WOMEN IN DREAM-LIKE STATES. Dream Catcher (left) and Woman with Harlequin Gloves (right) show Basilio’s trademark gothic spires and subjects’ close eyes. Photos by JOSA CAMILLE A. BASSIGLIKE Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the women portrayed in Eros Basilio’s first one-man exhibit exuded the same mysterious aura that intrigued onlookers as Femme Series opened at the Ayala Museum ArtistSpace in Makati City last May 28.

Drawing inspiration from artists Michael Cheval, Cesar Legaspi, and National Artist Ang Kiukok, his present works are a fusion of realism and cubism. His artworks are also influenced by Renaissance and Gothic architecture.

“Raconteur” depicts a seated woman holding a small and thick book with its pages unfurling as she reads stories to her children.

On the other hand, “Woman of the Garden” depicts a demure woman covering her face with the back of her hand as she sits on a field of surreal plants.

In “Tabernaculum”, a veiled medieval woman subtly comes into view from a church facade embellished with Gothic spires. The painting depicts the religiosity of Filipinas.

“The Gothic spires represent life’s difficulties or hardships. They also signify negative thoughts,” Basilio said.

Meanwhile, “Dream of Aliya” illustrates a sleeping young girl floating mid-air with her head resting on a pillow. Under the pillow are inverted spikes symbolizing her difficulties in life.

“We are in limbo whenever we dream,” said Basilio. “The girl tries to escape from these difficulties.”

Basilio developed a fondness for female subjects that illustrate the human subconscious. His subjects’ closed eyes are common in his works, which portray women in dream-like state and leave their thoughts to the viewers’ imagination.

After finishing high school at the University of Santo Tomas, Basilio took up Painting at the University’s defunct College of Fine Arts and Architecture (Cafa). Upon graduating, Basilio eventually delved into the graphic arts. It was only after 33 years later that he was able to mount a solo exhibit.

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Always eager to give back to the institution that honed his talents, Basilio won 32 awards, including a certificate of merit from the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) as well as a UST Alumni Art Achievement award.

“It has always been my passion to bring honor to UST,” Basilio shared.

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