A THOMASIAN doctor turned visual artist launched a two-man exhibit together with his fellow painter and mentor on Jan. 19 at the UST Museum.

Dr. Orestes Monzon, a nuclear medicine physician who studied and taught at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, and Angelito “Jo” Florendo, a realist painter, joined forces to create the exhibit, “The Laidback Paintings.”

In his remarks during the exhibit launch, Monzon said that he was a “late bloomer” in the arts as he only practiced painting after retiring from teaching in 2012. 

“In 2015, after retirement in 2012, I learned how to paint–I discovered a new window and realized that medicine and art could offer many opportunities for others,” Monzon said.

Monzon also thanked his mentors in his remarks, among them Fernando “Nanding” Sena, the “Father of Philippine Art Workshops”; nature painter Joel Janer; and Florendo. 

“I would interpret [this exhibit] as a celebration of [their] friendship because they are friends. They share common interests and a good amount of artworks that are similarly themed,” said Carlo Sayco, the assistant director of the UST Museum. 

“This is an opportunity for the Thomasian community to enjoy artworks from the two artists [as it] somewhat provides a breather,” he added. 

Among the artworks displayed at the exhibit was Florendo’s “Sama-sama sa Tagumpay,” a 21×36-in. acrylic painting of a school of koi fish, the most common subject of his works.

Jo Florendo’s ‘Sama-sama sa Tagumpay.’ (Photo by Karis M. Tsang/ The Varsitarian)

Featured as well was Florendo’s “Baul Painting Series,” a compilation of vivid illustrations painted on top of wooden chest boxes or baul.

Exhibit-goers examine a wooden crate with a painting of a school of koi fish on top, part of Jo Florendo’s ‘Baul Painting Series.’ (Photo by Jana Francesca D. Yao/ The Varsitarian)

Autumn landscape paintings like Monzon’s 24×36-in. diptych acrylic painting titled “Clouds Over Mountains,” and Florendo’s 18×24-in. “Fire Trees on the Pathway,” were also on display.

Dr. Orestes Monzon’s ‘Clouds Over Mountains.’ (Photo by Karis M. Tsang/ The Varsitarian)
Jo Florendo’s ‘Fire Trees on the Pathway’ (left). (Photo by Jana Francesca D. Yao/ The Varsitarian)

Monzon had collaborated with other artists in the series “Paintings from Photographs,” where images he took during his travels were interpreted through painting by several artists, including Florendo. 

Part of this series was Monzon’s “The Corner Table” photograph complemented by Florendo’s 24×18-in. oil painting bearing the same title.

Jo Florendo explains his work ‘The Corner Table’ to viewers of the exhibit, ‘The Laidback Paintings.’ (Photo by Jana Francesca D. Yao/ The Varsitarian)

“The Laidback Paintings” exhibit will run until Feb. 15. With reports from Angeli Ruth R. Acosta and Sofiah Shelimae J. Aldovino


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