Michael Sagaran had a hard time putting what he feels when he paints into words.
“Magical, an inner sensation and an incomparable emotion” were among his chosen descriptions, yet during the interview, it felt like those still didn’t fully encapsulate the pleasure he gets when he’s in his artistic element. Understandably so, as it’s a feeling that’s fairly new to him.
For a long time, the 47-year-old had a career that was far from painting pictures. “My corporate life was with the tourism industry, having worked for several hotels, the most recent of which was the Taal Vista Hotel where I was marketing and PR (public relations) head.” He juggled this with photography when he would take on assignments taking food photos for restaurant clients.
In 2018, when work required him to live in Tagaytay, Sagaran thought of playing with his brushes. “I guess being close to nature, having more time away from the hustle and bustle of the Metro, and loneliness from being away from family and friends were the catalysts that got me to paint again.”
Though the painting was shelved for a long while, he has always had an affinity for the arts. Back in elementary, he was always praised by his teacher for his works, earning him consistent recognition in class. In high school, he joined competitions in and out of campus and ended up winning many of them.
Now that he has rediscovered his love for the art, he vows never to keep it contained and further his talent even more by joining exhibits and learning from some of the best artists in the country.
In August last year, he teamed up with ArtPHonline, a digital art platform that presents the works of both established and emerging Filipino artists through online exhibits and auctions. They featured his Vespa History Series. “It showcased nine colorful paintings of Vespa’s historical models. It was a beautiful journey as I started painting the Vespa models from 2020 to 2021.”
His Mercedes-Benz SL History Series was just showcased at the Manila International Auto Show at World Trade Center, featuring 10 paintings of Mercedes-Benz’s top class SL models, such as the legendary Gullwing, Pagoda and AMG SL.
His “Pink Sunrise” painting has also been chosen to be part of the “Mas Radikal ang Magmahal” online group exhibit, which gathers 100-plus artists, such as National Artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, Robert Alejandro, Jomike Tejido and Elmer Borlongan to raise funds for a good cause.
And then, on Aug. 30, Sagaran will debut his solo exhibit at C Gallery, Conrad Manila, titled “Moving Forward,” a collection of paintings of iconic modes of transportation.
“For me, color has a positive effect on the way we live. It can brighten up a gloomy day, make us smile amid a challenging situation, or stimulate our mind creatively and positively,” he says. “That’s why I love subjects bursting with vibrant happy colors, be it nature or automobiles.” INQ