Patricia Calzo Vega writes about the local art scene for GMA News Online.
Many of these vignettes were witnessed in transit, as he went about his daily routine: freelancing as an illustrator for publications, conducting painting workshops for street children and prison inmates, making the rounds of exhibits and art events.
Despite the summary nature of his observations, Borlongan’s paintings tease out the hidden emotional depths of his subjects: the fear and determination propelling a female office worker home, after pulling a late-night shift; the anxious optimism of bettors in line for lottery tickets, the blessed sleep of a carinderia owner after an honest day’s toil.
Precise shades of human expression rendered in the slightly distorted forms that is his trademark: the more disconcerting the distortions, the more resonant the emotions portrayed. Experts laud this as a prime example of the neo-figurative movement in Philippine art, a revival of formalism succeeding a period of abstract expressionism, but with a touch of social realism.
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