Manny Valera is proud of his new baby.
The talent manager and movie producer, who is fondly called Direk Manny by his wards, excitedly told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) about RAVE Art Gallery during its launch last March 20.
Direk Manny, the manager of Jean Garcia, Jennica Garcia, Glaiza de Castro, Niña Jose, among others, is a passionate art lover. In fact, he has collected around 10 prized art pieces since the 1980's.
"Parang I feel that after collecting art pieces through the years, para bang it's a dream come true na magkaroon ng sariling art gallery. At the same time I am quite amazed on meeting all these visual artists na pag nakita mo yung piyesa, lalo kang mapapahanga kasi, 'Wow ang Ganda!' May kulay, may buhay. So it's kinda different from the business where I am in now, show business, producing films and managing artists," he explained.
Direk Manny said he got the idea of forming his own art gallery from the brother of a close friend. Since he naturally loves art, he did not need long deliberation before pushing on with the new venture.
"I attended a wake of a friend, an award-winning production designer. And then I met the brother, the very talented Gig de Pio. Nagkuwentuhan kami, nag one-on-one kami and konti lang bisita no'n e. So, nagtagal ang usapan namin, and base sa kuwento niya, I was inspired to open my own gallery," he said.
He immediately planned to convert the façade of his house along Scout Magbanua Street, Quezon City, into an art gallery. Then his friends helped him collect the art pieces that he could display.
"Nagpatulong ako sa kaibigan kong Mike Austria, na isa ring pintor, anak ni Pam Austria, na nangalap din ng iba't ibang piyesa mula sa kanyang mga kaibigan. Kasi artist na siya mismo. At the same time, malaki rin ang tulong na ginawa sa akin ni Cristy Fermin, who has been a friend from long, long time ago, at the same time, na meron na rin siyang sariling art gallery for over a year," he said.
With his friends' help, he was able to collect around 80 art pieces from over 50 artists, including Mike Austria himself, Jose Joya, Gig de Pio, Jun Tiongco, Remy Boquiren, Fernando Sena, Jose Hombrebueno, among others.
Direk Manny said he hopes he can discover talented young new artists through his art gallery.
"I beg and I wish, that the gallerty be successful, so I can also be of help to the budding artists that don't have venue for their paintings to go on exhibit. I believe, I'm trying to work here also as a close parallel to being a talent manager, because a talent manager looks and discovers talent who can be big stars in the future," he said.
He added, "I hope I can do that in this art world, na meron akong ma-spot na magaling. He can be my discovery. So I hope I get that break, na meron akong maalagaan through the years and be a big name in the future."
RAVE Art Gallery is located on Scout Magbanua cor. Roces Ave., Quezon City. It is open on Mondays to Saturdays, 2-7p.m.