FOR CANADA-BASED artist and UST alumnus Edgardo Lantin, painting human subjects require determination and practice to portray them in a life-like figure, and illumination is the key to make them come to life.

Twenty-one of his commissioned portraits of Filipinos and Filipino-Canadians were exhibited in Portraying Luminescence: The Art of Edgardo Lantin at the Artist Space of the Ayala Museum from Jan. 18 to 30.

Lantin, an Advertising alumnus, said that his paintings serve as homage to old art masters from the likes of Rembrandt and other American, European, as well as Filipino artists.

His artworks vary from subjects in candid poses to those portrayed in a formal stance. These subjects were subtly illuminated, accentuating their features and highlighting various backdrops.

Lantin’s artworks are done with elaborate and fine strokes, revealing even the littlest details of his subjects’ dress and accessories. Painted in a realistic manner, subjects are portrayed at their most natural while radiating a sense of brilliance.

One particular painting features Stephanie Sy, a fellow alumna. Serving a background is the University’s façade with the Arch of the Centuries. Sy is portrayed donning the UST Hospital doctors’ uniform, showing her as both a working individual and faithful alumna.

Apart from Sy, most of Lantin’s subjects donned intricate and elegant attires, ranging from simple sundresses and long sleeves to sophisticated suits, gowns, barong tagalogs, and baro’t sayas.

“You have to make your subject come alive,” he said. “You tend to look at their character and personality. You have to put in your artworks the uniqueness of a person.”

Lantin earned a Fine Arts degree from the University in 1976. Upon migrating to Canada in 1981, he took lessons from prestigious art institutions such as the New York Academy of Art and the Art Student League in 1986, where he earned a full-year scholarship.

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He received numerous distinctions from international award-giving bodies, including a first prize win at the Western Art Circle Juried Show in Canada and a grand prize at the Federation of Canadian Artists Open for his works, “Portrait of a Man with Notebook” and “Vegetable Vendor,” respectively.

Lantin had commissioned portraits of several distinguished personalities, such as philanthropists Whitford J. VanDusen and Dr. James A. McEwen. But his most important commissioned work was a portrait of former president Corazon Aquino in 1989, which is mounted at the Malacañan Palace Museum.

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