“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance,” says the Greek scientist and philosopher Aristotle (384 – 322 BC). This holds true as the audience gazes through Caloy Gabuco’s works.
Gabuco, a native of Mindoro Oriental, always leaves his audience in awe as he flawlessly presents his subjects on canvas.
But this is not unusual.
For spending his childhood in his father’s workshop, Gabucos had had an interest—not in building sidecars and the body of a passenger jitney—but on the designs which his brother creates for the vehicle’s interior and exterior.
The old jitneys, for those who are familiar with the “Hari ng Kalsada,” are often painted with different artsy designs. Jitney-makers usually do this to entice the eyes of the passengers and to help them forget, even for a while, boredom caused by the long travel.
He also said to be copying photo illustrations of stories published in one of the oldest literary and entertainment magazine in the country, Liwayway.
And Gabucos, according to one short bio-note that this writer had received for this article, started painting in jitneys at the very young age of 13.
Educated at the Philippine Women’s University, one of the top universities that offer art courses, he was trained by Filipino art masters, Alfonso Miaga and Raul Isidro.
A diligent and an intelligent student, he’s often included on the Dean’s List. His artworks, on the other hand, are left unnoticed. In fact, he often wins an award and was commended as “Best Artist,” because of his accomplishments.
But the art world is not the first world he explored. He started in advertising, drawing promotional materials and storyboards. It was his rendition of the Heno de Pravia lady had paved way to his career as a painter. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Gabucos’ works are often focused on human faces and celestial beings.
What makes his works unique, is the way that he painted the expressions on their faces. The subjects seem to talk to the audience, conveying some melancholic and insightful messages.
Furthermore, the men, the women, and the children in his artworks often take you to that inner journey as you gaze into their eyes. And as they stare back at you, their eyes often penetrate your soul.