"From 2002 to 2003 I was just bumming around. Iliterally put on a backpack and went travelingaround Asia," Tayona explains. During the decade of jumping from one job toanother and while satiating his nomadic urges, hegot exposed to the works of Latin American artistslike Frida Kahlo. By seeing Latin American arts,Tayona says it made him "open my eyes more towhat we have." "These Latin American artists broadened my perspective. If you compare Latin Americanartists, they are the same with Filipinos—they use the same colors, how they see thetragedy, they have the same Catholic guilt, machismo, animism and the mestizo attitudein Mexico and Argentina is the same here." What started out as popsicle-framed cut-out pictures became real-life paintings in thesummer of 2004, when he had his first two-man show. In that same year, Tayona and hisfriends eventually formed Canvas, an organization that supports artists in their mid-career.Although his works look humorous, dream-like, and, well, portly and full, each of his pieces has its own stories, sometimes happy, sometimes gory and sad, but neverthelessoverflowing with life. Here are some of his works and some background on what he wasthinking at the time:
Sad, sad woman stares into the stars
11" x 17" charcoal drawing on kraft paper
"This is my favorite piece. I made it in 2002, and the style is different from the others inmy collection. When I was nine years old, my cousins and I used to tease Marta, 'Martang peklat'. She would often go to our house during the holidays and ask for money but mymother would give her food instead. Martha was mentally ill and would sleep in my uncleand aunt's garage. I last saw Martha when my uncle died, Martha was screaming andcrying wildly during the burial, then I never saw her again. My mom told me Martha'sstory: She was abused at the age of 16 and bore a child. She killed her child and wasdetained in a mental hospital. There, she was also raped by her co-patients and boreanother child. She also killed it, eventually."
Aling Emily and double dead meat
40" x 30" acrylic on canvas (left)20" x 14" pen and ink on paper (right)
"Aling Emily is the woman I buy meat from. Trucks carrying meat usually arrives aroundone in the morning in Libertad Market. In between this time until three in the morning,