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Quirante’s expressions of the soul

Pneuma (πνεῦμα) is an ancient Greek word for ‘breath’ and, in a religious context for ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’




‘Pneuma II’ (2020) mixed media on canvas. (Left) Multi-awarded comic artist, illustrator, gallery artist, art educator and musician Ian Quirante.

Multi-awarded comic artist, illustrator, gallery artist, art educator and musician Ian Quirante presents a series of mixed media pieces entitled PNEUMA II at the Gallery Indigo of the prominent BenCab Museum in Baguio.

The exhibit, which radiates with the “vital spirit, soul or creative force of a person,” showcases a total of 44 artworks exploring the fragility of the human mind and body in trying to survive through the global pandemic.

“The creation of art is without conscious thought, so everything is spontaneous, unprecedented and unplanned,” he elaborated. “There are no studies, and everything is created right then and there. You see all these scattered images and texts and collages, and it appears as if everything is wandering and going nowhere.”

The final output of these streams of consciousness, in the artist’s own words, depicts a series of “roughly painted head busts, massive, fragmented concrete, obscured mountains and hills, a collage of scattered anatomical parts, familiar objects and indiscernible words seemingly from dreamscapes devoid of any conscious narrative.”

Through these pieces, Quirante calls himself “an artist acting as a catalyst in the hopes of creating a change through art, holding on, being resilient and at the same time revealing the workings of my own (sub)consciousness.”

Quirante earned his degree in Fine Arts with major in Painting from the University of the Philippines — Diliman, where he graduated as cum laude. He also took up International Studies from Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan.

Over the past 15 years, he has done local solo shows in Finale Art File, The Drawing Room, The Boston Gallery, Pinto Art Museum, MONO8 Gallery and Artinformal, as well as international solo exhibitions in Utterly Art LLP, Element Art Space and Artesan Gallery in Singapore.

‘Pneuma XII’ (2020) mixed media on canvas.

The painter also had group shows in J Studio, BenCab Museum, West Gallery, MONO8 and Blanc Gallery, as well as international group galleries in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia — and through the efforts of The Pinto Art Museum, in New York and Japan.

This year, he conducted two individual displays, one from Art Cube Gallery in September and the ongoing show at the BenCab Museum.

He has received various awards from the Philip Morris Art Awards, the Metrobank Art Competition and the Shell National Student Art Competition.

Aside from exhibitions, Quirante has been teaching at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts for 18 years. He shares his expertise in figure, still life and perspective drawing, as well as oil, acrylic and watercolor painting to the young student-artists under the college’s Design Foundation Program. He likewise teaches painting techniques at University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts Diliman.

PNEUMA II is on view until Sunday, 6 December, at the Gallery Indigo, BenCab Museum, Km. 6 Asian Road, Tuba, Metro Baguio, Philippines.