A Guide to Filipino Contemporary Artists and their Artworks for Your Home
Interior design breathes character and harmony in every space; it’s an art and language all on its own. A big chunk of that involves fusing art pieces that bring home and living aesthetics to a whole new level. Contemporary art does exactly that, by adding culture and sophistication to any living space. Think having an oil and acrylic Ronald Ventura graffiti in your foyer, or a Barrioquinto art as a living room centerpiece. Filipino contemporary art speaks volumes when it comes to avant-garde, non-traditional sophistication.
When do you consider a work contemporary? Contemporary art simply means present day art. Whether painting, sculpture, installation, or photography, this kind of masterpiece breaks away from the moulds of classic and traditional forms. It screams uniqueness, subtle complexity, and depth that makes aesthetics all the more interesting and eye-catching. A piece of contemporary art placed strategically in any part of a residential or commercial space can spark inspiration for your overall decor scheme. It can also be a design compass that can help you structure your furnishings and accents to create balance and cohesion. Philippines has a notable roster of Filipino contemporary artists who have made quite an impression both locally and internationally. Inspired by pop culture, media, graffiti, urban life, mixed culture, consumerism, and a lot more, they make a great statement in upping your abode’s overall vibe.
Check out some of our Filipino contemporary artists and art styles.
This UST Fine Arts Painting graduate is one of the star contemporary artists of his generation. His works are mixed layers of reality, graffiti, and comic sketches –- most of which were drawn from his sensitivities with religion, fiction, mythology, cultural mixes, and the country’s post-colonial habits. As an acclaimed contemporary artist, Ventura is known for his graphite, oil and acrylic painting “Grayground”, the highest selling artwork in Southeast Asian art market, valued at $1.1M at an auction in Hongkong. Ventura’s compositions are mirrors of the country’s diverse identities. If it’s culture and character you want for your home, a Ventura piece will definitely tell stories.
Kawayan de Guia
Born in Baguio, Kawayan came from a family of known artists, having Kidlat Tahimik (an icon filmmaker) as his dad, and Katrin de Guia (a German artist) as his mom. Mentored by none other than national artist BenCab, Kawayan’s work spans painting, sculpture, and installation which makes use of indigenous and colonial objects. His subjects are metaphors of his ironic views on pop culture and mass consumerism, including comedic critiques on sociopolitical issues. Some interesting Kawayan artwork involves blinged jukeboxes and masterpieces inspired by everyday artefacts like the iconic Pinoy jeepney. Young, bold, and unflinching, a Kawayan masterpiece makes an impactful statement for an art savvy dweller.
Art is truly in his blood, as Neil Pasilan is brother to fellow artist Diokno Pasilan. Hailing from Bacolod, Neil is a self-taught visual artist who loves “creating” with his hands even during his early years. As a child, clay moulding sparked his interest in creating other artforms which would later include sculptures and paintings. Pasilan has a penchant for using human forms as his subject for his paintings, his medium in telling stories about people who matter to him. “Madre de Pamilya”, is inspired by his own mother, while “Mag-Asawa Habang Buhay” is an artistic expression of how he values marriage and commitment.
Tagged as the Dark Man of Philippine Art, Andres Barrioquinto has already staged a number of solo exhibitions across Asia and Europe. In his mid 40’s, he’s already one of the most notable contemporary artists of his time. Seriousness and gloom usually mark his artworks, with grotesque figures set in a strikingly dark vibe. Barrioquinto utilizes the face as his canvas for varied emotions. The darkness in his painting style is camouflaged by softer overlays of flowers, birds, butterflies, and his signature traditional Japanese patterns. For an interesting conversation piece ideal for avant garde spaces, check out Barrioquinto’s “Pleasure of Flowers” oil on canvas and “Girl On An Island” oil on canvas.
Notable to this contemporary multi-awarded artist is his use of figurative expressionism as a visual approach. Think human figures in distorted shapes and unreal colors. Such talent was recognized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1994 when he was honored in its Thirteen Artists Award and Metrobank’s Annual National Painting Competition in 1992. His works are attuned to the real struggles of the working masses, majority of which are offshoots of his early sensitivities to the hardships of urban life. His “Kariyanan” artwork is featured in Pinto Art Museum. Borlongan was also the artist-in-residence of Casa San Miguel.
The adage that art imitates life is highly defined by the way our Filipino contemporary artists capture emotions and sensitivities through their art works. While these masterpieces are curated in museums and exhibits, it wouldn’t hurt to have a piece or two, breathing that vibe in your home.
Discover more ways to up your home’s modern decor scheme at Empire Designs.