[Fully Booked Zine] Love, Twee Love

Patricia Calzo Vega examines the world of Lang Leav for Fully Booked Zine.

In stark contrast to the layered cultural references, the veneer of madcap and mayhem, and the polished finish of Akina’s world and her visual artworks, Leav’s verses are sparse, self-referential, and tentative (sometimes to the point of feeling incomplete). Like short verses scribbled off the cuff and sent off with nary a glance—a distinct possibility, given their social media origins; Leav was also known to respond to poem requests left in her ask box. Emily Dickinson is an acknowledged and quite obvious stylistic influence, and her partner, Michael Faudet—also an artist and poet—is both muse and collaborator.

Emotion it has in spades, and is laid bare for everyone to see. Love and Misadventure tackles the entire breadth of experience of a young person awakening to love: solitary musings of unrequited feeling, the comfort of phantom lovers, the transitory nature of relationships, the bitterness of heartbreak and regret, and, finally, the delirious joy of finding love and discovering its pleasures. Perhaps the experience of watching this story unfurl online, as Leav relived loves and imagined in verse, made readers invested in the outcome and seeing her happy ending.

Originally published February-March 2014.

[GMA News Online] Art review: Elmer Borlongan and the art of the daily grind

Image from GMA News Online
Image from GMA News Online

Patricia Calzo Vega writes about the local art scene for GMA News Online.

Many of these vignettes were witnessed in transit, as he went about his daily routine: freelancing as an illustrator for publications, conducting painting workshops for street children and prison inmates, making the rounds of exhibits and art events.

Despite the summary nature of his observations, Borlongan’s paintings tease out the hidden emotional depths of his subjects: the fear and determination propelling a female office worker home, after pulling a late-night shift; the anxious optimism of bettors in line for lottery tickets, the blessed sleep of a carinderia owner after an honest day’s toil.

Precise shades of human expression rendered in the slightly distorted forms that is his trademark: the more disconcerting the distortions, the more resonant the emotions portrayed. Experts laud this as a prime example of the neo-figurative movement in Philippine art, a revival of formalism succeeding a period of abstract expressionism, but with a touch of social realism.

Read the full article here.