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Art =Fat is Beautiful

Art =Fat is Beautiful

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Published by thegreatman

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Published by: thegreatman on Dec 25, 2008
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10/19/2009

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Fat is beautiful
By Lei Chavez
12/23/2008 5:23 PMEverything is big in Palma Tayona's world. That includes his built, his non-conventionalideas, his artistic life, his works, and of course, the humongous windows of his house inLibertad where he can see his subjects—big round images of people on the streets. In his second solo show for the year, Tayona presents his Pen and Ink collection of everyday subjects but with a peculiar theme he came to be known for: all of his subjectsare plump—from men, women, even the trees!Why fat subjects, you ask? For Tayona, the reason was simple: "If you'll meet my mom,you'll know why." He also adds that his concept of beauty is "yung siksik." Refusing to divulge his age, Tayona gets inspirations from the street where he lives,"Each morning I wake up, drink my cup of coffee, sit by the window and watch theevents of the day. That is what is familiar to me. I cannot draw anything that is notfamiliar." Tayona started drawing at the age of four and his canvas were the walls of their house,much to his mother's dismay. When he was eight, his interest diverted to his father's National Geographic magazine collection. "I would cut the pictures then paste it on thewalls of my room. I used popsicle sticks asframes and since our teacher taught us parallel circuit, I added lights to my images.As a kid I would imagine putting up agallery beside my bed," he says.Although he had the educational background, being a graduate of fine arts andtourism from the University of thePhilippines, Tayona did not immediately startsketching and painting until 2004."I have had so many detours in life. In 1995, I worked at advertising agencies. By 2000, Istarted my own graphic firm which I closed down in 2001," Tayona shares between bitesof his sandwich, his dinner for the day. He also became a designer for an Online gallery but it didn't fare well so it closed after a year.
 
 "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,

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