Award-winning sandpaper artist Florentino creates threads of stories | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

By Alvin Florentino
“COLLECTION of Colors” I

Alvin Florentino, 2013 grand prize winner for painting of the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) awards, is holding his first solo exhibit, “Narrative Threads,” at Galerie Francesca.

Everything has to be balanced,” he says. “Not too much, not too little. My paintings are the same. Right colors, but not too vibrant. Maybe that’s why I prefer earth tones, reds, golds, grays.”

Florentino came into painting almost serendipitously. He trained as an interior designer at the Eugolio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (Earist). “But it was during my college time that I was really exposed to the art scene. I was joining all these competitions. In my interior design class, I was the only one competing in painting. Through this process, and it came to pass that judges started appreciating my works.”

He won the grand prize in the calendar category of the 2012 Shell Student Art Competition. He also won in the Petron Art Awards.

Florentino eschews the paintbrush and instead uses various sandpaper techniques—a process that he developed himself. His paintings are considered narratives. “There are always stories in my work, and each element has meanings,” he said.  “Collection of Colors” depicts a girl’s dress in the foreground, as birds flutter around it. “These flowers are like life, what we experience,” the artist explained. “Our lives are colorful and, like blooming flowers, we also develop as people.”

Of course, there’s the intellectual need for balance, and this is explained by the background. “The background is a forest to balance it out visually,” said Florentino. “Sort of monochrome effect, to highlight the foreground and the subject. The birds are the people who have helped us through life. Each painting is a narrative of life.” And the dress itself? “It reminds me of my nieces,” he said, laughing.

By Alvin Florentino
“TAKEN Away” I
By Alvin Florentino

“Narrative Threads” runs at Galerie Francesca in Megamall until Aug. 12. Galerie Francesca is at 4/F, Bldg. A, SM Megamall, Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City. Contact 5709495, 6592667; or e-mail, Visit