Ronald Ventura leads The Goldenberg Mansion's first art series with ‘Astig-Mata’ exhibit

The artist focuses on how we Filipinos perceive our all-important history and heritage.

After producing grand fashion presentations, The Goldenberg Mansion is now stepping into the world of visual arts with its inaugural Art Series. Its foray into the arts field couldn’t have come at a better time as the Philippines celebrates National Arts Month this February. For its first art series, the mansion opened its halls to the works of Filipino artist Ronald Ventura.

Ronald Ventura; "Astig Mata" prints

Last Feb. 13, The Goldenberg Mansion was decked with Ronald’s latest masterpieces from his “Astig-Mata” collection. “Astig,” which means bad-ass, is also a letter play for the word “tigas” meaning “hard” and “tough.” While “mata,” a direct translation of "eyes," stands for how Filipinos see themselves, their history, triumphs, and fellow countrymen. Each piece was meticulously crafted, up to the last moments before the opening of the series, to perfectly capture the ideas, concepts, and spirit of a modern Filipino.

Philippine history and culture played a big role in Ronald’s newest works. His canvases were filled with icons that mirror our heritage. Think of the humble bahay kubo, women in traditional garbs, countryside scenes, and images of modern-day hustle—all these were presented within his bamboo-framed canvases.

Pieces showcased at the first Goldenberg Art Series

“There is a sense of belongingness,” Ronald told Manila Bulletin Lifestyle about incorporating history in his art. “One can find a lot of inspiration from our history.”

Images of Filipinas dominated Ronald's latest exhibit, which was his way of presenting their importance in history and society

What made Ronald’s paintings unique was the way he layered his Filipino images with different art movements. This could be a nod to his years as an arts educator, sharing his mastery of different styles of painting with budding artists. In his works, Filipiniana-clad women can be seen carrying a luxury bag, joined by an anime character, and adorned with huge blooms and butterflies—a marriage of classic Filipino paintings and pop art aesthetic. A touch of Cubism was present in his "Finding Home" mural. While elements like Renaissance cherubs and Chinese dragons added whimsy to his works.

Leading the opening of the series was First Lady Louise Araneta Marcos, with Senator Mark Villar and his wife Emmeline Aglipay-Villar. The first Goldenberg Mansion Art Series was for the benefit of Fashion Aid Philippines, a duly registered non-profit organization on a mission to assist new breeds of Filipino fashion designers and its applied arts—from craftsmen, shoemakers, make-up artists, and hairstylists to other artistic producers. The series will donate 25 percent of its sales to the organization to help sustain the country’s fashion and creative industry.

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