Miniaturismo: An Artist’s Technique That Honors Filipino Forefathers - Arts & Culture

The artist’s inaugural exhibit in the Makati gallery pays homage to the erudite Filipino educated class during the Spanish colonial period.

As their inaugural exhibit, Galleria Nicolas recently opened their newest branch on the third floor of Greenbelt 5, with “Ilustrados” by Dominic Rubio.

It is the second in a trilogy of one-man exhibits, which is the artist’s way of paying homage to the erudite Filipino educated class during the Spanish colonial period.

According to Galleria Nicolas, “He employs an artistic technique called “miniaturismo,” where he pays special attention to accoutrements like canes, hats, shoes, kerchiefs, and fans as well as garment designs and embroidery. His keen observation skills present the customs, traditions, and manner of living of our forefathers, the ‘Ilustrados’.”

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“Puente” by Dominic Rubio

His previous exhibit “Dominic Rubio: Life is a Journey” used transport imagery that acted as a metaphor for various forms of passage and arrival, because for Rubio, the act of traveling was symbolic of a transitional state and a period of whimsicality.

As noted by the late art historian Dr. Reuben Cañete, Rubio is a modern-day Damian Domingo with his depictions of various Filipino archetypes. His strength lies in his capability of making his audiences “see themselves” through his works. Though he paints nostalgic scenes depicting our colonial past, Rubio is actually painting the Filipino of today.

“La Persiana” by Dominic Rubio

Bridging an Understanding on Emerging Art

Since it opened its doors in 2009, Galleria Nicolas has built a reputation for supporting not only established artists but up-and-coming talents as well. With a focus on local artists, Galleria Nicolas is dedicated to championing the best of Philippine modern and contemporary art. Over the years, it has exhibited a wide collection of works done by some of the most sought-after painters and sculptors in the country such as National Artists Abdulmari Imao and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, as well as internationally renowned artists like Juvenal Sanso, Eduardo Castrillo, and Ramon Orlina. 

“Quality Time Together” by Dominic Rubio

The gallery also serves as an incubator for young artists, giving them a space to show their artwork and explore their artistry in a supportive environment. From the rhythmic visual experience that is Fitz Herrera’s “A Vivid Symphony” to the evocative landscapes in Kenneth Montegrande’s “Love Beyond Words,” Galleria Nicolas has showcased the works of emerging artists at ManilArt 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Over the past year, Galleria Nicolas has been proud to exhibit Aldrino Abes and Alexander Calceta’s masterful takes on portraiture. Abes celebrated the uniqueness of an individual through his experimentations with the human figure in “Portraits of Us,” while Calceta highlighted the mesmerizing power and physicality of his feminine subjects in “Of Dreams and Fantasies (Scenes from a Boudoir).”

“My Beloved Family” in Brass by Dominic Rubio

The gallery also presented Milmar Onal’s explorations of geometric art to the public. His works for “Border/Line” were based on liminal space, both in the aesthetics of the pieces and the interdisciplinary approach taken in their creation. Working between the practices of art and geometry, Onal created imagery both vivid and distant, between existence and imagined. 

In 2020, Galleria Nicolas exhibited “The Clearest Hue” by Camille Ver. One of the Philippines’ flag-bearers in contemporary abstractionism, Ver creates abstract symbols that represent to her a particular philosophy or feeling associated with the basic truths. In “The Clearest Hue,” each of the artist’s abstract works portrayed particular concepts, such as rapture, conception, and the emotions linked to these. These visible forms further represent the singularity of life: that all things lie within the individual; thus, all works have an inner glow of vibrant color representing the life force.

In earlier years, Galleria Nicolas has worked with luminaries such as Raul Isidro, Carlo Magno, Richard Arimado, and Michael Cacnio as well. To this day, the gallery serves as an entryway to collecting art by helping budding art collectors discover emerging artists through pocket events and themed exhibitions.

“My Bestfriend” in Brass by Dominic Rubio

Galleria Nicolas carefully curates breathtaking works of art that appeal to newer and younger audiences, presenting them in quiet, relaxed spaces that serve as an escape from the busy streets of the metropolis. With its new branch in Greenbelt 5, Galleria Nicolas will continue to serve as a bridge between a new generation of artists and art enthusiasts.

The new Galleria Nicolas is located at 3/F Greenbelt 5, Makati City. For inquiries call +63 936 225 1226 or +632 7 0071137, or email [email protected]. For exhibit updates, follow Galleria Nicolas on Facebook and @gallerianicolas on Instagram.

Banner photo courtesy of Galleria Nicolas.

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