Gil Maningo’s ‘golden touch’

Monica R. Lopez

CEBUANO artist Gil Francis Maningo was one of the featured artists during the visual arts fair, ManilART, held at SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City last Oct. 9 to 13 with the theme “Showcasing the Global Filipino Artist.”

Maningo was handpicked to represent Art Circle Gallery, a company devoted to promoting Philippine visual arts. It currently has nine branches all over Metro Manila. His paintings immediately got sold during the opening gala. These were “Tres Marias,” “Safe in Your Arms” and “Eternal Hope,” works inspired by women and the many roles they play in life.

The artist shared that it was his first time to participate at the fair under the umbrella of Art Circle Gallery.

“It was probably part of God’s plan, aside from my New York exhibit that took place last January. It was not an easy start as my work had to undergo a thorough screening by the committee, not to mention my background and years of experience as an artist,” Maningo said of the experience. He added that he felt a mix of emotions when he was advised to create artworks exclusively for the fair that would coincide with the given theme by Art Circle Gallery.

More than showing women’s multi-faceted traits, these paintings showed the artist’s elegance in painting with forms of expressionism, the incorporation of the gold leaf medium, along with the intensive research involved in handling the medium, like the challenge of achieving the desired colors.

“Gold leafing has been my identity ever since l came back and focused on visual art. It is a tasking procedure and is highly hazardous to your health when inhaled, and very expensive, too considering the scarcity of it,” he said.

Maningo studied Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines Diliman under the guidance of Jose Joya and Martino Abellana. He is not just a painter, as he’s also trifled in photography, music and acting. His strong faith influenced his artistic identity earlier on.

Now on its 11th year, ManilART is a flagship project of the National Committee on Art Galleries of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts which aims to showcase Filipino talent and craftsmanship.