For Benedict Abigan, art is life and life are art. A self-taught artist Benedict Abigan answered the call of the canvas early in his life and has joined art competitions consistently over his artistic career to continuously challenge his creative juices. At the young age of 8 years old as a Grade 3 student in Plaridel Elementary School, he won 2nd place in an art competition that asked them to do a portrait of Marcelo H. Del Pillar. Thus, began a passion he would soon devote the rest of his life to.
In high school, he continued to join poster competitions and alongside his experimentation of different styles and mediums such as oil, is his exploration as a young man finding his place in the world.
1991 marked his entry to the art community, as he became a member of Art Association of the Philippines under which he was exposed to the world of arts. Doing a combination of figures and abstracts, it was in this time as he began to grow as an artist, that he developed an inclination towards specific styles that he found to be more expressive of the thoughts and emotions that he wished to convey. An example of this is his penchant for vines. Attracted to their wild and liberal lines that could form an infinite number of shapes holding an infinite number of meanings, he is fascinated at the depth, motion, tone, and unpredictable quality that it evokes. This free environment is what he finds himself working best in, as most of the competitions he has won were those had no theme and was done on the spot. This spontaneity is what feeds his artistic soul.
It was also in 1991 he was a Shell finalist for his painting, “Sa Bubong May Buhay”. Others include Honorable mentions in a Westin Philippine Plaza competition as well as in the Manila Yacht Club and a finalist for the first figurative painting competition in Big and Small Art Gallery. Over the past few years, he has also exhibited in Galerie Anna, Passion Art Gallery, Sining Kamalig, Big and Small Art Gallery, Art Center in Megamall, Arty Asia, and Sining ng Kanlungan of Art Association of the Philippines. He has also been included in several books that honor the talented artists of out time such as,
“Structural Art (A Collection of Ageless Art, Vol. 3) by Philippine Artists” written by Carlos A. Arellano, Alfred A. Yuson and Nola Almario-Cadayona
“FLORA AND FAUNA by Philippine artists “written by Carlos A. Arellano, Alfred A. Yuson, Nola Almario-Cadayona
“PHILIPINES ART NOW by Philippine artists “written by Manny Duldulao
“Korea-Philippines Fine Art Festival 2006,” brought together by the GSIS.
It is in this expression through paint that Benedict truly finds his joy. In his use of color, vibrant and lively to exemplify the realism of life as he sees it, art is his driving force and passion. Although finding pleasure in the appreciation of others in his art, he maintains the need to be focused on the act of expression putting this occupation over any occupation that he could ever find himself in.
In his journey as an artist, he endlessly struggles to push himself towards finding new styles and techniques, to improve, wanting above all to be an innovative artist. For him art is more than beauty, art is also the story behind that beauty. “I want to go behind the beauty, towards beauty that has meaning. “
With this objective in mind, he can portray people more than their physical outward beauty but for the meaning that is in their soul, the essence of their humanity, “pagkatao.” His fascination with people extends beyond the canvas; it trickles down to his inspiring view of people being the art of world.
It is because of his ability to feel that his main advocacy is support for his fellow artists. Seeing himself in them, having gone through similar struggles that life has thrown them being in the arts, it is his firm desire to be part of those that uplift the community that he is a part of. Indeed, Benedict Abigan has lived a life of someone who has truly find balance in his paintings.