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A Hotdog art show inspired by Paul McCartney

By Ces Rodriguez | Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

Can you teach an old Hotdog new tricks?

Of course you can if you happen to be Dennis Garcia.

The bassist-songwriter of the groundbreaking 70s pop group, Hotdog, will stage his first art exhibit from Nov. 8-22 at GALERIEONEworkshop in Makati.

Called “Rakenrol” (not related to Quark Henares’s movie of the same name), the show will feature Garcia’s acrylic paintings over giclee prints or images he shot and manipulated on a computer.

“I was inspired by the witty work of graffiti artist Banksy and the undiscovered gems on canvas by Sir Paul McCartney,” Garcia told Yahoo! Philippines OMG! in an exclusive interview. “As the exhibit’s name hints, the paintings will revolve around music and band musicians. It also features Pinoys from the past whose temperaments make it quite likely that they would have become ‘rockers’ – if they were still young… and alive today.”

Art in his bucket list

Garcia says he got into art late in the day (“I’m a child of the 50s… do the math”) because it was part of his “bucket list.”

Two years ago, he learned how to paint from a Dutch artist in Bali, Indonesia – but using his hands and fingers instead of a brush.

“I know of no other way to do it,” he admitted. “I’ve always been intimidated to go into painting because I’ve known or worked with the best artists in this country.”

When Garcia was a 17-year-old copywriter in an ad agency, his “officemates” included printmaker and painter Romulo Olazo who was then an art director, and National Artist for Painting J. Elizalde Navarro.

Since then, Garcia has nimbly crossed the worlds of music and advertising. With an ear for the catchy sell, he roamed Asia as creative director of the region’s top advertising agencies for nearly 30 years after Hotdog disbanded in the late 80s.

With Hotdog, he became the architect of the Manila Sound of the 70s—revolutionary because he wrote pop tunes with Taglish lyrics, unheard of at the time. The group also created some of the most memorable Pinoy pop songs that endure to this day including “Annie Batungbakal,” “Manila,” “Pers Lab” and “Beh, Buti Nga.”

More in future than just the past

Last May, he re-formed his old band for what was supposed to be a one-night-only performance. The reunion was such a hit, there was a repeat two months later. Now, a third show may happen on Nov. 30 at the SMX Convention Center, he told Yahoo! Philippines OMG!

“It was a different kind of high,” he said of the reunion. “PNoy with Mar [Roxas] and almost the whole cabinet in attendance at the first, [Senator] Bongbong Marcos and friends at the second.”

But, like his forthcoming art exhibit, there’s more in Garcia’s future than simply trotting out his storied past.

He is now working on his first short film to be shot in Ilocos Norte (“because the province shoulders 50% of all productions shot there”). He also plans to release a solo album called “Dennis Garcia Songbook.” Then, it’s on to what he calls “the big one,” a musical threaded by the many Hotdog hits, “Annie B – The Musical” set to stage in November 2012.

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