Artist Jaime Gubaton examines waste and ruin, nature and pollutants

Gubaton’s “Foiled” exhibit is a blatant reminder of the dangers of mindless consumerism and its deadly consequences on the environment.

In this era of constant waste and ruin, visual artist Jaime Gubaton weaves the multiplicity of nature and its pollutants into the composition of his pieces. His paintings take inspiration from a foiling technique practiced in jewelry making, and mimics its principle of using foil to further emphasize its symbolism, spotlighting his subjects onto an almost black base.

“Resilience” by Jaime Gubaton, from his ongoing “Foiled” exhibit at ArtistSpace.

Gubaton, a veteran artist with the burning enthusiasm of a student, considers artmaking a continuous process—a cycle of retaining, changing and revisiting. Despite being a firm believer in the foundational skills of art, he centers his practice on experimentation, and polishes his skills by regularly stepping away from routine.

This exhibition showcases this as he deviates from human portraiture and instead breathes nature and its pollutants onto his dark canvases.

Artist Jaime Gubaton
Jaime Gubaton

There is no mistaking the message of his show—and that is intentional. He is blunt in his execution, and his intentions can easily be understood at a glance. Nature is in danger, and its stewards have become its executioners.

Gubaton is an artist who mainly works with oil painting and contemporary figures and portraits juxtaposed with various elements, some linear and graphic representations, with the use of appropriated materials that are borrowed from a day-to-day context. Gubaton’s art is executed using clear formal rules and always refers to social reality.

His works are notable for their perfect finish and tactile nature.

Jaime Gubaton Foiled art

The style and the corresponding vision of an artist naturally evolve and mature, but there is something in the initial creative impulse that continues to be sustained through their works, whether it is a preferential treatment of color, a recurring image, or a conspicuously revisited subject matter.

In the case of Gubaton, now considered one of the most sought-after artists working today, an emphasis on certain qualities of the Filipino identity can be discerned, even if he has fully ventured into photorealistic depictions of portraits.

Jaime Gubaton Foiled

With his current exhibit, Gubaton takes the opportunity to champion what he has always implemented in his act of creation: a willingness to change.

“My artistic journey is a learning process that enables me to improve my skills and techniques. It opens opportunities for me to better appreciate the history and culture of the world. Allow yourself to grow at your own pace, don’t rush the process,” Gubaton says.

Presented by Arte Bettina, “Foiled” is ongoing until Sept. 12 at ArtistSpace, located at Ground Level, Ayala Museum Annex, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City. For inquiries on the exhibition, contact Arte Bettina at +63 905 269 6095, +632 7004 3209 or ArtistSpace is open daily from 11 am to 8 pm. Admission is free.  to 8:00 PM. Admission is free. Contact Jane Salvador at +63 917 826 4425 or

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