Lives and Works: Philippines
Eliezer John “EJ” Cabangon was born March 5, 1973 in Mandaluyong City, the Philippines and graduated from Philippines Women’s University in Manila with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Painting. Whilst still in school, Cabangon was a finalist in the 25th Shell National Student Art Competition in 1992. In 1996, he received an honorable mention from Metrobank Foundation’s National Young Painters Annual. He was a semi-finalist in 1997 and 2004 in the Metrobank Foundation’s Young Painters Annual National Painting Competition.
An in house artist with Artesan from 2006, EJ is a maestro of the ‘dark and per- fect art’. He had his first overseas exhibition with Artesan, a duo-show with Olan Ventura, titled Mirror Mirror in 2007. He has the ability for exactness – down to the smallest follicle. Whilst he is renowned for his signature hyper-realistic oil paintings rendered in very fine detail, paying particular attention to minutiae, his works are never strict interpretations of photographs, nor are they literal illustrations of particular scenes or subjects. Instead, Cabangon utilizes subtle pictorial elements to create the illusion of a reality, nudging the viewer to understand the underlying truth.
Whilst, lamenting the world’s sorry state, he simultaneously smirks at its own pitfalls by creating a story in his amazing paintings as if they were chapters from a graphic novel.
In May 2014, Cabangon took part in a group exhibition titled Facets of Philippine Art Today in Taiwan, curated by Ronald Ventura and co-curated by Ruel Caasi. Cabangon was featured alongside Manok Ventura, Jigger Cruz, Butch Payawal, Lynyrd Paras and Olan Ventura at the Fine Art Centre. To date he has had over 10 solo shows with the likes of West Gallery, Blanc Art Space, Tin-Aw Art Gallery and Big & Small Art Co.