Manila Bulletin

Jaime Gu­ba­ton: Creat­ing ‘Chaos and Awe’

The artist cre­ates a tra­jec­tory from anx­i­ety to hope

- By SC FOJAS Por­trait by PINGGOT ZU­LUETA Oil on Can­vas, 2019 Arts · Painting · Visual Arts · Beijing · Philippines · Caloocan City · PLDT-Philippine LDT · Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company · Makati City · University of the East · University of the East Caloocan

In Jaime Gu­ba­ton’s ex­hibit "Chaos and Awe,” con­sist­ing mostly of re­al­is­tic and 3D-like por­traits of women, a paint­ing of a man stands out. This man, with his face in pro­file and mouth closed, will look at you di­rectly in the eye, his face framed with waves, sea crea­tures, and ships.

Ti­tled Trou­bled Waters, this 4 x 6 feet paint­ing was short­listed at the 2019 Philip­pine Art Awards. It de­picts the lives of lo­cal fish­er­men in West Philip­pine Sea who try to earn a liv­ing and con­tinue to brave the dan­gers of work­ing in con­tested waters, in view of Chi­nese coast guards.

“It is about the dis­puted ter­ri­tory claimed by China and the Philip­pines,” shares Gu­ba­ton. “The ideas came from the com­mon is­sues we are deal­ing with that may af­fect many peo­ple in our so­ci­ety. I wanted to ad­dress the pre­car­i­ous­ness of the world and how we may re­spond to it. I cre­ated the paint­ings long­ing for a pos­i­tive mind­set.”

Or­ga­nized by Al­tro Mondo Gallery, “Chaos and Awe” was born of the artist’s yearn­ing for more op­ti­mism in this chaotic world. One of the great strengths of the col­lec­tion is the artist’s use of color that makes the viewer feel at ease and calm, even as it en­cour­ages them to be crit­i­cal thinkers by way of the el­e­ments used.

“Art is cre­ated to com­mu­ni­cate and in­spire other peo­ple to act and think. Al­though so­cial is­sues were the sub­ject, I pre­sented them with a pos­i­tive ap­proach. The way I ren­dered my sub­jects and the use of col­ors lead my view­ers to feel com­fort­able. I like my view­ers to be in “awe” when look­ing at my works even when the sub­jects are some­times “chaotic,” he says.

Gu­ba­ton’s in­ter­est in draw­ing be­gan in grade school when he would draw su­per­heroes at the back of his note­books. He then started join­ing poster mak­ing com­pe­ti­tions in high school where he would con­sis­tently win, un­til he be­came the school’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to var­i­ous art com­pe­ti­tions.

He first used paint brush while he was in col­lege, where ma­jored in ad­ver­tis­ing in his fine arts course at the Univer­sity of the East Caloocan. There, his pro­fes­sors in­tro­duced him to dif­fer­ent medi­ums and tech­niques. Art com­pe­ti­tions be­came his train­ing ground and his pas­sion con­tin­ued to grow.

Among the com­pe­ti­tions he has joined are the PLDT-DPC Na­tional Cover Art Con­test, Art Petron Na­tional Stu­dent Art Com­pe­ti­tion, Shell Na­tional Stu­dent Art Com­pe­ti­tion, Depart­ment of Agrar­ian Re­form

On-The-Spot Paint­ing Com­pe­ti­tion, as well as Metrobank Arts and De­sign Ex­cel­lence Paint­ing Cat­e­gory.

Gu­ba­ton fo­cused his art works on re­al­ism, where the sub­ject of the paint­ing looks much like the real things with its solid col­ors and de­fined and de­tailed brush strokes.

“I’ve tried var­i­ous medi­ums in paint­ing,” he shares. “I am happy I’ve al­ready ex­plored dif­fer­ent styles of paint­ing and even­tu­ally, I come back to what I love do­ing. So I see how I de­velop. What’s im­por­tant is that you know and study the ba­sics. Cre­at­ing your per­sonal style is a won­der­ful achieve­ment. It took years to find mine and even now I am still at an ex­ploratory phase be­cause of the new things I dis­cover ev­ery time I cre­ate art.”

Dur­ing the quar­an­tine, Gu­ba­ton had been able to de­velop a style unique to him—and yet he still has his own strug­gles be­cause of the pan­demic.

“Artists like me are used to be­ing holed up in­side the stu­dio,” he says. “The cre­at­ing process dur­ing pan­demic helped me cope with the quar­an­tine. There was a time I ran out of art ma­te­ri­als so I re­ally strug­gled. It’s bet­ter for me to have a few high-qual­ity art­works in­stead of less valu­able ver­sions. You never want to rush the cre­ation stage.”

When Gu­ba­ton is not paint­ing, he is gar­den­ing or watch­ing movies with his chil­dren. Ev­ery day, they would watch the sun set on their rooftop. He shares that he never paints eight hours a day be­cause he wants to cre­ate bal­ance be­tween his art and the time he spends with his fam­ily.

“Chaos and Awe” runs un­til Nov. 8 at Al­tro Mondo Cre­ative Space, 1159 Chino Ro­cesAv­enue,. San An­to­nio Vil­lage, Makati City.

‘I wanted to ad­dress the pre­car­i­ous­ness of the world and how we may re­spond to it. I cre­ated the paint­ings long­ing for a pos­i­tive mind­set.’

 ??  ??
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 ??  ?? Chaos and Awe. Oil on Can­vas, 2020 ARTIST AT WORK
Chaos and Awe. Oil on Can­vas, 2020 ARTIST AT WORK
 ??  ?? CRE­ATOR OF CHAOS Jaime Gu­ba­ton in his art stu­dio
CRE­ATOR OF CHAOS Jaime Gu­ba­ton in his art stu­dio
 ??  ?? Trou­bled Waters.
Trou­bled Waters.
 ??  ?? Glossy Words. Oil on Can­vas, 2020
Glossy Words. Oil on Can­vas, 2020

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