Arts and Culture

A year of meaningful art at M gallery MNL

Anna Martelino - The Philippine Star
A year of meaningful art at M gallery MNL
Judge De Alban, Maricel Soriano, Mykee Martinez, Lornalee Vingson

MANILA, Philippines — Along charming M. Paterno Street in Pasadena, San Juan City, a well-lit gallery with an eye-catching “M” logo draws you in. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself slowing down to peek at the artwork inside — because each piece was carefully, thoughtfully selected to capture your curiosity.

Mykee Martinez, the creative force behind M Atelier (and the tastemaker at Muchos Kitchen), has always had an eye for beauty. “When I find an artwork that makes me feel alive — I just have to have it,” he says. In a matter of months, his personal collection grew, which was a delight to his family and close friends. But it was during the pandemic that he found more time to browse online galleries and scout promising talents. It was also then that he realized how Filipino artists are looking for more exposure and support.

Mykee immediately reached out to his closest friend, Inna Go David, a businesswoman, art collector and mother to a young artist. For years, Mykee and Inna have had a special bond — they fondly call each other “Kapsy” (short for Kapatid) — and they immediately agreed on the mission and vision for M Gallery. “It was going to be a special place that bridges artists and collectors,” says Inna. Mykee adds, “It’s where Filipino creators will find buyers to invest in their passions, and where enthusiasts will find that elusive missing piece that will complete their collection.”

Justine Reyes, Inna Go David, Mykee Martinez and McAlbert Cadiz

Mykee and Inna combined resources, networks, talents and skills to pull it off. They started with an online gallery on Instagram (@MGallery.MNL) in early 2020, and last Oct. 10, they had their first anniversary, with one of the Philippines’ veteran actresses, Diamond Star Maricel Soriano, and founder and CEO of Fastrack Courier Geng Bautista, along with Mewa Martinez, founder and owner of Love My Bags, a pioneer in bag care and maintenance, joining the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We want more people to appreciate Filipino art and value Filipino artists, “ Inna declared. “And one visit to M Gallery is all it takes for you to realize na, grabe. Ang galing natin.” Mykee wholeheartedly agreed: “Each stroke tells a story. Each color, each line, reflects and captures what that artist is feeling or envisioning at that time. It’s so personal and intimate and meaningful. It will make you feel something. And you just know that when you bring home a piece of art, it’s a sulit investment talaga.”

And whether you’re looking for a piece that’s whimsical or contemporary, or if you’re into abstract or realism or expressionism, there’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for at M Gallery. “We don’t want to limit what we can offer,” said Inna. “We also welcome requests for commissions and consignments.” Mykee adds, “We’re also very proud to say that we take extra good care of our clients. Maalaga kami and laging may personal touch. We want to help our clients find what they’re missing. Yung art na may magic, may meaning.”

For a magical, meaningful moment, go ahead and look for the big “M” logo along M. Paterno. Lose yourself in the art that M Gallery MNL offers, and find a piece you never knew you were looking for.

Aie Franco Paminutuan and Paolo Pamintuan

* * *

Visit M Gallery MNL at Unit D DPL Building, M. Paterno Street, Pasadena, San Juan City. Open daily from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with