Grit of the human experience

Pyre (2018, oil on canvas, 3 by 4 feet).

ArtistSpace and Metro Gallery present “Disposable Lives,” the fifth solo exhibition of visual artist Isobel Francisco. It chronicles the artist’s visual sojourn as she stares into the void of existence.

In Francisco’s hands, waste becomes the central point of the discussion as the artist likens our brief lives to “cosmic garbage,” desperately piecing together human experiences that inevitably decay, disappear, or are rendered meaningless. Building upon the central image of the garbage bag, which was introduced in her 2016 exhibition, “Sea of Fertility,” she wonderfully executes a collection that captures her observations on human ruin.

While the duality of life and destruction reverberated through her previous exhibition, Francisco’s latest show is an affront to the age-old delusion of man as the center of the universe.

A graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, Francisco has been making waves in the local and international art scene for her signature gritty aesthetic. Specializing in oil, she also dabbles in ink and digital tools. Since her debut in December 2011, the prolific artist has mounted a number of exhibitions in distinguished art spaces in Metro Manila as well as in Hong Kong and China.

Drawing the interest of art critics and aficionado’s for her vivid treatment of her subjects, Francisco is a refreshing revelation of the contemporary artistic ethos. The artist’s work has been prominently featured in a number of print and online publications. She was one of the 75 artists included in Filipino Artists in Their Studios, Volume 2, launched in April 2018 by The Manila Bulletin. She has also been recently awarded an art residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the United States of America.

“Disposable Lives” will be on view at the ArtistSpace from July 17 to 30 with an artist reception on July 17. ArtistSpace is located at the Ayala Museum Annex, ground level, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Makati City. It is open from Mondays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call or e-mail Jane Salvador at (02) 759-8288 or, or Metro Gallery at (63) 917-8115399 or