Wall-art whiz Alfred Galvez takes a breather from his mural projects to mount his second one-man exhibit dubbed Kwento ng Diwata this month at the Ricco Renzo Gallery, located at 210 Nicanor Garcia St. (formerly Reposo), Bel-Air 2, Makati City.
Kwento ng Diwata is inspired by Philippine lore’s enchanted maiden of the forest. The mythical being is interpreted in a series of nude compositions using Galvez’s favored classical method of painting.
The oil-on-canvas collection relates how the diwatas—the protectors of the environment—have been banished as humans encroached on their homes. After hundreds of years of hiding from their enemies who have pillaged nature’s bounty, three of the maiden-leaders are captured. Fortunately, the diwatas are able to free themselves. They then harness their powers and pass it on to others of their kind, vowing to invigorate their habitat and make it bloom and thrive like never before.
Following the tradition of the old masters, the pieces in the exhibit have been put together with great thought and care. With the diwatas based on sitting models, Galvez used materials and techniques that slowly but surely breathed life to each painting. Colors were dabbed sparingly or applied liberally, layer upon layer, to create light, shadow or texture where needed.
Galvez—who counts Filipino artists Romulo Galicano and Orly Ypon among his influences—describes the classical method as very theatrical, bordering on the unnatural. “Like music, it has rhythm, hidden lines and composition. Some may dismiss classical realism as a thing of the past. But I know that it can made popular again, to be practiced by a new generation of artists and to be appreciated by today’s art lovers.”
A Fine Arts graduate of the University of the Philippines, Galvez has established himself in the specialized area of murals and faux finishes for residential projects and commercial establishments. He put up AG Murals in 2003 which introduced the use of murals as an integral part of interior design.
In 2013, Galvez opened Artalyer, a fine arts and decorative arts workshop-studio in Quezon City dedicated to helping broaden the knowledge of anyone interested to learn the basic and advanced techniques and history of art-making.
Kwento ng Diwata runs until April 3. For inquiries, call Ricco Renzo Gallery at 898-2545.