Frederick Agustin: Filipino Abstract Expressionist

I first heard of Frederick Agustin during my university years. How could I have not? We were in the same classes together and in the same organization in my last year. Frederick was the resident artist of our university’s official publication where I was one of the writers.

Ten years later, I spotted Frederick’s works being sold online, and I felt that it was time to take the trip back to the university and speak to the artist.


Frederick Agustin

I’ve always wondered what it’s like for a genuine artist to pursue his art. We have all become too familiar with the term “starving artist” and have somehow gotten used to seeing those who are already celebrities taking on the artists’ spotlight, as well.

Not that they have no right to be there, but they do have an advantage over the rest who can only hope to have some of that light shine on their works, too.

Frederick Agustin

The great balancing act

Frederick Agustin continues to paint and join exhibits such as the ones held at art spaces like Espasyo Siningdikato in Dasmarinas, Cavite and Aklatang Emilio Aguinaldo gallery, with his friend and fellow artist Mok Oliveros.

In fact, some of his works will be among those displayed at the Marahuyo Alipato X Paladexhibit in Silang, Cavite until June 30, 2015. He will also be featured in another exhibit at the Rizal Park gallery in the same month.

Frederick Agustin

Frederick Agustin

Frederick says that the biggest challenge for him now is finding the time to work on his paintings. He is raising two daughters with his wife Alma and understands that his primary responsibility is to provide for his family.

Frederick Agustin works as one of the staff of De La Salle University – Dasmarinas. He also holds photography workshops and recently took on the challenge of biking from Luzon to Mindanao in order to raise scholarship funds.

“It’s one thing to find the time to paint,” he explains, “but it’s hard to balance time with your mood.”

Frederick Agustin

Discovering Abstract Expressionism

Having started with bokeh seascapes and realism paintings, Frederick stumbled upon the concept of abstract expressionism late in his career through a movie based on the life of American painter, Jackson Pollock.

Frederick was fascinated at how liberating this art movement seemed. At that time, he felt that some of his emotions were constricted by the accuracy required in his genre. He decided to give abstract expressionism a try and has since then released an E-book, The Art of Frederick Agustin, Expressions and Energies, to showcase some of his works.

Frederick Agustin

U.S.-based artist, Margaux Vaughn commends, “Fred is one of the few real abstract expressionists of our time. A lot of work is done in abstract, and there are a lot of extensions of abstract expressionism, but not many are true to the work of the New York School. Fred is now selling in the United States and is sure to be a major player.

Frederick Agustin


What exactly is Abstract Expressionism?

I have always thought that abstract art leaves you to interpret it on your own. While we will always have our own view on things, it is not always as the artists intend for their works to be understood.

Frederick explains that abstract expressionism is more gestural and textural in nature. You are not bound by any rules that may inhibit you from expressing yourself fully. Aesthetically, it is anti-figurative. There are no pictures to see.

Every stroke, every movement and every color speaks of the intensity of the artist’s emotions or his indifference.

If you want to understand an abstract expressionist’s painting, you have to look beyond what your eyes can see. You have to let yourself feel.

I was once told that the commercial value of a painting is dictated upon by art collectors and enthusiasts. Frederick clarifies, “the artist dictates both the emotion and the value of his work.

Frederick Agustin

with frederick agustin

An artist’s words of wisdom

I asked Frederick for tips that he can give budding artists and here are the things he advises:

1. Take time to learn the basics of art, like drawing, complimentary colors, and anatomy. One of Fred’s first art purchases was a color wheel chart he bought with what was left of his allowance.

2. Study art and all of its forms, so you can find your place.

3. Practice. Art is a language; in order to be fluent, you need to practice it. Learn about shapes and gestures. Master your art vocabulary.

4. Study emotions – yours and other artists’. Recurring emotions can be learned.

5. Do it with passion. Art is not just a piece, but an endeavor. Art is not just a task; art is life. Live it.

Artists have a gift of seeing things and situations other people do not see. Art for me is not just painting. I see art.” And with that, Frederick shakes my hand and says goodbye.

Frederick Agustin, Abstract Expressionist

Contact number: +63927-997 28 16
Email address:
Online galleries: 
The Art of Frederick Agustin, Expressions and Energies 
Frederick Agustin on
Frederick Agustin (pedoy76) on


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