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“A Filipino legend in cubism and modern art from the Mabini School of Art”

Magkaisa Creative Space is joining today the celebration of the birthday of the Picasso of the Philippines, Francisco “Paco” Gorospe Sy (10. July 1939 – 22. September 2002) “A Filipino legend in cubism and modern art from the Mabini School of Art” His artworks were featured in the book "Revisiting Mabini Art" and are well appreciated by the filipino and international art community. You may see more of the artwork of Francisco "Paco" Gorospe while visiting our website

About the artist: Francisco “Paco” Gorospe Sy was born in Binondo, Manila on July 10th, 1939. His mother came from La Unio, his father was Chinese, hails from Cavite. It was Binondo/ Manila, where he spent his childhood. First Paco experimented with crayons, before using watercolours and finally shifting to oil paintings. Sometimes he even painted billboards in Cagayan de Oro in the beginning. After his return to Manila in 1960 he enrolled in the University of Sto. Thomas as a Fine Art Student, studied under Hongkong artist David Cheng, but after one year more or less dropped out of the UST. He settled down in Ermita, Manila, and joined with a group of artists and opened up his own gallery in Mabini. The influence of the city could be seen in his paintings, there were more structured houses, change in the faces and the market scenes. He met other artists and was influenced by modern art. During that time he, Roger san Miguel and Francisco Ello were called the Mabini Triumverate. He was influenced by the works of Serafin Serna, Salvador Cabrera and Angelito Antonio and was as well inspired by Frank Klein and Andrew Wyet. “Paco was a spontaneous, dedicated fast learner, able to control his colors and break conventional norms. Back then, the conventional style of painting landscapes and human interest subjects was the norm and the taste of people leaned towards the traditional. We experimented with exaggerated, distorted figures and disregarded proportion.” (2011, Roger San Miguel) From 1961 until 1965 his paintings were patronized by Lyd Arguilla at the Philippine Art Gallery and sold in the United States. Paco´s works were chosen to represent the Philippines in 1962 at the Washington World Fair and in 1964 his painting were exhibited at the New York World Fair. Lyd Arguilla about him: “Paco Goropse, the artist, the man who conquers life through his painting. A man of many moods and temperaments. A deep person, deepest in his thoughts especially when painting, showing a full concentration on his works.” When Lyd Arguilla died, she had 45 of Paco´s paintings in her private collection. From 1965 onwards, Paco had successful exhibitions in Bern, Switzerland and a one man show at the President’s Hotel in Hongkong. The Karilagan Finishing School also featured Paco´s paintings. In 1972 he hold an exhibition in Okinawa, Japan. In 1974 after an interview with Paco, Gilbert Luis R. Centina III stated in his article Paco from the Ermita School: “His lines are impressionistic expressionist, representational. His colors are burst of green, orange, blue and brown, his signature is Paco, simply, but his name is Francisco Gorospe Sy - painter of brilliance - from the Ermita School.” In 1989 he was holding his first exhibition in Baden-Baden, Germany sponsored by a German friend, and later as well in Denmark. In 1990 his paintings were exhibited at the Expo in Yokohama, Japan. The same year, his work “Sabungeros” was commissioned by Philippine Airlines for the cover of their playing cards which were given to the passengers. In 1995 he produced even larger paintings reflecting the nature, animal and the people of the South. In 1995/ 1996 his commissioned works were featured in Voest-Alpine MCE annual report and in 1996 his work “Sabong” was reflected in the cover of SBC Warburg Gaming Report. “There is one gift Paco has, however, that is entirely his own and which he could exploit to bigger achievement: his color sense and style that is highly personal and Instinctive. It is perhaps the best quality in his painting.” (FC Silangan Vol X No 3 1965/ Kayumangi) “A man chosen for his time, a legend of art paintings. A true world class Filipino.”

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