The charging bull

Published May 16, 2022, 1:44 PM

by John Legaspi

Michael Cacnio celebrates his birth month with new exhibit ‘Taurus’

Loyal, steadfast, and a little stubborn. That’s how astrology experts describe people under the zodiac sign Taurus. Governed by Venus, a planet known for its ruling of love and beauty, some may scratch their head on how it became associated with such a beast seen in a traditional bloodsport with matadors. But this celestial spirit animal has more to it than its pointed horns. The cosmic ox is also known for being artistic, down-to-earth, and resilient, whether it is for career or romantic pursuits.

For years, the bull has been featured in different kinds of art. Think of Zeus metamorphosing into a white bull to seduce Europa, the gigantic Bull of Wall Street in New York, and Ferdinand, the gentle bull from an animated feature. This time, Filipino sculptor Michael Cacnio presents his take on the bull with his latest exhibit. Aptly titled “Taurus,” the showcase is in celebration of Michael’s birth month, making it one of his most personal presentations to date.

Michael Cacnio

“Ever since I started as an artist, the subject of the bull interests me due to the characteristics and impact it has,” Michael says. “It is a subject that I’m very passionate about. The figure of a bull projects an interesting movement and strong character.”

Born in Caloocan, Michael comes from a family of artists. His father, the late Angel Cacnio, was known for being a famous painter and, later on, the designer of the previous P20 and P100 Philippine paper bills. After finishing his fine arts studies at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Michael followed in his father’s footsteps by working on paint and canvas before finding his true passion for sculpting in 1991. From that point, he was able to showcase his works in different parts of Asia, Europe, and the US. In 2006, he became one of the recipients of the Ten Outstanding Young Men. In the following year, he got the honor to be the first Filipino artist to present his work at the European Commission’s headquarters in Berlaymont, Brussels.

“As artists, I do believe that we should document the things that are happening around us. In my case, I seek out the joy in our culture,” he says. “My art is a representation of Filipino culture and happiness. I try to make my works suggest hints of joy, even personal sometimes.”

Untitled, sculpture, 2022

Self-Portrait, Brass, 2022

That’s what Michael accomplished with his “Taurus” exhibit. One doesn’t need to look above to see the wonder and charm of the Taurus. He not only immortalized the beauty of the bull through metal, but he’s also able to champion Filipino heritage by putting the creature in uniquely local setups. It took a year to complete everything, with the Charging Bull as his favorite piece as it represents his expression and thoughts about his muse.

“I was also inspired by my previous exhibitions, which were entirely experimental,” Michael says. “I wanted to try something new since I believe that as an artist, we should evolve ourselves not just in aesthetics but through ideas.”

Collab Cacnio-Cacnio, Brass,2022

Self-Portrait (Wall Relief), Brass, 2022

To Michael, art is a powerful tool that radiates emotions. “Just like literature, music, dance, cinema, and alike, art is there to tell a story or suggest an emotion. My goal in creating art is to make my viewers feel the enjoyment and pleasure of everyday life. I wanted to create something that resonates with Filipino culture and make the viewers get involved in it,” he says. “Art is a continuous process and it evolves as time progress. Depending on the environment and situation of our socio-political setting, I am here to express my thoughts and feelings. I hope that God will give me more energy to think, aspire, and have the passion for doing art.”

“Taurus” exhibition will run until May 28 at Art Lounge Manila – Molito Lifestyle Center in Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City. The opening reception will be on May 25.

 
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