Two successful Filipino artists: a painter and a fashion designer turned sculptor at New York’s Artexpo Show 2023

by Ricky Rillera

Chadwick Arcinue and Jef Ablea | Contributed photos

NEW YORK – Two Filipino artists, Chadwick Arcinue and Jef Albea, will feature their works at the New York Artexpo, the world’s original fine marketplace at Pier 36, South Street Seaport, from March 30 to April 2, 2023. This will be Artexpo’s 46th year of hosting exhibiting galleries, art publishers and dealers, and artists from across the globe.

Chadwick Arcinue, a New Jersey-based artist, pursued his passion for art after two decades of working in business and finance at Citibank and Ernest & Young. His first painting, Boston, is described as a “dreamy impressionist vision of cherry trees in bloom completed 20 springs ago when he was an MBA student at Boston College.”

As he continued with his new-found talent, “Chadwick explored color and texture, developing more abstract and expressionist pieces based on the techniques self-taught during his ‘inmpressionist school years.'” Further, Chadwick’s “experimentation with intuition” works are considered the hallmark of his artistic eye, which has “grown and flourished from a talent long in the awakening.”

In 2018, he established The Chadwick Concepts. In this design company, he explained his process of development as an artist — from ‘ideas, exploration to discovery.” From hereon, he was inspired to “brush up” with his paintings producing Colorscapes, Waterscapes, and Seascapes that “reveal bold, brisk brushstrokes and highly textured backgrounds.” His famous and dramatic Dreamscapes: Synchronicity collection has dynamic compositions and puzzle-like geometric shapes, which laid the groundwork for his first NFT collection he launched in Times Square in 2022.

Left: Black Study 60″x48″ 2 2022 acrylic on canvas | Right: Red Study 60×48″ 4 2022 acrylic on canvas | The Chadwick Concepts
Left: Dreamscapes II — Daybreak 6:08 2019 | Right: Dreamscapes III Past Midnight 12:20 2019 | The Chadwick Concepts

He has exhibited in several global art galleries in the Philippines, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Austria, China, and Sweden. In the US, he has participated in several states from the west coast to the east, including Florida and New Mexico – all places in four years. Besides Artexpo in New York, he has current exhibitions and representation in Miami, Italy, and the Philippines.

Jef Ablea is another artist with great talent, having honed “his skills as a designer and stylist by dipping his fingers into a wide variety of projects, from photoshoots to fashion show events.” His creations were featured in fashion-week runways in London in 2017 and New York in 2018, including Dubai and Canada.

Ablea was among the Most Outstanding Filipino Achievers in the 2019 Golden Globe Awards. He represented the Philippines at the Red Carpet in the Cannes Film Festival.

Jef Ablea Gown Collection featured at the New York Fashion Week.

A theater actor, he designed costumes for stage plays and many celebrities in the Philippines until he ventured into elite local and international shows. For years, Jef has made more than 50 elegant gowns yearly, making his brides happy and memorable.

His design work has been marked with “exclusivity, style and excellence,” reflecting his values in “bringing master pieces in clothing to provide the woman of today the personalized fashion and proud to wear a Jef Ablea creation.”

Today, he pursues another craft which he hopes to bring the same character and vision he had with his critical eye and style in clothing. He has now transitioned to creating unique sculptures, evoking a new passion that can be observed in every sculpture he creates.

BLISSFUL 20×21 Mixed Media Sculpture by JEF ALBEA and beautiful chair design by KENNETH COBONPUE | Via Instagram
Passion and Power 22×24 Mixed Media, Sculpture by JEF ALBEA and beautiful chair designs of KENNETH COBONPUE | Via Instagram

His second solo exhibition, billed as Endless at the Art Lounge Manila in July 2021, the event theme was water, which inspired him. “And like water, his sculptures of women dressed in flowing gowns have fluid lines spread wavily, giving the impressioon of graceful movement and animation.”

Albea’s artworks in this exhibit were regarded as a celebration of life, “which ultimately came from water,” transformed endlessly in its cycle.” He described Endless that as “water becomes invisible vapor, it returns as rain in its own time, so too with the life that Albea was celebrating.”

“Nothing is softer and more flexible than water,” said Albea. “Water gives life, water provides hope and balance. Like water, my artworks flow and project calmness to the eye of my viewers. Like life, my sculptures are strong and brave. Water is my inspiration, it is calm, it is clear, it is endless.”

To be the first to see Chadwick’s and Jef’s new collections, the Artexpo VIP Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, March 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pier 36 in New York City. Those who will not make it at the reception are welcome to see the show and meet the artists in person through the remainder of the show, which runs from March 30 to April 2, from 12 noon to 7 p.m.

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