An overview of seven major players in the Filipino street art scene today.
Rounding off the three-part series on the Filipino Street Art Project, Art Radar profiles seven Filipino street artists who are highlighted in the Project’s media class at Wake Forest University, United States of America.
The Filipino Street Art Project (FSAP) is a transmedia project, incorporating a documentary film, an interactive website and a monthly newsletter, that seeks to explore the street art scene in and around Metro Manila and tell the stories of the artists.
Also a part of FSAP is the Imagination Project, a media production class at Wake Forest University where documentary filmmaking students produce interactive e-books focusing on seven artists selected by FSAP’s founders Kim Dryden and Austin Smith.
Art Radar profiles these seven artists to provide an insight into the street art scene in the Philippines.
Lee Salvador is a visual artist and street artist from Cavite who works as a project manager at Quipr, an ad agency for social media, and freelances to create commissioned murals. He is a part of the street art group Cavity Collective and had his first solo show at Pocket Universe in Makati in 2013.
Salvador’s attraction to street art is motivated by his belief in equality: in bringing art to the people who cannot afford to go to an art gallery. He told FSAP in an interview that his work represents “lowbrow art”, based on a moral awareness of what he sees around him. Many of his artworks feature a monster coming out of a heart-shaped hole in the chest of a blue character, representing the negative side of people and of life in general, but also indicating that these negative aspects can be worked upon. Outside of street art, Lee Salvador also designs and paints customised shoes.
Jose Clarino (Jood)
Jood approaches graffiti and street art in the Philippines from an academic perspective, lamenting the dearth of writing available on the subject. He is a street artist based in Quezon City, Manila, as well as an educator at the University of Santo Tomas where he was previously a student of Fine Arts.
Jood works primarily with spray paint and stencils, earning a living through commissioned artworks. His street art explores the urban experience through cosmopolitan characters, often featuring hooded or mysterious figures that seem to be hiding something. In addition, he teaches painting and design classes at Ateneo de Manila and is currently researching for his Master’s thesis on street art and public art.
Gerilya is an artist collective that was started in 2008 by three classmates at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts: Jano, Zap and Kube, arising from their shared interest in comic art. Gerilya explores socio-political issues and national identity through their art, using and experimenting with new media including murals, wheat paste, digital art and even T-shirts.
Gerilya is inspired by Filipino culture and history, describing their style as similar to comic books with graphic images, colour, bold lines and playful typography. The collective also tackles political issues through art, such as protesting against the militarisation of university campuses and Pork Barrel corruption in the Philippines’ government.
Dee Jae Pa’este
Dee Jae Pa’este is an artist with a background in fashion and design. He was raised in San Jose, California, and lived in New York and Tokyo – places that inspired his work – before moving to Manila. His work explores the symmetry of electronic logic boards and Polynesian tattoo designs, creating a style that is uniquely his own.
Aside from being a street artist and freelance painter, Pa’este organises fashion and art events through his company Manila Pop Up. He is also a Creative Partner at a restaurant and bar in Makati called Fork, and a presenter for MYXTV covering Manila’s fashion scene.
Kookoo Ramos works as a graphic artist designing billboards and advertising materials, and also does freelance commissions for individuals and corporations. Her trademark style of street art is a female figure, painted in a graffiti-based style in flat colours, black-and-white line art, or sometimes even realistic.
Ramos graduated as a Fine Arts major in Advertising from the University of Santo Tomas in 2012 and likes to experiment with different types of art and media. She attributes her interest in street art to the artists she has met and been influenced by.
Alex Martinez (Tripp63)
Tripp is a street artist, graffiti writer, graphic designer and toy creator. His style of art includes primarily letters and robot characters, as well as a carrot icon. He owns a Manila-based graffiti supply company called Carrotbombing, with customers across Asia. Tripp will soon be opening a storefront with two other artists to sell painting supplies, a clothing line and designer toys.
Tripp currently works for IBM, and is a part of the art collectives Pilipinas Street Plan and Movement69, in addition to being an in-house artist for Secret Fresh, a major art gallery in San Juan City, Manila.
Brian Barrios works primarily with wheat pastes, and had made a name for himself as a wheat paste artist by the age of 15. He garnered local and international attention for his artistic talent, putting up rural scenes of Filipino life and culture around Metro Manila.
Barrios is now 18 and works with Anakbayan, a radical youth organisation known for its political activism. His own street art, which includes posters and murals, is characteristically charged with political messages and critique.
Related Topics: Filipino artists, acrylic art, street art, overviews, graffiti, public art, art depicting the female form, political art, robot art, social art, urban art, art and the community, art in Manila
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