Collection: Aris Bagtas
Among the most prolific and sought after contemporary artist in the Philippines is Ernest "Aris" Bagtas, Jr. He is the pioneer of the art movement dubbed "Filipinism", which seeks to celebrate the beauty and diversity in visual art. The movement is characterized by depictions of Filipino identity expressed in traditions, cultural activities, and piety commonly associated with the countryside folk.
Born and raised in Obando, Bulacan, it is no wonder that Aris would gravitate toward depicting rural and cultural themes in his work -- his hometown is idyllic as it is historic, a haven where old-world Philippine lifestyle lives on, studded with the colonial beautifully preserved colonial architecture and enlivened by colorful fiestas. The joy of these celebrations is echoed in his vibrant palette and the palpable joy in his neo-realist canvases, even in works where he explores more sober themes, there is an undercurrent of vivacity that bubbles under the surface, like a seed about to burst forth from Obando's fertile soil.