NASSER Lubay, a 26-year old self-taught painter from Quezon bagged second place honors in the painting category of the prestigious Celeste Prize 2009 in Berlin, Germany.
The Celeste Prize, an international art competition for contemporary artists, is organized by a non-profit Italian cultural association, ‘Associazione Culturale L’Albero Celeste’ founded by Steven Music. The final selection of winners was held at the Alte AEG Fabrik in Berlin last Sept. 26.
“I was pleasantly surprised when they called out my name,” muses Lubay, who flew to Berlin to attend the exhibition of shortlisted finalists. He adds, “I was also informed by the chairman that I was one vote short of the grand prize winner, and he told me that it’s the very first time that an entry from the Philippines was chosen to compete in the finals.”
He continues, “Just to be able to be there to experience everything was already priceless, so when I was announced second prize winner, I just felt so ecstatic and blessed considering that the finalists were the ones who chose the winners by secret balloting.”
There were 46 artists from all over the world who made the cut, mostly from Europe and from different field of arts in the other categories, namely: painting, photography, installation and sculpture, video animation and live media arts.
Lubay’s entry, in watercolor, is called ‘Rebirth’ and it was chosen as one of the finalists from amongst 734 entries worldwide.
Germany’s Michael Luther “Gallery (Desk)” won the grand prize while Czech artist Juraj Kollar’s “Landscape” bagged third prize honors. The other finalists came from Australia, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.
These finalists were chosen by a distinguished panel of international art critics including Mark Gisbourne (art historian and former teacher at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Slade School of Fine Arts, both in London; now living and working in Berlin, Germany, as an independent curator and critic), Adrienne Goehler (art curator in Berlin, former Senator and Secretary of Culture for the City of Berlin, and former Director of the Academy of Arts in Hamburg, Germany) and Victoria Lu, art critic, curator, professor and concurrently Creative Director of the Museum of Contemporary Arts in China.
A native of Candelaria, Quezon, Lubay works as a graphic designer for Ricky Gallardo’s The Talent Factory, an entertainment service company. He has created vector artworks for celebrities like Max Eigenmann, John ‘Sweet’ Lapus, Sid Lucero and Angel Aquino.
Lubay’s trip was made possible through the assistance and generosity of his OFW mother, Susan Macalong, his The Talent Factory family, and Congressman Del R. de Guzman of the second district of Marikina, chairman of the committee on basic education and culture.
“I am young and would like to explore life’s many possibilities not only as a contemporary painter but also as an artist. I came from very humble beginnings and I would like to see where my art would bring me. The Celeste Prize competition is my first big step and I hope to take on bigger steps in the coming years.”
Lubay hopes to mount his first solo exhibit next year. –goodnewspilipinas.com