The secrets and life behind Dino Gabito’s drapes on canvas 2
Gabito with his work for Art Jakarta called “Grounded.”

The secrets and life behind Dino Gabito’s drapes on canvas

In a special group show, the 30-year old painter reasserts the power of his signature style.
ANCX | Jul 20 2020

Dino Gabito knows drapery and fabrics like the back of his hand but he doesn’t make clothes. He paints them on canvas, in white, yards and yards of them, and observes their behavior while suspended from an object or wrapping a human form. Gabito’s paintings are funereal, almost scary—which disproves the belief that collectors are averse to dark subjects, considering the long list of people interested in getting their hands on this Bulacan-bred artist’s works. 

In contrast to his paintings, Dino is a bright-eyed young fellow—a boyish-looking 30-year old who offers no overly complicated explanation as to what drew him to painting drapery except, first, the fact that his mother, a nurse, makes clothes as a side job, and therefore he was surrounded by textile growing up. 

Second, it was the artist’s way of addressing a weakness in figurative painting. “Hindi kasi ako magaling sa (pagpinta ng) tao,” he says. 

Hence, the style and subject he found has become his version of portraiture. The first time he did it, he put a swathe of fabric over a person and started capturing the image on a canvas. Ever since he started showing his work, the fabric paintings have been his signature. It’s what gave him a successful first show—everything was sold out—back in March 2014 where he presented both drawings and large paintings. 

While he’s always liked to draw, Dino was ready to follow the footsteps of his mother and study nursing. Failing the entrance exam, however, he ended up at the University of Santo Tomas’ College of Fine Arts painting program. But it was really after college that Dino got an immersive education in being an artist: he joined the group put together by UST alum CJ Tañedo which was sort of an informal residency program. They rented a huge empty building in Sta. Mesa and transformed it into a studio where they did nothing but paint. He wasn’t all that serious in college, but with this group he began to develop a style, learned composition, knew how to bond with fellow artists, and experienced the struggle of not being able to sell a work. 

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Dino Gabito's Grounded 2020, oil on canvas, 48” x 36”

But that’s almost a decade ago, and Dino’s career has been in impressive shape. In fact, he spent the last three months of the lockdown just catching up on the commissioned works he needed to complete. He also has a piece in the important online group show called Art Moments, presented by DF Art Agency and Art Moments Jakarta, the second virtual exhibit offering of ANCX. 

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Adrian Evangelista's Eyes, eyes baby 2020, oil on canvas, 48” x 36”

Dino’s work is called “Grounded”, a 48 x 36 oil on canvas work. He is joined in the show by Adrian Evangelista, Cedrick Dela Paz, Demi Padua and Mark Lester Espina, and six other artists. Adrian, like Dino, is 30 years old and comes from UST where he majored in painting. His style straddles both realism and surrealism, he dabbles in photography, and has won twice as finalist at the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence painting competition earlier in the previous decade.

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Cedrick Dela Paz's PEYSAWT (phase out / face out) 2020, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36”

In his contribution to the Art Moments show, Cedrick Dela Paz depicts the timely image of a jeepney driver in the age of coronavirus. He is well-versed in images that has social commentary. A Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Visual Communication graduate of Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Dela Paz has won in various painting competitions and had a successful first solo show last year. 

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Demi Padua's Strong and Delicate 2020, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36”

Demi Padua began expressing himself in figurative drawings but it is in his abstract and collage works that the FEU Fine Arte graduate really soared. For the Art Moments show, he presents an acrylic on canvas work called “Strong and Delicate”  that is both surreal and highly stylized. Demi employs fantasy and his childhood imagination to his art, as well as culls from  everyday observations. 

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Mark Lester Espina's Imagine 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 36” x 48”

One is unsure which time one has stepped into at the sight of Mark Lester Espina’s piece for Art Moments. Called Imagine, there are the obvious nods to John Lennon and the Beatles, but there’s also the very clear classical style in painting. Lester, like Cedric, also got his art education at the Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez. He likes to juxtapose his elegant compositions with his very raw, impassioned brushstrokes. 


For more information about the artworks and how to purchase visit the link below:

Actual Virtual Gallery:

DF Art Agency: