10 Young Filipino Artists You Should Know Now

10 Young Artists You Should Know Now

Art is no longer for the old and the rich. Events like Art Fair Philippines and Art in the Park has democratized the art world, making it more accessible for every age and economic bracket. As a result, a lot of people (teenagers included) are becoming interested in the field, encouraging young artists to create more work for the people to appreciate. This year’s Art in the Park had more young patrons and artists, proving that creativity is flourishing, and there’s a hungry market. As more Filipinos are becoming interested in the art scene, here are the 10 young artists you should know now.

(Writer’s note: Because of the difficulty in ranking the artists—they’re that good, the top 10 have been presented without any numbers)

When Everything Seems Nothing, Zean Cabangis

Zean Cabangis

The funny thing about Zean Cabangis is just when he is about to hold an exhibit, one of the first things people ask is if John Lloyd Cruz is coming (John Lloyd is one of his biggest fans). What strikes the viewer is his mastery of color, but there is an artistry deeper than that. Rather than painting his images, Zean uses emulsion transfer, a process that allows him to build layers and various images, and making each artwork a surprise to him and the viewer alike. Even without John Lloyd’s patronage, Zean still has the potential of a budding master.

The Harmless Untruths, Carina Santos

Carina Santos

Creativity is when you can take a random pile of things and turn it into art. Carina Santos has that elusive talent. Her work is a mishmash of collected things which she cuts, sews, and glues together. Her work is challenging but pretty, thought-provoking but gentle. And this lady is creative. Not only does she make art, she writes, takes photos, and runs a beauty blog.

Observations on Tropical Disasters, Dina Gadia

Dina Gadia

Dina Gadia’s works are reminiscent of old movie posters and comic strips. That’s because she has a talent for mixing old with the new. Her talent for re-appropriating images is amazing, and you’re left to wonder how she can think of combining two unlikely things to come up with a beautiful whole. And you also have to appreciate the craftsmanship of her medium. This girl needs to do movie posters.

Cocoon (Part of AFI’s As One We Can Series), Tokwa Penaflorida 

Tokwa Penaflorida

Tokwa Penaflorida’s aesthetic has grown over the years. He became known for his dreamy aesthetics, which he did so well with his solo exhibit Hypnagogia. The way he captured ephemera was a nice break from some of the aggressive art coming out that time. Through time, his works have become darker and even more beautiful. Even if his pieces have a distinctive look, they are highly adaptable. Tokwa has done a series of illustrations for children’s books, and erotic works for his exhibit Packages of Meat.

I Love You Right to the Moon & Back, Dan Matutina

Dan Matutina

You’ve seen Dan Matutina’s work. You just don’t know it. He has had commissioned works from high profile clients like Coca-Cola and Google. But once you are familiar with Dan’s use of geometric shapes, you begin to notice it everywhere. His unique drawing style is easily recognizable, but he knows when we step back. Just look at the minimalist designs of Plus63 Design Co, a design company he founded with his friends.

An illustration for Vesti, Soleil Ignacio

Soleil Ignacio

The first thing you notice about Soleil Ignacio is her mystery. But when you compare her to her works, you’ll be surprised at how different they are. Soleil’s illustrations are in-your-face glamour, with come-hither stares and smizes that would put Tyra Banks to shame. The sexiness oozes from every line, and it’s no wonder her works have been featured side by side with fashion editorials.

DuraMatter, Mano Gonzales

Mano Gonzales

Mano Gonzales brings to life the saying “Art imitates life.” Like Mano, his works are dark and brooding, with a touch of realism that is almost novel in a time when everyone wants go the Pop Art and surreal path. His illustrations of his friends are spot-on, but his most haunting works are the ones he does on a whim. The intensity of his portraits match the intensity of his stare. Check out his selfies (or meet him in person) if you want to know more.

For Letters to the Future, Rob Cham

Rob Cham

Rob Cham’s self-deprecating humor makes him a favorite amongst the Twitterati. But his humor is best appreciated with his comics, a collection of random thoughts, situations, and life experiences. He has his aesthetic, too, but his trademark is his humor. And he draws it so well.

Untitled Figure 004, Luis Antonio Santos

Luis Antonio Santos

The first thing you notice about Luis Santos’ works is the effort he puts in every piece. You never know if you’re looking at a painting or a photo. That’s how good this guy is. Just take a look at his solo show Nocturne, where he drew distorted sheet metal, and Then It Happened, a collection of paintings of his friends’ blurred faces. This talent runs in the blood. He comes from three generations of artists—his sister is Carina Santos, and their youngest sister (Isabel), parents (Soler and Mona Santos), and grandfather (the great Malang) are all artists.

When You Sleep, Jel Suarez

Jel Suarez

Jel Suarez came in like a breath of fresh air. A relative newcomer, her art has quickly grown more sophisticated as she progressed. Proof of her skills in manipulating photos to become thoughtful collages is her first foray into Art in the Park, where all her pieces were sold out come afternoon. She has also mounted her first exhibit at Vinyl in Vinyl. What makes Jel extra special is you know the talent is there, but her career is young enough to make you wonder, how high can she go?

Do you know a young artist that should be on this list? Share it in the comments section below!

10 Young Artists You Should Know Now