Dino Gabito debuts new direction of ‘Shroud Series’ in Venice

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Dino Gabito
Artist Dino Gabito | Photo by JT Fernandez

At this exhibition in Venice, Filipino artist Dino Gabito presents a new perspective on his famed shroud paintings



Every year, the waterways in Venice, Italy, become a maze of artistic expressions from around the world. In time with the 2024 Venice Art Biennale, the European Cultural Centre Italy is presenting a special exhibition (independent from the festival) at the Palazzo Mora, with work by several Filipino artists at DF Art Agency artists under Derek Flores.

The long-running “Personal Structures” project will feature the exhibit “Textures and Interstices,” an exploration of how artists in the Philippines grasp the complex social conditions in the country shaped by their individual experiences.

Exhibiting artists include Alfredo Esquillo, Anna Bautista, Cedrick Dela Paz, Demi Padua, Dino Gabito, Isko Andrade, Manny Garibay, Mark Andy Garcia, Marrie Saplad, Max Balatbat, Raffy Napay, and Pongbayog.

READ MORE: Pongbayog’s enigmatic portraits make their way to Italy

Dino Gabito art
“Wrangle” oil on canvas, 48 x 72 in. 2021. Photo from Art Fair Philippines

Known for his ghostly figures cloaked in white bedspreads, Dino Gabito (b. 1989) creates work that is sought after for the striking impressions it leaves, with figures that seem to pop out of the canvas. 

On his proclivity for capturing these details in fabric, Gabito traces the origins back to his mother’s passion for sewing and textiles. 

“Mother ko, mahilig manahi since birth. Marami talagang tela sa bahay. Ilang sideline ni mommy—nagtatahi ng lampin, kurtina, na pwede i-benta pangdagdag ng panggastos sa bahay. Minsan tumutulong ako sa tahi, gunting-gunting or pagpasok ng sinulid sa karayom. Na-enjoy ko ’yung feel ng tela.” 

This childhood fascination with drapery and cloth laid the foundation for his distinctive artistic style, where the shroud becomes both a metaphorical veil and a canvas for emotional expression.

The steps to his process is an equal revelation: First, Gabito hides under the cloth then takes photos with a remote camera. Afterward, he shoots and collages the image of his form to use as a basis for his painting. “Trial and error lang ng shoot para makuha ko ’yung gusto kong form ng cloth, drapes, at ang emotions ng gusto kong ilabas.” 

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Perhaps this is what makes the work of Gabito so compelling—that the observers are given the complete freedom and independence to wonder what lies underneath the cloth. 

Dino Gabito art
Gabito’s work for the special exhibition organized by the European Cultural Centre Italy. “The Silent Bow” oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in. 2024

In his distinctive deep black and stark white style, Gabito will present a slightly different version of his shroud series in Venice.

While he typically shows ghostly full figures, Gabito has chosen to show only the lower half of the drapery. “Ang title ko ay grounded series na connected to shroud. It reminds me to be humble sa career ko. ’Wag lumaki ng ulo. ’Wag magbago sa ugali.” 

Dino Gabito
Photo by JT Fernandez

Through creating an interplay of light and shadow and his consistently meticulous attention to detail, Gabito conveys subtle nuances of human emotion through the materiality of the painted cloth. The work seems to lose some of the “fear factor” of Gabito’s full figures, instead inviting viewers to contemplate the cloth with more steadiness and calm. 

As Gabito presents his work in Venice that suggests new directions through change in composition and perspective, viewers are invited to pore more carefully over the images, to look even deeper beneath the shrouds. 

The vernissage will take place on Apr. 18 and 19, 2024 at Salon 219 in the Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy. Public opening will start on Apr. 20, 2024 until Nov. 24, 2024.


Special thanks to Derek Flores and Portia Placino.

Photography by JT Fernandez

Video by Mikey Yabut and Claire Salonga

Production assistance by Martin Agustin

Produced by Ria Prieto

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