Local Contemporary Artists

MORE Local Contemporary Artists You Should Have on Your Radar

Holly | July 4, 2017

The Philippine art scene started to reemerge about a decade ago. Events such as the 2015 Venice Biennale brought the spotlight back to our local contemporary artists. So if you aren’t in the loop with who these hometown heroes are, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are five more contemporary Filipino artists you should know.

5 Local Contemporary Artists to Know

1. Costantino Zicarelli

Costantino Zicarelli

Constantino Zicarelli gets a lot of his influence for his art from his undying love for black metal and everything rock ‘n roll. Zicarelli is one of those local contemporary artists who are never afraid to inject dark elements into their art by using images of skulls, smashed guitars, rock icons, and tattoo emblems in their work. One of his most notable exhibitions was 2014’s The Dust of Men, which Zicarelli made taking inspiration from director Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

2. Norberto Roldan

Norberto Roldan

Norberto Roldan is the founder of Black Artists in Asia and Green Papaya Art Projects. As an artist, Roldan highlights social, political, and cultural issues in the country. He puts together a variety of images and text from his everyday life and combines them with significant parts of the country’s history to create masterful artwork.

Other than local inspiration, Roldan also looks into international history for inspiration for his work. For example, the assemblage titled  In Search for Lost Time 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 (2010) was inspired by Hitler’s apartment in Berlin, which was said to have influenced his conceited nature.

Speaking about his process, Roldan said, “Assemblage is not only mixed-media but also cross-disciplinary. You can pick up anything and put them all together in a coherent form. Assemblage is akin to production design in filmmaking. It builds the context for storytelling without giving the whole story.”

3. Louie Cordero

My We by Louie Cordero

Louie Cordero is an award-winning painter, sculptor, and creator of Nardong Tae, a self-published comic series. His vibrant works are sprinkled with grotesque humor mixed with indigenous traditions, religion, and American pop culture. Cordero also gets inspiration from the aesthetics of B-Rated horror flicks, heavy metal music, and street art. His multimedia installation My We, which was showcased during the 2011 Singapore Biennale, depicted the lost lives of innocent Filipinos who were murdered while singing the Frank Sinatra hit “My Way.” The sculptures were of fiberglass figures stabbed all over their bodies. Also in the exhibit is a karaoke machine with the ill-fated track playing onscreen.

4. Rodel Tapaya

Cane of Kabunian, Numbered But Cannot Be Counted

Rodel Tapaya has gained critical acclaim by winning in local and international art contests. His artwork is inspired by folktales and pre-colonial history.He received the 2011 Signature Art Prize from the Asia-Pacific Breweries Foundation and the Singapore Art Museum for his work Cane of Kabunian, Numbered but Cannot Be Counted. The following year, the 37-year-old artist was named one of the Thirteen Artists Awardee of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Through his 2012 work Mountain Fantasies, Tapaya warns about the dangers of mining to the natural balance of nature. The painting features the forest goddess Maria Makiling and different sprites who help nurture the seedlings of old trees that have died.

5. Martha Atienza

Endless Hours at Sea by Martha Atienza

Dutch-Filipino artist Martha Atienza has moved between the Philippines and the Netherlands for the most part of her life. So it is no surprise that much of her multimedia work is inspired by her mixed upbringing. Like Tapaya, her art is influenced by the environment and call for social change. Her video work Endless Hours at Sea was among the finalists for the 2013/2014 Sovereign Asian Art Prize. It depicted her father’s job as a ship captain, showing themes of isolation and loneliness at sea.

Do you know any local contemporary artists that you want to be featured? Sound off in the comments section below!

MORE Local Contemporary Artists You Should Have on Your Radar by