Lifestyle

PRIMER: ISOBEL FRANCISCO

Isobel Francisco is a Filipino visual artist. Since her first group show in December 2011, she has exhibited in Hong Kong, Germany, China, and various corners of Metro Manila, and she has been kindly featured on some print and online publications. Her works currently involve figurative tensions and narratives of anguish, loss, and the constant examination of what constitutes humanity.

She had artist’s grant residencies at Vermont Studio Center, USA in 2018 and in PILOTENKUECHE, Leipzig, Germany, 2020. Her first solo show in Vinyl on Vinyl entitled “Icarus Smicarus” from Metro Gallery and Provenance Gallery. Last 2017 Isobel also had an exhibition in ManilArt.. She was Finalist, Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) 68th Art Competition (Painting category), 2015.  She is also featured in Filipino Artists in Their Studios, Volume 2 published by Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp. and we various publishing house like Philippine Tatler, Lifestyle Asia, Metro Home, Scout Magazine and Art+ Magazine.

What inspired you to become an artist?

Great art.

What was your first exhibit like?

My first exhibition was a group show with friends who wanted a fully themed and curated experience in Makati. Soon after this we were invited by Vinyl on Vinyl back in their original gallery space at The Collective (near B-Side) during its heyday. A couple of years later I returned there for my first solo exhibition “Icarus Smicarus”.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on my solo exhibition, which has been unfortunately pushed back to early 2021 due to present circumstances. In the meantime I’ve submitted to Art+ Magazine’s group show and coffee project “Brave New World”, and then I’ll be contributing to Provenance Gallery’s exhibition in collaboration with Undersecretary Em Villar and UNICEF’s SaferKidsPH initiative.

What is your process like?

It varies from day to day. But much of it involves music, coffee, and anxiety.

What was the most valuable thing you learned doing your art?

That things often turn out for the better when I over-prepare and to lay on the foundation as much as I can, and then slowly let things run their own course.

What is your favorite piece you’ve created?

“Aren’t We All Running”, which was also my solo exhibition curated by Katrina Stuart Santiago. Second favorites are “A Bunch of Random Things” and the Sever series.

What is your favorite piece by another artist?

This question stumped me for a while, and that’s why I couldn’t submit my answers early (haha!). Right now it is probably “The Beginner’s Guide”, a short video game by Davey Wreden. All of Frances Abrigo’s recent works (in particular “Linaw Tanaw”) are awe-inspiring.

Why do you work in the medium that you do?

I work in layers and textures, both of which oil paints excel in.

What is your favorite place to create in?

Any place with clear walls, old flooring, and room for solitude.

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