Conversations with my Masters - 3D virtual exhibition by Galleria Duemila Inc.

Conversations with my Masters

Fr, 12/10/2021Fr, 02/04/2022

curated by:

Phyllis Zaballero is an awarded and actively working visual artist/painter who has extensively studied, lectured, curated shows, and exhibited her works in Asia, Europe and the United States.
She received an Associate in Arts (first honors) degree from Marymount College, Spain in 1960, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, (magna cum laude), from the University of the Philippines, Diliman in 1964 and 1978 respectively. In the same year she was given the Thirteen Artists Award by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, together with her first solo show.
From then on, Zaballero has been on the faculty of the UP College of Fine Arts, has received study and travel grants from the governments of the United States, England, France, Germany and China as well as from private foundations in Portugal and the United States. 
Currently she continues to be involved in the membership and on the Boards of Trustees of cultural, museum and civic foundations while maintaining links with art organizations both in her native Philippines and abroad.


These paintings depict subjects which have had a special meaning for me throughout my life. They are acrylic mixed media works on canvas which are additions to what I baptized as my “homage and payback” series long ago, inspired by masterpieces in Art which have transcended the centuries.  
They are dialogues or interactions with three art legends from the beyond but whose creative presences still inhabit my studio. More intimately, I also think of them as our private conversations.
I had previously connected with my idol, Pablo Picasso, in this manner by way of his incredible Spanish suites, “Pichones” and “Toros”, resulting in an exhibit some years ago which showed the results of our dialogues with the titles of “Pablo y Yo". Feeling so energized by them, I have returned to exploring the same concept from time to time.
Now I am daring to speak with yet more artists by merging my canvases with the works of three legendary Masters: Edgar Degas, Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse, again using their first names in the same cheeky manner for my titles, to wit: “Edgar et Moi”, “Pierre et Moi” and “Henri et Moi”!
To express my admiration of their geniuses I employ an ever evolving technique which painstakingly marries emulsion transfers of photographed portions of their works with my modern acrylic paint and materials. The canvas is then embellished by my personal fancies and gestural flourishes of related archival notations and drawings but always respecting the artists’ special language of colors and forms.
These sixteen interactive paintings render tribute and express gratitude to these three French immortals whose museum masterworks suffused my impressionable youth with their light, line and color. Today, in the twilight of my years, when I converse and paint “with” them, the excitement of my first seeing their paintings so long ago is as fresh as ever.
I hope I have learned well while I sat at the feet of their imaginary easels, closing my eyes to recall and recreate the scenes of their French lives which so inspired them, all the while moving with the rhythm of their brushes.
But most importantly for me now is realizing that they were actually teaching the child that I was and the woman I became, how to become a true artist.

-Phyllis Zaballero

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