Signature Gabito. One of the pieces on display at Ignore the Noise.
It was a painting at furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue's showroom at Hive, one of a shrouded figure set against a black backdrop and that seemed to jump out of the frame. The figure was unmistakably human, kneeling, head bowed and with one hand clutching his chest, like he was defeated, devastated or something. There was a certain creepiness to it that spoke to me, appealed to me. It was hauntingly beautiful and I was completely mesmerized.
I would later learn that the painting was the work of a young artist named Dino Gabito, and that he had just held his first solo show on the same month I saw his painting at Hive. It drove me nuts that his show, which was aptly called Shroud Ides of March, featured several more such paintings of shrouded figures, more so when I found out all his pieces were sold out -- and that there is a long wait list for his works.
Seventeen months later Gabito is now holding his second solo exhibit dubbed Ignore the Noise at ArtistSpace at Ayala Museum. It opened last Friday, August 14, and we were fortunate enough to be invited.
Admiring Gabino's work -- and probably wondering when she can get to own one.
Guests at the show's opening.
After several invites from our friend Chitty Cometa of Metro Gallery and not making it to any of those events, I finally had my first taste of attending an art exhibit opening. I guess the lure of Dino Gabito was too strong to pass up. Besides, what excuse would I have now when the show's going to be right in Makati?
Ignore the Noise drew a considerably huge turnout for its opening, many of whom were also asking the same question Kwittiegirl and I had -- about when we can finally buy one of Gabito's works. That question may have still been left unanswered but guests that night were still happily appreciative of the young artist's works, showering him with heaps of well-deserved praises and congratulations.
Judging from the crowd alone, I think it's safe to conclude that Gabito is no ordinary budding artist. When you have guests the likes of Juan Miguel Zubiri, Aga Muhlach, Rowell Santiago, and power couple Richard and Lucy Gomez -- society's who's who -- he already is a star. Add to that the "who's not" of society like me also in attendance, the young man is very much a sought-after artist.
Guests hobnobbing with one another.
Apart from wine and drinks, there was also food at the opening.
Gabito's signature shroud artwork rendered in pencil. And oh, there's Aga Muhlach!
Actor Richard Gomez in an animated discussion with the man of the hour.
Bisoy and Bisay -- 100% Bisdak. Bumped into former schoolmate and now congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez.
Fanboying over Dino Gabito. My, that is one huge painting!
The crowd eventually thinned out, affording us a better chance at appreciating Gabito's genius. It's really great how at such a young age (he's only 25 now) he already found his signature style. These paintings of shrouded figures, parts of which extend beyond a frame's borders that produce a 3D-like effect, are uniquely his.
As to how he came up with the idea, I don't know. All I know is that it's Dino underneath all those figures. He sets up a camera on a tripod, and with a remote shoots himself while fully cloaked doing all sorts of poses. Then he paints. It's an interesting process so to speak.
The results are consistent. However covered the subjects are, the paintings speak volumes as the shrouds conform to shape and every movement, allowing us to see a lot through and despite all that cover. And with that play of light and shadow masterfully rendered, the artworks come alive. They have a certain creepiness to them, a hint of darkness even, but they're never too dark or menacing so as to turn some people off. Simply put, they're beautiful, which is why they appeal to lot of people.
Standing in awe.
Gabito's paintings seem to just jump out at you.
Imagining what it would have been like if it were me underneath the cloak.
My Kwittiegirl with Gabito. She's undeniably very happy for the young man.
Ignore the Noise runs through August 27, 2015 at ArtistSpace at Ayala Museum. Dino Gabito is represented by Metro Gallery.