Self-taught artist Angelito “Jo” Florendo has developed a signature style over the years and established a respectable name in Philippine visual art.
His works are reminiscent of that of the renowned Fernando Amorsolo — pastoral, lighted and nostalgic.
What makes his works uniquely his is a style of recreating light and fairly distributing it to bucolic scenes. It manifests vividly among the shades and varied and stratified colors of the flora and geographical features in his landscapes, one of two of his favorite subjects. The other is koi fishes.
In his landscape works, rural scenes are often done with a cornucopia of objects to form realistic masterpieces, although reaching a point that can be described as surreal.
Born in Naga City, Florendo now calls Tanay in the province of Rizal his home, moving there in 1989 during his teenage years.
He started painting when he was about 11 or 12 years old, practicing on varied subjects such as garlic, onion, corn and a native jar called tapayan.
In Tanay, his creative juices, inherited from his mother who’s also an artist, naturally flowed with assistance from mentors and Tanay natives Martin Catalos and Jun Tiongco.
Since 1991, he has participated in a number of local and international exhibitions, including those held in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2003; at the Philippine Center in New York, Washington D.C; in San Francisco in 2006 and 2008; and in South Korea from 2010 to 2011.
He has also held 18 solo exhibitions in various galleries in the country with the latest, entitled Colors of Nature, at the Art Asia Gallery in Mandaluyong City from 21 September to 2 October.
He has likewise been featured in a number of local magazines and newspapers, as well as books authored by art critic Manuel Duldulao, Alma Cruz Miclat, Nola Cadayona and Noel Barcelona.
Florendo is a member of the Tanay Artist Group, president of the Filipino Arts Foundation called Ugnayan, co-founder of Unang Letra Group Artist and board member of the Art Association of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016 and auditor of the same organization in 2016.
For his achievements, he was awarded the Natatanging Anak ng Tanay in 2013 and the Tanay Achievers Awards in 2014, 2015 and 2018.
Florendo’s penchant for and execution of koi fishes is notable, catching the different lively colors and movements of the fish associated with good fortune.
His landscape pieces define him not only as a good artist but a Filipino who is proud of his heritage. The rural images and bucolic scenes in areas outside of highly urbanized cities, which he recreates on his canvasses, breathe with life and give a relaxing feel to his audiences. These works bring back memories of simple living and impart hope amidst a chaotic environment.
He loves the streaks of light and vibrancy of nature, mirroring his positive attitudes in life.