It was a dark and rainy evening and The Bacolod Food Hunters were present at the opening of a very special art exhibit at the House of Frida. We were there for the opening of the Dream Toys exhibit – a special art event showing the fantastic talents of sculptor Mark Juaniza – A very talented young man and resident of Bacolod City.
As a child, Mark was fascinated with comic books, superheroes and video games. From a young age, he showed an aptitude towards sculpting – using discarded kangkong stems and toothpicks to fashion his own home made toys. He developed his skill and talents, teaching himself various techniques and crafting various sculptures of the heroes he admired until finally he decided to put up an art exhibit.
It was an amazing experience at the Dream Toys exhibit. Heavily muscled super heroes spring to life from the pages of comic books. Video game heroes, robots and fantastic superhero fight scenes were lovingly re-created in sculpture. We were amazed at Mark Juaniza’s amazing skill and talents. This exhibit felt like a Toy convention from SM Megamall Manila with one exception – all of these “toys” that we were viewing are one of a kind, hand-made by one person!
Let’s take a look at the art on display:
The main highlight of the show is this amazing fight scene between Spiderman and the super villain Rhino. The enraged Rhino crashes through a stone wall as Spiderman taunts him, casually shooting a strand of sticky web-fluid to immobilize the rampaging supervillain.
Mark has perfectly captured the look of Rhino, paying careful emphasis to the musculature and costume. The look of outrage on Rhino’s face as he smashes through the wall is so well done!
The sculpture is so well-designed that if you look over the shoulder of Spiderman, you actually feel as if you’re IN the battle – that you’re actually Spiderman. Even the rubble and the debris is well arranged. The only detail that I felt was out of place was that the fire hydrant was the wrong scale but that’s just me. I really enjoyed viewing this piece.
The “Merc with a mouth” Deadpool makes an appearance too. I love the details on this sculpt especially the flames, smoke and the bullet erupting from Deadpool’s gun! The sculpting and attention to detail is fantastic.
The Crown Prince of Crime leers out at the viewers. Glassy eyes shining with insanity, evil grin, yellowing teeth and sickly green hair belong to one of the most famous comic book supervillains – The Joker! Mark Juaniza has crafted a superb likeness of the mad clown.
We were somewhat puzzled to see a pistol in a display case at the exhibit. What does this have to do with superheroes? Upon closer examination, you can see the superhero Ant-man running up the barrel of the gun! Wow! What amazing detail!
In a corner of the room stands another masterpiece. It’s a rendering of the artist’s dream superhero fights. Juggernaut and Venom both square off in a tense battle! The sculpting is particularly good and conveys a sense of stickiness, of contamination.
Another highlight of the exhibit is an extremely lifelike bust of Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier – Mentor to the band of mutants know at the X-men! You can see the pores, the eyelashes, the wrinkles! What amazing craftsmanship!
There’s lots more to discover at the exhibit so I’ll leave the rest for you to discover, my dear readers when you go to visit.
I am constantly amazed by the talent that’s popping up in Bacolod. I admire Mark Juaniza for following his childhood dreams. As a child, Mark couldn’t afford to buy superhero toys. Now, as an adult, he makes his own. Visit House of Frida and view the amazing Dream Toys exhibit.
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