(SPOT.ph) The city, amid the urban grit, comes alive through art murals you can find everywhere, from walkways to pillars to buildings. In fact, the vibrant street paintings on lampposts, walls, and waiting sheds are usually inspiring, especially for commuters who are often stuck in the usual Metro traffic.
Fortunately for world-weary urban dwellers, there are artists for whom the city becomes a big canvas for art that inspires, even a little. Here are some of them.
Ang Gerilya (@anggerilya)
Composed of Fine Arts alumni from the University of the Philippines - Diliman, Ang Gerilya takes inspiration from Philippine historical figures and pop culture. The group is often commissioned to paint on walls and posts in the Metro, including Luneta Park, Intramuros, and even along EDSA. One of their latest works depicts a babaylan or ancient Filipino priestess.
Kookoo Ramos (@kookoo.ramos)
Visual artist Kookoo Ramos celebrates female empowerment and the many faces of a woman through her paintings. In a video profile for a local telecom company, she shared that her passion for doing street art started back in college: “Iba yung feeling na mainit, maingay, tapos malaki yung canvas mo. Kahit ano pwede mong gawin.”
Trip63 has painted murals in and out of the country—in Manila, Makati, Pasig, Bacolod, China, and Thailand, to name a few. He often uses overlapping lines with thin and thick strokes to create the illusion of depth. He elevates the art of graffiti by combining the usual elements of letters and numbers into abstract images of cartoon characters and flowers. In a previous interview with SPOT.ph, he pointed out: "I paint because I hate the norms. I don't want to do the same thing that the guy beside me is doing."
Lee Salvador (@lee.salvador)
Lee Salvador is a painter, installation artist, and a toy creator. He uses pop surrealism as a technique in his works, depicting fictional characters with multiple eyes. Celebrities like Chris Tiu and Thai actor Mario Maurer are avid collectors of his creations.
Dee Jae Pa’este (@deejae408)
Dee Jae Pa’este, according to his Instagram bio, is an “artist, foodie, and [a] traveler.” He combines his passion for good food and art by adding life to restaurant walls with his murals. His latest work can be seen at The Garage Arcade and Food Park in City of Dreams in Manila. He often integrates portraits of women and nature-inspired designs in his works.
Kris Abrigo (@krisabrigo)
Kris Abrigo’s art has gained a following thanks to their vibrancy and clever play on shapes—this includes the cool mural at Facebook Philippines. But aside from his works' 2D qualities, he always takes the surroundings into account when conceptualizing his murals. His most recent work entailed painting a bike lane in West Rembo, Makati, which he has dedicated to the "hard-working workers who go to work by riding bicycles on savage [F]ilipino highways with no bike lanes."
Archie Oclos (@tatak_a)
Archie Oclos was recognized this year by the Cultural Center of the Philippines as one of the “13 Artists Awards” recipients. He often draws portraits of people from Philippine tribes to raise awareness about indigenous communities. One of his most popular works is a mural at SM Aura which pays homage to our country’s treasures, including Apo Fang Od (otherwise known as Whang Od), the internationally recognized traditional tattoo artist, and Lang Dulay, a T’boli weaver.
Neil Javier (@a.lien42)
Check out how Neil Javier incorporates pop culture in his murals by following his colorful Instagram account. There's Jollibee with a weird mustache, Bert and Ernie likened to Frankenstein, and Jose Rizal sticking out his tongue. You can also check out his toy creations on his personal blog.
Lee Caces (@leecaces)
Fluidity is often depicted on the abstract murals of young artist Lee Caces. The swirling colors of green, yellow, and sky blue are so hypnotic that you may forget you’re stuck in the city. You can see his murals along the walkway of The Block at SM North EDSA.
Egg Fiasco (@eggfiasco)
If you see murals of people or animals infused with colorful geometrical shapes, you can be sure that it's from @eggfiasco. His style is an eye-catching marriage of classical techniques and modern, edgy elements that demand attention.