Must-Visit: Aphro at The Alley

This veritable art playground simply exudes beauty and vitality

Photography: Kurt Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions

A lot of people can be intimidated by art, especially if they haven’t really been following what’s going on in the art scene. But enter Aphro and you won’t see a single intimidating element, even if everything in the shop has been made by established artists. 

Owner Tina Fernandez, who also owns ArtInformal, established Aphro as an extension of her gallery. The artists she represents at Art Informal would also make functional art sometimes. “One day, I felt a need to do something different. I need to bring up my mojo level again,” she says. It was a workshop on Greek mythology that made her decide to go on with her plan. The participants identified what personality they were in Greek mythology, and her male and female personas are Zeus and Aphrodite, respectively. The term “aphro” has several meanings, one of these is that "it refers to a woman who claims to be a virgin even when she is not." This made Tina name her shop Aphro. “[At Aphro,] everything changes. It’s new all the time,” says Tina, with the pieces being changed thrice a week. 

Tina says art is like salt and pepper for the home because it adds character. At Aphro, you’ll find all kinds of art—from huge paintings by various artists like Felix Bacolor, Jayson Oliveria, Jojo Serrano, Erwin Leano, Kawayan De Guia, and Leeroy New to functional art like chairs, bags, and shoes. Some of these are Ling Quisumbing’s table made of pencils, shoes by Luis Espiritu, and stoneware by Aleth Ocampo, Pablo Capati, Raw Ceramique, which is the workshop of Pablo Capati, and Joey De Castro, among others. Bags by Rita Nazareno—Zacarias 1925—will also be launched in November. “They finally found their way to be sold in the Philippines, because they’re usually sold in Tokyo and in Paris,” says Tina. 

Aphro is meant to be a casual place for art to be appreciated. The shop, designed by Jagnus Design Studio, even has a slide—yes, you can slide from the upper level all the way down, passing by tiers of art pieces along the way. Just step into the shop and see for yourself. 

Aphro is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 8pm. Aphro is located at The Alley at Karrivin, 2316 Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati City. Check out The Alley’s Facebook page and follow them on Instagram.

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