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  • Photography by JL Javier  
  • Untitled by Bernardo Pacquing:   "Si Pacquing kasi, super fan niya ako. When I started getting into Philippine art, he's been one of my favorites talaga. Tapos, wala, I would just write about him on my blog. After one of the shows sa West, he gave this to me. It was part of the first Art Fair Philippines ata. I like how he uses color kasi. 'Di ako magaling mag-abstract. Whenever I try, it looks stupid. Pero siya, ang galing niya talaga mag-mix ng colors, shades, at forms. Tapos super bait niya."  
  • Untitled by Zean Cabangis:   "Tapos ito, trade namin ni Zean Cabangis. Most of the stuff I have are usually trade or bigay. Kasi medyo wala akong money." (Laughs)           Print by Manuel Ocampo:   "Ito nahanap ko sa McSweeney's, print ni Manuel Ocampo. It's weird 'cause he was based in the States for a long time, tapos doon siya nag-practice. Sa Manila Art 2012 ko siya na-meet. He just moved here. Doon lang ako naging familiar sa kanya. It's just a print and I asked him to sign it."  
  • Various zines and paper art:   "Minsan I buy work by Apol (Sta. Maria) and Rob (Cham). Sila Dina (Gadia) and Allan (Balisi) may mga zines. When we went to a Ryan McGinley show in the States, we bought yung zine rin niya. I can't really afford yet, kasi siyempre I don't have a job. It depends on what I get. So this is usually what I get. There's also a zine about people, found online. It's by Michael Mundy. Mahlig ako sa books and sa print, so okay lang sa'kin na ganito."  
  • It Does Not, However, by Everywhere We Shoot:   "We were part of this show sa Heima, na washi tape. I gave them one of my old works, tapos nag-trade kami."    

07/14/15 Personal Gallery: Carina Santos

These days, an art collection can mean big business. It’s less about curating based on one’s personal tastes and more about capitalizing on the next big thing. Visual artist Carina Santos knows this too well; she’s had many encounters with folks who look at a painting and see numbers and not colors. “Personally, nai-iritate ako when people ask me kung anong art magandang bilin kasi tataas yung value,” Santos shares. “I know it’s a commodity, and it’s good to ask because it can get overwhelming, but I don’t want to be responsible for you buying art because it’ll be expensive in the future.”

This isn’t to say that Santos doesn’t see the value of a good art piece. Since studying Information Design, Santos has been part of group shows at West Gallery, Blanc Gallery, and Silverlens. Her graphic design work has also been featured in local magazines and newspapers. Last year, Santos created a storefront installation for Hoodwink.

Based in Quezon City, Santos has her own collection of art, which are mostly gifts or trades with fellow artists. “A lot of the work I like, I can’t really afford,” she reveals. I read this interview, it was basically kind of in disbelief at how expensive art is now, and how there’s an inevitable crash. Napaisip ako, why do I need to own stuff, when I can just look? It’s nice to own, but I don’t really have a lot of space.”

For NOUS’s Personal Gallery series, Santos lets us into the studio she shares with sister Isabel to talk about some of her favorite art — a set that includes published work that she finds particularly inspiring. And her advice to those who are getting into collecting? “Buy art if it really moves you and there’s a special meaning. Just buy what you like.”