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Thursday, July 25, 2024

 Jamie Gubaton’s “Foiled”: A Solo Exhibition on Nature’s Execution

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By Audrey Salonga

Presented by Arte Betina, visual artist Jamie Gubaton will be holding his first solo exhibition, “Foiled” at ArtistSpace in Greenbelt Park, Makati City from August 30 to September 12, 2023.

The artist’s reception, held last September 1st, featured the exhibit’s ribbon cutting, a short statement from the artist, and a wine toast amongst the gallery’s clientele; Torrential rains did not detract from the evening’s high spirits.

The exhibit’s title, “Foiled”, was drawn from a foiling technique done in jewelry making. In this technique, a thin metal sheet is placed under a crystal or gemstone to give the gem an additional shine or luster.

These metallic sheets can be found in every painting of “Foiled”, and are meant to add contrast to the subjects from its purely black background.

According to Gubaton, the creative process began with a black acrylic paint base, and were later topped with oil paints in browns and silvers. This choice of utilizing both acrylic and oil paints was done to maximize the painting’s lifespan and also shorten its drying time.

All the paintings were also painted at the same time in Gubadon’s studio, which according to him, is what makes it so unique and intriguing.

Photo courtesy of Arte Bettina

Aside from the process, “Foiled” is also meant to convey environmental destruction and ruin, portrayed in elements like chainsaws, firearms, and bulldozers, intermixed with various animals such as rhinos, elephants, and tigers.

“Nature is in danger, and its stewards have become its executioners”, Melissa Uy writes in an exhibition note for “Foiled”.

The artist also noted that the choice to include animals served as a departure from his usual work, which would involve portraits of humans.

A Milestone for a Lifelong Student

Gubaton originally caught onto his artistic passions in the later years of his college life through doing portrait commissions and utilizing watercolor paints. He would later join art competitions hosted by companies like PLDT, Shell, and Metrobank, where he would often win the grand prize award.

After graduating, he gandered at becoming a graphic artist, but would later be urged to pursue art and painting independently. To this day, he still joins art competitions and make acquaintances with art galleries across Manila.

He mentioned his openness towards critique, and even emphasized its importance in his creative process. The comments that he’d receive from the exhibit would manifest into his next works, he says.

As a creative, Gubaton takes pride in constantly changing up his creation process. Although he believes in the fundamentals of art, he constantly tries to find ways to challenge the status quo; While others fear the uncertain, Gubaton walks through it in stride.

With the emergence of social media as a new medium, Gubaton hopes that younger artists, especially through “Foiled”, will continue to adapt and learn through changing tides.

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