The Mabini Art of Paco Gorospe

The Mabini Art of Paco Gorospe
GSIS Museum
October 16 – November 14, 2014

It has been written that a civilization is not so much defined by the amount of currency it possesses as by the wealth of its people’s character as reflected in its literature, music, dance, film, visual arts, architecture, and theater.

By looking at an overview of the development of visual arts in the Philippines, and then focusing on the life and contribution of one modernist painter who strove to overcome his own personal limitations to develop his own style and thus bridge the gap between street art and fine art, we hope to achieve a better appreciation for the rich legacy of talent and cultural wealth we have as a nation.

Luna and Hidalgo had already proven to the world that the Philippines was able to compete with Spain when it came to the visual arts during the period of Spanish colonization; the Neorealists have proven that Filipinos were global in the mid-twentieth century; Francisco “Paco” Gorospe, as a member of the Mabini Triumverate of modernist painters, and on his own, has proven that the lack of a college degree is not a hindrance but rather an opportunity to rise above mediocrity.

Paco Gorospe was just like any other man with hopes and dreams. He differed in that instead of harnessing his skills within the confines of a classroom, he pursued knowledge and skills from street corners and from life itself. He travelled to several places in the Visayas and Mindanao right after his secondary education, spending time with the locals and tribal minorities imbibing their way of life. He gave all that he had to something he derived pleasure from and made it his life’s vocation.

And because his art was his life, he tried to outdo himself in each phase of his artistic development, setting the standards a notch higher every time.

And so we find him progressing from painting movie billboards in Cagayan De Oro; to setting up his own gallery along Mabini Street in Ermita; to becoming the only non-graduate to be exhibited at the Philippine Art Gallery, bulwark of progressive Neorealists; to representing as Mabini artist the country in exhibits and in expositions abroad; and to accepting commissioned works from institutions and discriminating art collectors as a “self-educated” artist.

As such, culture and the public are benefited in that he has become the flag bearer for the Mabini School of Art at the time when Mabini was the center of art brokerage during postwar Philippines.

May we have the honor of introducing you to Francisco “Paco” Gorospe Sy of the Mabini School of Art. Transwing Art Gallery Inc.( in cooperation with the GSIS Museum presents a retrospective of 71 artworks by Paco Gorospe covering all his stylistic experimentations covering various subject matters from people, landscapes, animals, to abstracts from October 16 until November 14, 2014. FREE ADMISSION.