The Seven Founders
A rebel’s rebel this guy is. The prime mover of the group was once a cultural worker of the Left who quit the movement to pursue his personal symbolist art. A first place winner of the 2000 Freeman International Painting Competition, Ega is presently preparing for another 2-month art fellowship in (Artist’s Enclave at I-Park ) Connecticut, U.S.A. Having undergone an intense political disillusionment and spiritual awakening, he has transformed into an Art revolutionary.
Bienvenido Banez, Jr.
Ben as he is fondly called is last year’s 1st place winner of the Freeman Asian Fellowships Painting Competition organized by the prestigious Vermont Studio Center, USA. This hard-core surrealist has become a symbol of success in the art school where he graduated and later taught as associate professor – the Ford Academy of the Arts in Davao City. Ben is presently widening his art horizons in Chicago, U.S.A.
A modernist who dexterously uses mixed media is Ben’s second in the above-mentioned international competition. But never underestimate this University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts alumnus for he has other trophies (plaques?) from a number of competitions both national and regional in scope. Also an associate professor (Philippine Women’s College of Fine Arts, Davao City), a photographer, and antique collector, this shy and silent worker is presently a candidate for the Guinnes Book of World Records for his canvas with probably the most number of human figures in it.
Beauty, brains, and art talent molded into an exceptional woman by the Supreme Artist, such is Mei who graduated Cum Laude at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts in Diliman. A natural achiever, her attainments, which includes a number of solo exhibits, group shows, commission works, workshops, plus an extra bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Ateneo de Manila University, would easily fill this page.
Victor “Bong” Espinosa
A raw, home-grown talent who evolved into one of Davao’s finest mixed media artist, has captured tropical colors in compositions that are manifestive of his love and respect for the ethnic. Having had no formal art training, Bong intuitively experimented using remarkable tools such as a glue gun to develop a style that is very modern yet so pristinely native in appearance. Astonishingly, his compositions at times transcend the cultural as colors seem to swirl and flow on ancient mandala patterns that switch one’s consciousness from the mundane to the spiritual realms. Bong has had 4 one-man shows and had studied Architecture at the University of Mindanao.
Phillip Somozo was a student of the late professor Ibarra de la Rosa when the latter taught Fine Arts at the Philippine Women’s University in Manila in 1988. For two years Phillip served as Ibarra’s apprentice and it is her that he honed his genetically acquired skill. Back in his native city, Davao, in 1990 he led a diverse group of local artist for an exposure trip to Mount Apo and consequently organized the Mount Apo Group Art Exhibit held at the Terraza Milesa the following year.
He had worked for a couple of environment non-government organizations from early to the mid –1990’s. his first one-man exhibit came in 1996 also in Davao City entitled Driftwood, Seashells and Transformations which was dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Davao Gulf, its marine resources and coastal communities. Some of the paintings in this exhibit were published in a calendar form that same year. In 1997 he was commissioned by now over-all Deputy Ombudsman Margarito Gervacio, Jr. to do the mural painting for the lobby of the office of the Ombudsman for Mindanao.
Phillip’s style was originally described by Ibarra as “hyper-realism.” Now, more than ten years later, Phillip wields the impressionist brush with surreal backdrops and a propensity for expressionist colors.
Apart from the visual arts, Phillip also writes poetry and fiction and had been published variously in national publications. As a music dilettante he plays the classical guitar and sings Leonar Cohen.
A graduate of Bachelor in Fine Arts major in painting at The Philippine Women’s College of Davao.
While Michael loves to study the lives and works of Classical Titans, he finds the works of the Modernists more dynamic and fascinating. As a former activist and a student leader, his works depict more on political and social issues. Not yet satisfied with one style, he explores different approach in expressing his ideas. Thus, his works varies from impressionism to expressionism, pop art to cubism.
After teaching art subjects at the Philippine Science High School –SMC for three and a half years, he felt the need to explore and develop his talent in the field of Digital Art. He believes that art should also answer to the needs of time and should not be limited to a piece of paper or canvas.
As a free spirit, Michael hates monotonous work. He loves to travel, conduct a seminar, deal with clients, paint, write, design in the computer and take photographs.
Currently, he works as Creative Director of Intelligent Designs & Advertising Solutions (IDEAS).
Looking at Rob Tañedo is to see him as no different
from the next person. One has to know him to see who he really is and being an artist is but one of the many facets of his personality. His understanding of his gifts are based from skills observed, learned and applied. There is no secret formula. But what makes him different is that his style would always be deceivingly simple and almost non-academic when in fact it is infused with complications and study. There is no work done without his emotions, reflections and understanding of his being and other people being involved.
Alternative and almost underground as an artist- he always wanted to present a new perspective from an already existing form. He believes we no longer belong to the world of inventions but innovations thus, people must learn to look for those hidden angles most people often miss. His works does not always have to end with a canvas. His other love for the art is seen in the resurfacing art form of body painting. Just recently, he won 3rd place in the Halloween Body Painting of Victoria Plaza. He also joined Summit’s Body Painting Exhibition together with Cebu’s top tattoo artists. Yet, his life as an artist doesn’t end there.
Rob Tañedo is still a person who does his enrichment activities in the arts by living his other lives. He is a family man, teacher, coordinator, consultant, scientist, manager, farmer, gardener, writer and sometimes a cook to what he calls a web of jobs that makes him whole. Definitely he is one of those few individuals who are multi-tasked and yet be able to do something that he loves.
Born on the 26th of May 1971 in his hometown in Toril, Davao City, Desierto was the only artist among the children of a farmer and an entrepreneur parents.
In his early childhood, Desierto had been very contemplative to his surrounding. At sixteen, he just discovered that he had the flair and potential in drawing and in later in painting real and imaginary images. In college, he enrolled in Fine Arts at the Ford Academy of the Arts. Enthused by his mentors, Desierto stayed for three and a half years of studies and practice.
As a developing artist, he participated in several art activities within Davao City and even in Manila.
Moreover, his allegiance to arts made way in pursuing his ambitious career. He also tied up with numerous groups of artists who do not only conduct exhibits in copious prestigious venues in Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City and Manila but also conduct seminars and art workshops to aspiring artists.
November 1997, Desierto successfully launched his first One-Man Show Exhibition “Visual Expression”. With expressive approach and appreciation he acquired from critics and on local and national art patrons, this he believed would be his stepping-stone to his success.
Presently, he lives with his affectionate wife and inspiring four children who had been his motivation in continuing his progressive career.
Desierto’s fascination with the flora and fauna, as can be observed in most of his paintings, had become the subjects of his artworks.
In addition, Allan Desierto had been a former board member of the Davao Artist Foundation (DAF)
A silent doer, that’s Rex. A self-taught artist who loves to experiment on his canvas. This cartoonist who has evolved into a painter is not contented working on a piece of paper. As a non- conformist, he loves to experiment different media in his works. Like Jackson Pollock, he works freely on his canvas creating strange yet well-balanced forms and advancing hues using unconventional medium such as lithograpic paints.
Rex is an architecture graduate at the University of Mindanao.
Currently, he manages his printing business in Davao City.
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