Paint My Ride: This Online Exhibit Celebrates and Traces the History of an Italian Wonder - Arts & Culture

For August, ArtPHonline is launching a series of works by Michael Sagaran centered on the Vespa.

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Launched last year, ArtPHonline is a digital art platform that showcases the works of both established and emerging Filipino artists through online painting exhibits and auctions. It is headed by Julius and Christine Babao, Lori Jurvida, and Chinkee Tan.

“Through ArtPh, artists will have a regular venue to display their artworks which they have painstakingly created. These may be archival works that have long been in storage or even new works. Art collectors may also choose to resell pieces in their collection through Art Ph,” its website description reads.

Italian inspirations

For August, the platform is inspired by the quirky Italian luxury scooter brand Vespa, which is depicted through colorful and mood-lifting works.

The Vespa History online exhibit features the brand’s evolution and it’s 9 iconic models in acrylic on canvas paintings, these are the Vespa 98 II Serie (1947 model), Vespa Circuito 125 (1949 model), Vespa 150 (1956 model), Vespa P125X (1978 model), Vespa PX150 (1982 model), Vespa Primavera (2003 model), Vespa Red (2017 model) and Vespa GTS 7th Anniversary Edition (2021 model). 

These works were created by hotelier and painter Michael Anthony Sagaran over the course of the last two years. The artist says he is a big fan of the scooter brand, both by its own historical merit that stretches back to the post-war era and its Italian roots.

This aesthetic brilliance and relevance during significant, world-spanning events like World War 2 as well as the ongoing pandemic inspired him to create a series of paintings featuring the brand’s evolution, the artist adds.

Restarted passion

From its early post-war models to the special edition celebrating its 75th year anniversary, Sagaran captures the Vespa scooters’ spirit of creativity in design, functionality and style in his artwork. 

Sagaran’s early interest in drawing, which garnered him awards in various art competitions in high school, led him to take up a Fine Arts major in Advertising Arts at the University of Santo Tomas.

As a hotelier, Sagaran only resumed painting three years ago when his job in the corporate world brought him to the province and he found himself away from family and friends and the hustle and bustle of the city.

From left: Julius Babao with his Vespa Sean Wotherspoon (2020) limited edition and a painting of it by Sagaran; VESPA GTS 7th Anniversay Edition, 2021

Itching to create and document the beauty of nature that now surrounded him, Sagaran picked up his brushes again, and participated in a group art exhibit two years ago.

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