ar t + design
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