Malang's Women: Over Two Dozen Unseen Works Will Be Revealed at Art Fair Philippines
About 25 drawings of the late Mauro “Malang” Santos, which have never before been shown to the public, will be part of a special exhibition at Art Fair Philippines.
The late Mauro "Malang" Santos
Soler Santos, the acclaimed artist’s youngest son, and himself a visual artist, says there are still many others stashed away in their gallery’s stockroom, but for the Fair, he has selected pieces spanning the 1970s, ‘80s
Woman-study, gouache, 9x5.5 (2001)
Figure XII, oil pastel, 28.25x20.25 (1994)
Fruit vendor, ink, 13.5x11 (1991)
Three women, oil pastel, 5.5x9 (1998)
Two women, gouache, 25x19 (2002)
Woman, watercolor, 8.75x5.5 (1994)
Executed in charcoal, ink
Putting pen to paper was something he did as naturally as breathing in and out. “Umaga pa lang, nag-
Malang at work in his studio. According to Soler, his ever-optimistic “Tatay” never drew with the intention of exhibiting his creations; he just simply loved doing it.
It’s no wonder then that the family has amassed a collection of sketches and illustrations numbering in the thousands. Soler says Malang was interested in making his art affordable to more people, so he made several series of serigraphs. There was, however, always more demand for his drawings and paintings—something Soler observes to generally be true when it comes to Philippine collectors.
Above the family’s West Gallery showroom in Quezon City is the Malang Room, serving as a sort of repository for the family’s private collection and where Soler has purposefully created a loving tribute to his father’s legacy and passion for art.
Putting pen to paper was something he did as naturally as breathing in and out.
On display is a varied sampling of the artist’s creations: There are his early works dating as far back as the 1940s when he worked as a cartoonist for the Manila Chronicle, a number of vividly colorful paintings done in his signature gouache, some works done in oil, charcoal, and ink. On one wall is a charming series of collages made out of playbills collected during a trip to New York, which shows Malang’s whimsical side.
At the start of his career, Malang’s art featured structures like nipa huts and
Later on, however, women became the focal point of almost everything he created. According to Soler, his father must have been inspired by his own mother (Soler’s grandmother), who worked as a
Crossed arms, oil pastel, 8.5 x 5.25 (1994)
Tsismis, gouache and oil pastel, 11x8 (1997)
Woman, charcoal, 13.25x10.5 (1984)
Woman, charcoal, 8x5 (1980)
Woman, gouache, 24x18 (1975)
Woman, ink, 11.5x8.25, undated
Woman, ink, 12x9 (1986)
Woman, oil pastel, 5.5x9 (1998)
Woman, oil pastel, 5.5x9 (1997)
Woman-study, gouache, 9x5.5 (2001)
He expresses regret at not having interviewed his father more about the women that inhabited his creations, in the years his father might still have remembered. He did ask him about the wife of Kosme the Cop in the comic strip he did in the early days, and if she had a name. Malang replied that he’d never given her one.
Several years before his passing in 2017, Malang was diagnosed with dementia and gradually lost all interest in painting and drawing. Soler sadly remembers, “Naisip ko
Soler is hopeful though, that with the flourishing art scene and the youth becoming more interested in art, that Malang’s lifelong passion will live on for generations to come.
Art Fair Philippines will open to the public from February 22 to 24. Tickets are currently available on the official Art Fair Philippines website for P350 per day. Students with valid IDs may avail of a special rate of P150, while students from Makati may purchase a ticket for P100. Tickets will also be sold on the 4th floor.
For more information, visit artfairphilippines.com and follow @artfairph on Instagram and facebook.com/artfairph on Facebook.