melbourne Art Fair under the Drawing Room Gallery.
What project are you most proud of?
I like the GaraParty project so far, basically it’s throwing a party, with the involvement of friends, djs, art and booze. Art should be interactive. People have a freedom to touch all the works, or even own it during or afterwards. Everything should transform and allow you to travel in a different dimension, with the help of trans music and playful neon artworks.
Second of all is the Garanimation, as I mentioned earlier it’s a collaborative project that invites people to interact.
If you could invite any artist out for dinner, who would you choose and why?
I wanna meet the team Assume Vivid Astro Focus: I really adore their works.
What are your favourite spot in Metro Manila for:
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