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Dennis Garcia: From bassist and songwriter to painter
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I grew up in the ’70s when Manila was so much fun and no traffic.
No traffic and no Internet. Just radio, TV and magazines (think TV Times and the occasional Tiger Beat).
Hotdog was an emerging band that started the iconic music genre Manila Sound. Their songs included “Manila, Manila,” “Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay,” “Annie Batungbakal” and “Bongga Ka ‘Day.”

Hotdog band
(L-R) Dennis Garcia with bandmates Lorrie Ilustre, Rene Garcia, Mon Torralba, and (sitting) Roy de Rivera

I’m proud to say “Annie Batungbakal” was about my dear friend and “mother”, Gina Garcia.
She’s the sister of Dennis Garcia, Hotdog’s bassist and writer of most of the band’s hits.

with Gina Garcia
Gina Garcia (R) aka Annie Batungbakal and I at my wedding, November 2000.

While Dennis still writes the songs, he also paints.
This June, he mounts his first major one-man show at Ricco Renzo Gallery, 2nd floor, LRI Design Plaza, Reposo in Makati City from June 7 to 18, 2017.
His acerbic wit, sensual (sometimes sexually explicit) and whole gamut of emotions will be “heard” and seen in glass-encased frames.
He will be exhibiting 25 all-new pieces, all based on songs he has written for Hotdog.

Dennis Garcia paintings

Garcia will bring back all your favorite OPM songs, but this time, on canvas using acrylic and oil paints. He has had no formal education or training for the arts.
In the show, he will introduce an art phenomenon called Outsider Art which he says is “naive, self-taught art from simple inspired people, aimed at your heart, not your wallet.”
Garcia’s paintings will be affordable.

He wants to champion the Outsider Art genre, which is a Matisse-like expressionism movement.
“There are no rules here, my art unchains myself. I am not who will be confined in a box. I have also invited fellow outsider artists to motivate them into working on their own exhibit,” he says.

Words commonly associated with Outsider Art are “naïve”, “pure”, “raw”, “visionary” and “fanatic, untouched by the pettiness of everyday life and mainstream culture.” It unveils the unadulterated act of creation, outside of trends and the desire for commercial success. It can convey the power of the unbridled imagination to create order and beauty from basically nothing.

Through his paintings, expect to see a lot of Garcia’s wit, sensuality and other emotions.
The paintings will be named after Hotdog songs so expect titles like “Behhh Buti Nga,” “Pers Lab” and “Miss Universe ng Buhay ko.” There is even a painting called “Careful,” which is a tribute of sorts to former gossip show host Inday Badiday.

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