July 31, 2020

POSTED BY

Rafael Esquer

CATEGORY

Celebrating the Legacy of Pacita Abad

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Today, July 31 Google is celebrating the life and work of Filipina artist, feminist, and activist Pacita Abad. Throughout her life, Pacita developed a unique style from her academic art training, travels, and her immense curiosity for culture. She studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. …

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Today, July 31 Google is celebrating the life and work of Filipina artist, feminist, and activist Pacita Abad. Throughout her life, Pacita developed a unique style from her academic art training, travels, and her immense curiosity for culture. She studied painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and The Art Students League in New York City; She lived on six different continents and worked in more than 50 countries.

Over her prolific career, she created more than 4,500 artworks. For her last and largest piece, she painted the 55-meter long Alkaff Bridge in Singapore and covered it with 2,350 multicolored circles, just a few months before she died of cancer in 2004. She developed a technique of trapunto painting, named after a quilting technique. Trapunto includes stitching and stuffing her paintings to give them a three-dimensional, sculptural effect. She moved on to incorporate into the surface of her painting materials such as cloth, mirrors, beads, shells, plastic buttons, and many other objects.

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The Alkaff Bridge in Singapore painted in 2003-2004

On this day, July 31st in 1984, she made history in her native country of the Philippines when she received the most memorable award of her career, the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award. The award had always been given to men for the previous 25 years. The reaction toward this award going to a woman was scandalous, angry letters were written by male artists to newspaper editors opposing the award. Despite all of the public uproar Pacita was happy to have broken the sex barrier. In her acceptance speech she said, “it was long overdue that Filipina women were recognized as the Philippines was full of outstanding woman.”

Pacita Abad’s work was exhibited in over 200 museums and galleries across the world. Kudos to Google for spotlighting the renown feminist artist with a colorful piece of art. It beautifully portrays her bright and colorful style that she was lauded for, but most importantly, it introduces Pacita’s work to new generations.

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Anup’s dinner, 2000
Oil, mirrors stitched on canvas
14 × 18 × 1 in
35.6 × 45.7 × 2.5 cm
© Pacita Abad Art Estate
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The 55-meter long Alkaff Bridge in Singapore covered it with 2,350 multicolored circles.
Via Flicker ©Ryan Custodio
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Early concepts and sketches of the Doodle by Google