Artist Jackie Lozano’s Hero Is a Fresh Take on Filipino Oil Painting

The exhibit runs until March 25.


( In an era when creative millennials are increasingly producing work through digital media, it’s refreshing to see the old school oil paintings of up-and-coming Manila-based artist Jackie Hontiveros Lozano. Like the masters that came before her, Lozano—a former art professor at the University of the Philippines – Diliman—spends her days painting full-time. Each morning, she sits in front of a canvas and quickly gets to work. Sometimes, she doesn’t finish until past midnight. It is under this discipline and commitment that the work for her first solo show, Hero, was produced. The exhibit runs until April 6 at Manila House in Bonifacio Global City.



Although Lozano can be considered old-school in many ways, there’s nothing stiff and boring about her work. In fact, her collection Hero is a fresh addition to Philippine art. Whereas the thought of oil paintings usually conjures up the image of centuries-old bowls of fruit hanging in dusty museums, Lozano’s quickly-laid strokes in vibrant teals and pinks create something lively and dynamic. In Hero, she fills up massive canvases with her contemporary take on the human form. These bodies are an exciting mix of chaotic and graceful—like ballet dancers at war.







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Without using any photo references, one of Lozano’s creative strategies was to take ballet lessons herself. But the lithe bodies contorting on Hero’s canvases do so much more than just portray unique poses. There’s something undeniably emotional being expressed in each painting.


With names like “Grief,” “Strength,” and “Liberty,” the titles of the paintings can take away a lot of the work’s mystery. And while they do give the average person easy access to understanding the collection more deeply, the audience’s visceral reaction to the art proves how powerful Hero is, even without verbal explanation.









One of the strengths of the show is its earnestness. Whether it’s being communicated through the titles or through the raw emotion in each painting, the artist reveals herself with such rare unabashedness. And yet, in line with the usual practice in Philippine art, Hero doesn’t shy away from intellect, politics, and even ethics. Created during a season of major transition in the artist’s life, the collection is Lozano’s documentation of how her newfound atheism and her pursuit of virtue could coexist. Though some may not agree with her beliefs, Filipinos everywhere will find her overarching question about what it means to be good, relevant in their personal lives as well as in the national realm.


Hero runs until March 25 at the Manila House Private Club, Net Park Building, 26th Street corner 5th Ave, Bonifacio Global City. Appointments can be arranged through

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