Vision Petron: Fifteen Artists for the First Fifteen


It’s that intangible quality in a painting, a quality so distinct, so unique that onlookers would say, ‘Now that’s a Filipino painting!’

Arturo Luz, 1953

A recent study conducted by the University of Oxford concluded that it is neither class nor status that makes one an artist. Rather it is in the manner one is educated that inspires him; how conducive his community influences him that enables his thoughts and feelings expressed on canvas or paper and create value in art. 
When Vision Petron National Student Art Competition (formerly called ArtPetron) was conceptualized 15 years ago, its sole desire was to inspire the next generation of painters to hone their art, excel and n the process, rediscover and appreciate Filipino culture, the long-time advocacy of Petron. While other existing art contests catered only to fine arts students, Vision Petron opened the opportunity to all college students and those enrolled in a museum-based art classes believing that creativity is not exclusively confined in artist studios and the academe. Petron thus positioned itself as an art patron of the talented youth.

In the course of running the contest we have been witness to some young artists who have shown promise at the onset of their soon-to-be flourishing careers. Here are fifteen of our best painters who we had the privileged of seeing them break their first light in art.    

El Viaje Familoia by John Paul Antido

John Paul Antido is a hall famer having won in 2002 and 2005. A member of Antipolo-based Sanviaje Japs has a peculiar style of painting which is done by impasto technique laying thick paint with finite textured brushstrokes using vivid colors with light hues. With five solo exhibitions travelling has been his constant theme. He has also done illustrations for a children’s book and lately he has dabbled photographer where portraiture is his forte. His paintings were recently featured in a children’s book.


Manwal by Robert Besana
One of our first grandprize winner in 2001, Besana has always investigated the contemporary possibilities of materiality and perception. His winning work Manwal makes the viewers rotate their gaze as he captures children play a game of slippers giving this a unique perspective. He is now a director at the School of Multi-Media Arts at the Asia Pacific College where he is respected and has proven the best teachers of art are those that actively practice it.

Multi-media preoccupies Buenconsejo’s work while employing his deep foundation for photography where he was first recognized being first hall of fame in this category. He has won the Ateneo Art Awards two consecutive years and has done residencies in Visual Arts Center in La Trobe University in Australia. His art was shown in his solo exhibitions such as Unending Void, Destination Unknown, and Reality is a Hologram is infused with his inquiries on science. Sometimes to question is enough response. 
Children of the Fields by Charles Buenconsejo

 JOEY COBCOBO (b.1983)
The call of the indigenous is intrinsic to Cobcobo who come from a lineage of Ifugao wood carvers in the north. He has rediscovered his technique by employing a multiple layer of images done thou various media done in heavily indented prints. His subject matter pays homage of his tribal roots to the personal relationships we Filipinos value like our elderly and families. A CCP 13 Artists Awardee he now teaches in his alma mater Technological University of the Philippines.

                                                                   MARK ANDY GARCIA (b.1984)
Punong Puno ng Pag-ibig by Mark Andy Garcia
A graduate of Technological University of the Philippines, Mark Andy Garcia has won three runners up and a grand prize win. A recent CCP 13 Artists Awardee for 2015, he won grandprize in Metrobank Art and Design Excellence in 2007 and Juror’s Choice Award of Excellence for Philip Morris in 2008. Garcia paints autobiographical works bordering on his personal tragedies and joys despite the ruggedness and the raw texture of his works Garcia remains optimistic in his process, a kind of salvation Garcia wants us all to have.

What make Vision Petron unique is it is open also to students of museum-based painting classes where we discovered homegrown talents like Florentino Jun Impas. One of Cebu’s most sought after artist. He is also portraitist of choice of cardinals, bishops and has even been invited to the Vatican for a sit down with the religious there. Impas has done the official portrait of St. Lorenzo Ruiz of what we all are familiar with. He had significant solo exhibitions at the SM Art Center in 2009- “Portraits and Figures” and 2011- “Circle of Life”, Metropolitan Museum of Manila and 2014- “Kalendaryo Festival”, SM Art Center, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. This year he participated in painting Art and Anthropology at the Chicago Field Museum Mural Painting “Art ad Antropology” in the United States of America.
Salon is a hall of famer having won in 2005 and 2010. Mark by his own realism and monotone palette, Salon is old school with his palette focusing on children and their plight and welfare. He has had solo exhibitions at the SM Art Center, Nineveh Art space and Singapore. He won in Sining PSE National Art Competition and the Miguel Malvar National Art Competition.
Balwarte ni Lolo, Aming Munting Kastilyo by Mark Salvatus
Even when he joined ArtPetron and submitting wall bound paintings, Salvatus was always one step ahead of his contemporaries. For his winning piece in ArtPetron 2 he used red car paint Salvatus won the most white he etched with a white primary base his figures to come up with a toned down but still celebratory image of the Pahiyas from his hometown in Lucban. Always on the experiment for new technologies to debunk old myths found in history or even memory, he now and then gets to be invited in biennales and residencies while keeping his focus on his contemporary practice here. A product of UST Fine Arts where he taught for a time, Salvatus is a CCP 13 Artists Awardee and runs his art collective 98B virtually or wherever he is. 
Sanchez is proof that someone so technical can be the most artistic. Sanchez took up architecture at the Technological Institute of the Philippines. Mirrors have always fascinated Sanchez in fact his pieces are meticulously done by etching selected magazine images to reflect his art on the mirror. Based in the art town of two national artists, Sanchez has exhibited in local galleries and his artworks have participated in the auction houses in Hong Kong and Singapore. He won the Grand prize Philip Morris Philippine Art Awards 2013.
Market in Motion by Paul Quiambao
 CJ DE SILVA-ONG (b. 1987)
De Silva-Ong is a graduate of UP Diliman College of Fine Arts and award winning creative director at TBWA\Digital Arts Network. Right after graduating, she handling brands where she has been recognized in local and international shows: she has won in AdFest, Spikes Asia, One Show, D&AD and is part of the team that bagged the country's first Webby.

CJ is also a well-known painter. Versatile in her own illustration, her book covers for Sen Miriam Santiago “Stupid is Forever” have recently been lauded.

Ober Ober by Orley Ypon
Social realism served its artistic purpose the turbulent times during Martial Law. With its strong political content the movement’s aesthetics revolves around anatomies of people as allegories to the dark perils of our country. Jeresano is a proud heir to social realism as his images speak of  our emancipation as a nation. He has won other major art competition and had solo exhibitions locally and abroad. 
RAFFY NAPAY (b. 1986)
From two-dimensional works, EARIST graduate Napay shifted into threads and fabrics into his canvases. Often dealing with his personal life, he stitches, tufts and weaves stories from memory. He has won in Metrobank Arts and Design Excellence, Ateneo Art Awards 2013. He had artist residencies in Artesan Gallery and Studio in Singapore in 2013 and Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool United Kingdom last year. He just attended the Florence Biennale in Italy. 
JAMES ONA (b. 1986)
Tulay ng Kalakalan at Hanap Buhay by James Ona
Despite the surplus of the DSLR cameras it takes an amount of time and dedication for a master lensman to emerge. Trained as a photojournalist in his alma mater PUP Manila, Ona would eventually cover more important events for his corporate clients. He does art photography for Studio 5 Designs coffee table book projects. He continues to work and teach for PUP Manila.

There are only three photographers in this list Quiambao is the one who seeks to elevate photography the most into an art form it rightfully deserves. School spirit runs deep for him UST in particular where he graduated with a degree in architecture. With his loyalty and perseverance Quiambao has been bestowed as UST’s quadricentennial photographer during its celebration in 2011. Motion and depth best describe his images. Remote islands has of late fascinated him most specially Batanes which he has visited many times over and he has photographed extensively.

ORLEY YPON (b.1973)
When Ypon won in the first ArtPetron in 2001 National Artist Napoleon Abueva commented that “he has Amorsolo’s light.” Based in Cebu, Orley is one of ArtPetron’s first grand prize winners and our first hall of famer for painting. A self-taught artist, realism has been Ypon’s trademark having been influenced by the master Martin Abellana. He has had an art residency last year at the Artist Renewal Center in New York. Our first hall of famer in Painting Ypon has come full circle as was our judge in the recent and previous Vision Petron. His first solo exhibition Bidlisiw (
-->sunrise) at the Altro Mondo Gallery is still ongoing. 

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