ARTablado Presents Dream Line by Arturo Arsega, Jr.

Arturo Arsega, Jr.: “All the lines I drew as a child have led me to this moment, a moment I only used to dream about.”

The line drawings of artist Arturo Arsega, Jr. call to mind art class projects where one had to draw faces and figures without lifting the pen or brush from the paper. The end result may look deceptively simple but getting there takes practice and a lot of trial and error. 

Arsega makes it look easy even if the journey he took to get to where he is now was not exactly a walk in the park. By his own admission, he wandered into the art scene just three years ago after working for close to a decade in the Middle East.

“I worked as a sales representative in Saudi Arabia until our company closed down. I returned to the Philippines where I got sick and had to be hospitalized and operated on. Sobrang down ako,” Arsega narrated. 

Few people know about this chapter in his life. It was during this low point that he turned his attention to the arts. “My only concession to my health predicament then was the time I spent drawing on my own.”

Arsega had long been interested in drawing. As a child of seven, he would draw on whatever he could get his hands on including cartons and paper packaging. Drawing comics was his way of expressing his creativity and letting his imagination run free. The images he would draw often consisted of human faces showing a range of emotions—ecstatic, despondent, frightened, and expectant.

He would return and focus on this decades later after experimenting with landscapes and abstract art. Arsega counts Vincent Van Gogh as a major inspiration not just because of the works of art he would go on to create and belatedly earn recognition for, but also because of his troubled journey as an artist. 

His favorite artwork? Spoliarium by Juan Luna.

Arsega’s line drawings may not be as detailed or belabored like Van Gogh’s and Luna’s but he has made them his own. With the addition of a few strokes of paint or a background in a watercolor-like wash, he has come up with his own distinct style.   

“My style is a combination of continuous line art emotions and abstract art. I find that I’m able to connect with viewers with this type of artwork,” he said.

Despite no formal training whatsoever, Arsega was able to find his style that resonates with viewers. He said he researched on how best to showcase his talent. In 2020, with the help of an online gallery, he was able to sell his first artwork. It signaled his entry into the art scene.

Since then, Arsega has gone on to hold a solo exhibit with his second solo show opening at ARTablado, Robinsons Galleria this August 16 – 31. He chose to title it “Dream Line” because this has been his dream since he was a kid. “All the lines I drew as a child have led me to this moment, a moment I only used to dream about.”

Visitors will get to see Arsega’s line drawings as well as some of the new artistic styles he has been experimenting on.

“I’m very thankful for being given the chance to exhibit my work at ARTablado, and become a part of their family especially since I’m a fairly new artist,” he said.

Established in 2020, Robinsons Land ARTablado, a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado” is Robinsons Land’s very own stage in showcasing the Filipino ingenuity and creativity. This platform allows emerging and established artists to freely express themselves through art and paves the way to greater recognition of their talent and hard work. To date, ARTablado has mounted numerous exhibitions and hosted over 300 artists.

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