Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Last January, I posted an entry about New York’s street art scene — temporary public exhibitions of artworks done by graffiti artists in good taste. I had also mentioned that corporate America — mostly soft drinks and sports shoe manufacturers — had taken notice of their works and have been commissioning some of these young people to create murals for their visual merchandising and advertising campaigns.

Jase, a fellow Pinoy blogger living in Australia, photographed and blogged about what he was noticing as an increasing amount of graffiti-like artworks in his neighborhood in Melbourne. I told him that in New York City, those would be defined as street art.

Meanwhile, as I was walking along Ayala and Makati avenues last week, what greeted me in one of the underground passageways was a series of advertising murals by Nike, which could have been designed and executed by the Tats Cru group from the Bronx — a once New York City graffiti gang that had gone on to accept lucrative commissions from America’s advertising industry.

So now, legitimate versions of street art have finally reached the shores of Metro Manila courtesy of Nike.

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



posted by Señor Enrique at 7:39 AM


Blogger ipanema said...

I welcome this form of art. I better look at the talent displayed than those billboards which I sometimes find bland. In some, lacking the colours and expression of some models. All they have are faces of those they consider beautiful - whatever that means to advertising guru. While others are of course those who endorse products, those with local names - e.g. singers, models, actors. Some people blindly buy products because of them. Absurd. But that's the power of advertising.

Before ranting more, those Nike street art are beautiful. Why not encourage the youth to produce such during term breaks. I think we'll be surprised by talents yet untap.

September 05, 2006 8:52 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Personally, I like street art because I find those art amusing and very creative. How often can you find such arts and the talent to do it.

Sometimes, I feel that it's definitely better than those normal billboard. Not that they aren't nice but we need something more interesting at times.


September 05, 2006 9:27 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Please be reminded my dear Ipanema to be careful with what you wish for, because you're about to see on my next blog entry ...... well, you'll just have to wait ... hahaha!

It'll be a pleasant surprise -- something which your son (who draws and paints) will surely appreciate :)

Yes, I agree with you about those giant billboards, and in fact kudos to Sidney for bringing it to our attention!

Not only do they tend to lower our women's self esteem with their airbrushed images of perfect beauty, but those humongous billboards are also hazardous -- one fell in Edsa again recently.

September 05, 2006 9:27 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I'm just surprised, Kyels, that street art has not become as commonplace here in Manila as in NYC. But then again, it may have something to do with the exorbitant prices of those imported spray paints.

HOwever, I am one of those against illegally defacing private properties.

Yes, some of these kids are quite progressive and radical when it comes to expressing their innate talents; hence creating very interesting works!

September 05, 2006 9:37 AM  

Blogger ipanema said...

I love surprises Eric, though half of my heart is suspended so to speak. Perhaps the next entry will be your own art work? hmmmm...can't wait. :)

September 05, 2006 9:47 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Nope! Not mine, Ipanema ... hehehe.

You'll just have to wait, but I assure you ... you'll get a kick out of it :)

Thing is I'm still calling and verifying some updates before I post.

September 05, 2006 11:27 AM  

Anonymous niceheart said...


I've also been lately photographing murals here around the city. Actually there was just a Muralfest held a few weeks ago.

September 05, 2006 11:50 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

I think graffiti as we know them in NYC and in other big American & European cities doesn't exist in Manila. As you pointed out this is probably caused by the expensive price of spray paint. And then there is always a security guard lurking at every street corner...

There are some interesting initiatives like the Nike murals you are mentioning in this post, on school walls or the ones in Nicanor street that were initiated by some art galleries. You can see some pictures at:

September 05, 2006 11:54 AM  

Anonymous kyels said...

Yes, I do agree and I am against illegally defacing private properties, even public ones.

There was a documentary that was made recently by one Malaysian called Danny Lim and he was talking about the number 18 grafitti that was found in certain areas in the city of Kuala Lumpur and they were debating that it might have something to do with the national service and that the youths are expressing their views through those street art.

It was definitely an insight. You can check it out here.

Let's hope that all the talented kids will put their skills to good use and to benefit the society be it in Asia, Europe or America.


September 05, 2006 11:57 AM  

Blogger BW said...

Graffiti gangs atwork are truly impressive. here in Toronto, these guys sneak out at night to do their artwork on walls of warehouses facing the railroad tracks. THe art is quite impressive knowing that they're being done under pressure, for fear that the police might catch them at any moment..

September 05, 2006 12:41 PM  

Blogger jase said...

I agree with BW - it is also the same here in Melbourne and I guess they would have the same theme - some youthful aggression expressed in spray paints! :)

Oh, you reminded me to take some more photos and maybe create a separate file for these street arts or graffiti...

Kudos to you Eric :)

September 05, 2006 2:35 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

A Muralfest? Wow!

Irene ... you must post some pictures you had taken!

I think that's wonderful how your city is supporting street art :)

Sidney, I was just admiring your shots of the art festival. I was wondering why I hadn't seen them before. And then I realized they were posted before I became a blogger :) Nice!

I just checked out your blog entry on 18, Kyels; the video, no. I'll do it at an Internet shop for faster connection :)

Very interesting, indeed, especially the arguments it provoked.

Yes, BW, same circumstances with the NYC graffiti kids. Actually, some of them do it under perilous conditions like hanging from a roof or something. I guess it's the bragging rights they're after.

How about taking some pics with your SLR and sharing a pic or two with us? Hehehe.

That's right, Jase. You have got to start compiling pictures of your local street art :)


September 05, 2006 4:45 PM  

Blogger Analyse said...

graffiti here in france means.... well, graffiti! just cant associate them with art..

September 05, 2006 8:52 PM  

Blogger minotte's notes said...

a wonderful salve to the homesick! what a blessing your ticket was. we got to see the inside of the city hall. i am so interested in the carlos celdran walks.

thanks, SE. your blog is so precious!

September 06, 2006 3:08 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hey, Analyze, has Banksy infiltrated the Louvre, yet?

Taka a quick look at my past post about this art terrorist:


September 06, 2006 5:40 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Many thanks, Minotte! Happy to be of service :)

September 06, 2006 5:42 AM  

Anonymous niceheart said...

I'm planning to post the pictures, Eric. But they're not as good as yours. Mine were taken while we were driving, inside the car. I wanted to post them alongside an entry that's taking me too long to write. So just wait. :)

September 06, 2006 9:36 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Take your time, Niceheart.

Don't worry about the quality of your photos. I used to post pics taken by my phonecam, remember? Hehehe.

Looking forward to your entry (when you're ready, that is)!

September 06, 2006 9:53 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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