Middle East-based artist holds homecoming exhibit, ‘Mystical Realm’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“A BOOKWORMS’S Blinding Tale”
“A BOOKWORMS’S Blinding Tale”

As a young boy, Gilbert Semillano was struck with high fever, and in delirium, he saw Boschean visions of bizarre worlds. He has carried with him those visions to adulthood, even as he has carved for himself a career in  advertising as creative director of the transmultinational advertising firm Lowe Kuwait.


Now into painting, Semillano combines and blends the imagery from that delirium with the populism of advertising.


Like Bosch’s, Semillano’s works reveal a creative, highly inventive style characterized by boldness and confident imagination.  But the similarities end there.


In “Mystical Realm,” which will open at Galerie Stephanie in Libis, Quezon City, on July 31, Semillano invites people to step into his bizarre world filled with jolting creatures and extraordinary scenes.


“CORONATION of theMelancholic Queen” (above); “Philosophies of a Knitted Dreamer” (right)

His art is rooted in a narrative approach that is deeply personal, tapping the depths of his subconscious to evoke imagery layered in a multitude of readings and sourced from a variety of literary and cultural tropes.


It is tempting to think that Semillano’s works are merely humorous, albeit a bit morbid, and that they only reflect his own personal history. But looking beyond, one will find his oeuvre as more along the line of Mannerist allegory.


Indeed, there are many similarities between, say, Semillano’s “Fragile Sensibilities I,” with the allusion to the Sacred Heart and  Caravaggio’s “Amor Vincit Omnia,” and the image of Cupid over all human endeavors.


A recognized artist in the Middle East, Semillano has won the Grand Prize of the 2007 Asean Art Competition in Kuwait; Grand Prize of the 2008 Toyota Art Edge Competition; and First Prize in the 2008 Easter Telecoms Art Competition.


“Mystical Realm” will run until Aug. 14. Galerie Stephanie is  at Unit 1B, Parc Plaza,183 E.Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Libis, QC. Call tel. 7091488 or e-mail [email protected]. Visit www.galeriestephanie.com.



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