Art Review: Si Malakas at Maganda


Featured Work: Si Malakas at Maganda

Artist: Oying Madrilejos 

Two days ago, I visited the Sining Saysay Art Exhibit in Alimall, Cubao and this was one of the paintings that caught my eye. Painting or visual art had always fascinated me, because it is something that eluded me. I couldn’t paint or sketch or draw to help myself. And so like something extremely unattainable, I looked on at every pieces of visual art with awe and wonder.

This particular piece, titled “Si Malakas and Maganda”, is quite unique as it attempts to leap beyond the 2Dimensionality of the canvas. By incorporating a wooden and patched image of Malakas, superimpose upon Maganda’s image, the piece approximates the trend of 3D that characterizes the millenial world. In an increasingly digital world, relationships such as Malakas and Maganda are formed and maybe even defined by the mediation of technology and social media.

However, in this canvas too, we see the merging of man and woman with the bricks, flowers, and shadows. The solidity of the human person loses its structure, its bones, and its individuality. Slowly, man and woman become mere flat characters, that get swiped and maybe even liked occasionally. Maybe it reflects a trend in our thinking, as we begin to slowly accept and get contented with the 2D version of humans in forming our current relationships.

The Artist


When I visited the exhibit, the artist is also present, Mr. Oying Madrilejos. He actually went around and explained his pieces as I looked on. When I came in, Mr. Oying probably thought that I’m shopping for a painting because he approached me and I recognized the signs of salestalk. I have the heart to tell him I couldn’t possibly afford his paintings because I’m flat broke. He just laughed.

So we got to talk about him being an artist instead. Mr. Oying is a self-taught artist . He did not have a formal education nor a college education for that matter. He just one day decided to paint, cultivating his skill as he painted. But the man’s painting had been exhibited in various countries all around the world. Some had even won the Philip Morris and Bamboo Organ painting competitions.

As I talked to him, I asked him what keeps him going. It was difficult, he told me. But at the end of the day, painting is my life, he said.

As a budding author myself, it inspire me to see such people who kept at their passion and found their calling in the process. Then as it is now, being an artist is always a struggle. One, literally struggling to keep both ends meet. In this hard economy, people are reluctant to spend. Art, in whatever form, don’t always get bought. Two, just building yourself and reputation as an artist is a never-ending struggle. If you wanted to be taken seriously in your craft, you need to convince your readers/audiences that you’re worth it and you’re the real deal. As what Adele said (Hello Adele, we miss you, welcome back!), artists need to be able to withstood the test of time.

Eventually, his is a story of success. It makes me feel hopeful that maybe, just maybe, mine could be too.

Sining Saysay Art Exhibit is located in Alimall, Cubao, QC. For the prices of his works, you may directly contact Mr. Oying Madrilejos in his Facebook account.