Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Philippines is known for its creative take on transportation. From the hardy rural carabao to the colourful city jeepneys, caritelas, calesas, and tranvias, Filipinos love to travel in style. So a journey (or biyahe) around the Philippines becomes a lively and rich adventure, where one can find himself in the company of open and delightful fellow travellers.

Artist Jovan Benito explores this idea of Philippine-style transportation in her new exhibit, “Biyahe,” which opens on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at Galleria Nicolas in Makati City. Running until November 26, the exhibit is a fine example of Benito’s ability to capture Philippine folk motifs through a charming aesthetic.

The exhibition sees Jovan Benito at her best, presenting flat renderings of transportation scenes. Using a bright palette, Benito’s works display Fiesta panoramas and classical scenes that demonstrate Benito’s astounding technique. Dominated by that same idyllic glow that exemplifies an Amorsolo, but adapted to suit a contemporary aesthetic style, Benito shows that she has mastered a classical Philippine art tradition.

Ladies First

Taking a cue from her own life growing up on in the rural community of Pakil in Laguna, Benito’s canvases are examples of folk life simplified. Always in abundance in her joyful works of art are happy and idyllic figures that Benito paints in a colorful, attractive, and cheerful way.


As a young artist, Jovan Benito has carefully grown and matured from being an apprentice to her husband, Filipino surrealist, Jerry Morada. She has, however, quickly discovered her own style, technique and palette of colors. Benito’s talent for observing the world surrounding her started as a child watching her artist father work on paintings of movie billboards. But, whatever she picked up from her father, her husband and other Laguna artists, ended there.

Flights of Fancy

A great example of Benito’s aesthetic is “Maiden Voyage,” which depicts a traditional Philippine mode of transportation — the tricycle. In front of a typical market scene, the canvas bursts to life in a cacophony of colors. It is a lively scene that Benito captures with an idyllic deftness that really shows her technical nous. Likewise, we have “Bakasyon sa Taal,” which contrasts the use of a carabao with an automobile, in a sort of pasyal scene that is brilliantly executed in a buoyant manner.

Maiden Voyage

This exhibition is representative of the kind of skill that Jovan Benito possesses. It is an exhibit of energetic and sparkling character, and will bring joy to its audience.

A Pit-stop Promenade

Galleria Nicolas is located at the Third Floor Art Space of Glorietta 4, Ayala Center in Makati City.

For inquiries, please call (632) 625 0273, 0915 414 5502 or email

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