Juan Luna while incarcerated in Fort Santiago did some random drawings in his prison cell. But just like the fate of most graffiti, these were not preserved. Perhaps the short-lived nature of art found in graffiti makes this kind of artwork special.
Artist Rai Cruz explains that part of the beauty of graffiti is in the knowing that it is ephemeral. It kind of gives the audience a sense of urgency to view and appreciate them in the present.
Rai’s body of works has become part of the urban streetscape of Las Piñas City, particularly along Zapote-Alabang road where mural-size graffiti showing strange creatures that seem to call one’s attention and stare back at viewers, shocking passersby with bold colors and glaring eyeballs.
We took pictures of these wall drawings in Las Piñas with the thought that just like the Luna drawings in Fort Santiago, they may someday be gone for good.
These eye-catching forms were recently moved from the street into an art gallery for Rai’s first one-man show.
Drawn on paper, painted on canvas, and framed in glass for the gallery exhibit were the same strange creatures that has caught our eye, stared back at us, and shocked us on the streets.