I made it to Señor Juvenal Sanso’s 88th birthday celebration at Museo Sanso just in time for the program.
Fundacion Sanso Museum Director, Dida Cosio-Salita welcomed the guests, which included distinguished gallerists and artists. A few of those I spotted were Dominic Rubio, Toym Imao, Anton del Castillo, and Butch Dalisay.
She also reported on the shows that the foundation was able to stage this year – five, featuring several up and coming artists. Great going!
Curator Ricky Francisco explained the exhibit especially mounted for the occasion. “Juvenal Sanso: Expansive Vista” highlights a selection of Señor Sanso’s early landscapes from private collections, alongside that of Fundacion Sanso’s own.
“It was around the 1970s and 80s when he started painting the horizon as a subject of his art. Now that he is 88 years old, he has a wider view of his life and as a young foundation we are trying to widen our horizons too,” said Francisco.
Then Jack Teotico took centerstage to introduce a three-volume book on Señor Sanso entitled “La Definitiva Sanso, A Life Lived Thrice”.
“Because Mr. Sanso’s life can be divided into three lives – the first is his early years when he was brutally tortured by the Japanese and he was able to put himself together, he even won two grand prizes in oil and in watercolor in the biggest competition in the Philippines in 1951. After that he went to Paris, France, and Rome, and studied there, which was his entry to his period of recovery. In the 80s, the family designed textiles for Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Gucci and all these other big brands. After that, he entered a phase of joy and exuberance,” explained Teotico.
“La Definitiva Sanso, A Life Lived Thrice” is the last book by art historian Ruben Ramas Cañete. “This was his final project before we lost him to pancreatic cancer. He painstakingly and meticulously put all the research and materials together,” shared Teotico.
Fundacion Sanso is going to launch the book in hard cover very, very soon. The proceeds from the sale will be used to finance the activities of the foundation, such as scholarships and outreach programs as well as more shows to promote the legacy of Señor Sanso.
“La Definitiva Sanso, A Life Lived Thrice” will be priced affordably, as requested by Señor Sanso. Relatively inexpensive at P3,200.
“Five years ago, Mr. Sanso told us one day I’m going to have Alzheimer’s and I’m going to pass away from it. In fact it’s already starting. One thing I would like to ask is that we try to democratize art. Sometimes art prices become so expensive and they become so prohibitive so he said, what I’d like to do, help me out with this, let’s put up this foundation so we can have a museum to show things that I have done and I’d like to open this up to everybody and then let’s try to find a way to make my art more available to everyone,” recalled Teotico.
In line with this, the foundation has also launched limited edition archival prints at a very very reasonable price. The museum chose ten of Señor Sanso’s best works. As of November 23, 80% of the prints have already been reserved.
For more information, visit www.juvenalsanso.com or call (02) 952-1568.
Here are some of my favorites from the exhibit.