A Walk Down Memory Lane With Artist Phyllis Zaballero

Looking Back with Love runs until October 21 at Altro Mondo Gallery.

(SPOT.ph) Have you ever looked back at your life wishing you’ve done things differently? Yes, we’ve all been there and sadly, we can’t turn back the hands of time. On the bright side, the memories we’ve collected make for good small talk, ideas that can be turned into art, or even a whole book. For artist Phyllis Zaballero, reconciling with her past became the subject of her newest solo show titled Looking Back with Love. It runs until October 21 at Altro Mondo Gallery in Makati City.

"Boston Memories I, Ruby Foo"Courtesy of Altro Mondo
"Blood and Brimstone in February"Courtesy of Altro Mondo

With 20 works of art featuring cities and countries she grew up in, she takes viewers into a journey of her life. Zaballero, an only child, was raised abroad by parents who would prefer to see her flourish in a career outside of the arts. Her passion for painting persisted through the years—and even after raising three sons—so that led her to study Fine Arts under the guidance of esteemed conceptual artist Roberto Chabet. In Looking Back with Love, she puts the spotlight on places that were important in building relationships with the people around her. Some of these works hint at the artist’s regrets about taking personal relationships for granted; not only with her parents but also with her young artistic self.

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"Manhattan Memories 2, Times Square"Courtesy of Altro Mondo

Her work "Manhattan Memories 2, Times Square” is filled with images of how she remembers New York City as a child. She particularly recreates the scene when she and her father went to the well-known Automat, a restaurant that served food through vending machines way back in the '50s and '60s.

"Los Caracoles 2, A Fuera"Courtesy of Altro Mondo

"Los Caracoles 2, A Fuera" features the exterior of a restaurant in Spain, which she associates with the sudden death of her father while they were living in Europe. This event led to Zaballero’s return to the Philippines, where she settled for good.

"Carcar, Cebu, 47/50"Courtesy of Altro Mondo

There’s also a series of hand-colored etchings on paper of their house in Carcar, Cebu. The façade’s vivid colors reflect how the artist sees it as a place of tranquility.

Through the exhibit, the artist meticulously puts her past in front of us. It’s a brave way to confront things we can’t change anymore, and a great reminder that every day is another chance to pick up where we left off. In Zaballero’s case, her second chance came when she picked up another paintbrush.


Looking Back with Love runs until October 21 at Altro Mondo Gallery, 3/F Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City. For more information, visit Altro Mondo's website.

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