In ‘Bloom Boom,’ five artists paint floral notes from across the isles

The exhibit features five emerging artists whose works are a visual feast focused on the flower.

February might have come and gone, but flowers still abound.  Bloom Boom, an exhibition hosted by Gallery.Sort.Of, is a piquant reminder of the ever-refreshing ability of foliage and flora to adorn and embellish, as well as a confident testament to Filipino talent. 

Bloom Boom features five emerging artists whose artistic voices lilt and lift in high paeans to the simplest of domestic touches—the flower.  Deej Amago, Shai Ancheta, Peony on Fire, Prince Logan and Dan Ivan Sepelagio were plucked from all over the country (Cebu, Davao, Pangasinan and Laguna) to showcase their horticulturally artistic expertise.

Banner photo, “Outbloom”; photo above, “Outbloom 2” by Shai Ancheta

These five emerging artists of varying backgrounds, formal education and career progression weave deeply personal narratives into garlands of beauty, deftly interspersing intimate stories with lush oils and acrylics.  

Deej Amago, a highly skilled pencil and watercolor warrior, offers homoerotic bears that meet, frolic and loll in sybaritic fields.  There are depictions of private parts, but the renditions are so idyllic, with his characters given Japanese anime features, that the overall impact of his canvasses is of gay innocence at play.

“Wanderlings” by Peony on Fire
“Silver Linings” by Peony on Fire

From further south, the Davao-native Shai Ancheta conjures otherworldly, nymph-like faces thrust out from the midst of tightly bunched bouquets.  Her oils swirl and captivate, the petals that unfold are truly magical. 

Shai’s Davao compatriot Dan Ivan Sepelagio, in turn, dreams in an almost-cinematic noir atmosphere, with granny-posey wallpaper and dusky rice fields providing the setting for his odd, young-and-yet-at-the-same-time-old alter-ego.  Ivan’s surrealistic bent is evident in the figurative portrayal of everyday dilemmas, the wheat stalks forming a somnolistic backdrop, and Pinocchio-like long noses punctuating solemn faces. 

“Ang Sayaw ng Talumpanay” by Deej Amago
“Introduction” by Deej Amago

From Cebu, Jose Joya awardee Peony on Fire manifests semi-mystical children of the corn cavorting with stalks and spores.  Her heroine grapples perhaps with doubt, represented as snakes on the head, or baser emotions, portrayed as floral blooms cascading from within the bodice.  There are myths and legends buried within Peony’s canvasses, or perhaps, entire novels.  

“Celes” by Prince Logan
“Scitor” by Prince Logan

Finally, Pangasinan’s Prince Logan offers cerulean-hued canvasses that transport the viewer to a plane of existence that combines the mysterious with the magical.  There are flying goldfish and swimming fairies in his universe, as well as lily-white hares and wooden Trojan horses cavorting in regal splendor.  Precise brushstrokes outline his golden seaweed, and compellingly frame his elven warriors wielding rosebud weapons. 

“Searching for That Place” by Dan Ivan Sepelagio
“Save Me from the Wallpapers” by Dan Ivan Sepelagio

Combined, the works of these geographically separated but aesthetically kindred artisans coalesce into one fantastic centerpiece.  The visual feast is stunning and, literally, food for the soul.

Bloom Boom runs until March 15 at Gallery.Sort.Of, located at 37 Camaro St., Fairview Park, Quezon City.

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