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kris abrigo

Scout - - contents - In­ter­view by CAI MAROKET

THE AF­TER­NOON be­fore the open­ing of his show at Artery Art Space in Cubao, Kris Abrigo could be spot­ted stand­ing on a ledge in the bal­cony, prep­ping for a large wall mu­ral—one of two for this col­lec­tion—on the side of the adjacent build­ing. The other one was smack in the mid­dle of the fa­cade, right on top of the en­trance. It’s all very in your face. But Kris Abrigo is no stranger to shar­ing his work with the world, hav­ing done group shows since he was still in col­lege, and with a solo ex­hibit last year and par­tic­i­pa­tion in ArtBGC un­der his belt.

He works with im­pres­sive speed uti­liz­ing acrylic paint, his medium of choice, for the bright­est hues and quick­est turnout pos­si­ble. It’s not hard to iden­tify a Kris Abrigo piece—

char­ac­ter­is­tic of pop cul­ture ref­er­ences swim­ming in loud colors, sten­cil-like geo­met­ric shapes, and dy­namic tex­tures— which are not lim­ited to just can­vas. He has dab­bled in sculp­ture, toy making and large-scale mu­rals. Chances are you’ve al­ready seen his work in com­mer­cial spa­ces. But the mag­ni­tude of Kris Abrigo’s range won’t stop there. For the re­main­ing months of the year, he’s still got sur­prises up his sleeve.

Your style is very dis­tinct. How’d you find your iden­tity?

In high school, poster making was the thing, right? Be­fore the tal­ent test for UP Fine Arts, my brother in­tro­duced me to Jux­tapoz Mag­a­zine, which was the ma­jor pub­li­ca­tion for low­brow art, along with other art mag­a­zines. That ex­posed me

to a lot of non-tra­di­tional art—non-poster making shit like por­traits and stuff. ( laughs) It showed me that there are sub­cul­tures in art where you can be­long. Just be­cause you’re good at draw­ing, doesn’t mean you can do ev­ery­thing. You have to nd what suits you. That changed ev­ery­thing. I prac­ticed a lot by im­i­tat­ing var­i­ous styles. I really stud­ied the ones I liked, try­ing dif­fer­ent things over and over, un­til I de­vel­oped my own iden­tity.

You men­tioned sub­cul­ture in art. Which one really stuck with you?

Street art. That’s one of the big­gest move­ments in art af­ter pop art, which is what it evolved from. I really love it. There’s some­thing mag­i­cal about it, maybe be­cause they can get really mas­sive or maybe be­cause of how univer­sal it is. It hap­pens in so many dif­fer­ent places all at the same time. And it just boomed. There are really big street art scenes every­where—in Ger­many, Spain, Brazil, and in the US, of course. The Los An­ge­les scene is com­pletely dif­fer­ent from New York. It’s such a le­git move­ment.

In art school you study Im­pres­sion­ism, Re­nais­sance, Dadaism, those kinds of move­ments in history. Now you ac­tu­ally ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing. Not just in books like

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