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The new generation: Paulina Luz Sotto launches her first exhibit |

Sunday Lifestyle

The new generation: Paulina Luz Sotto launches her first exhibit

EXISTENTIAL BLABBER - Kara Ortiga - The Philippine Star

In a tidy studio at a cozy home in Pasig, countless books line wooden shelves along the walls. A few paintings rest at its foot. This is the same studio where the National Artist Arturo Luz spent most of his days, a haven where he liked to be left alone to paint day in and day out. Now, his granddaughter Paulina Luz Sotto has slowly settled in, making the space her own, placing new brushes where his once were, and stacking finished canvases where Tito Arturo’s masterpieces once lay.

But Paulina’s venture into painting is purely by circumstance — an accident, really. The idea of art never crossed her mind, even though it was second nature to her, growing up in the same household as her lolo. But the childhood dream, she says, was always to be a golfer — the next professional superstar, traversing the world with her single handicap and sometimes winning tournaments with her father, actor Vic Sotto, for fun. You can scour through newspaper archives and find clips of Paulina’s achievements splashed on its pages. But she says, “I grew out of it, and now I’m burnt out. When I was nine to 15 years old, my life was golf. After school and weekends were for golf. All my boyfriends were golfers,” she laughs. Then the game stopped being fun, she says. So college was spent focusing on her studies, where she recently graduated cum laude at the Ateneo de Manila University.

It was during her downtime post-graduation that she would find herself dabbling in painting. She would experiment with sketches on a small notebook, enthralled by the simplistic beauty of line and color. One day, she finished a piece on a small canvas and posted a photo of it on her Instagram account. A very millennial thing to do, she jokes. “I just posted a photo of it, like we all do nowadays, and I didn’t expect anyone to actually like it.” But little than a month later, she would sell around 50 pieces and amass a waiting list of clientele seeking more work. This took her by surprise, of course — a pleasant surprise — but she realized as well that perhaps she had found her own artistic flair. “People don’t realize that every drawing consists of lines. Everything can be broken down to the simplest element, and people don’t appreciate the simplicity of that,” says the 24-year-old artist.

For the new generation, Paulina’s command over the canvas, and her naturally inclined eye for minimalism, is rare. While noise fills our daily lives via every kind of medium possible, people seem to be of the notion that anything “louder” is “grander,” when in fact rare is the art that speaks a lot by saying less. It is this discipline that Paulina tries to communicate with her work: a sense of balance, a quiet confidence, a control of design almost Zen in nature — rid of distractions. “That’s one of the hardest things, is finding the balance. The hardest thing is knowing when to stop. You need to know when it’s too much.” Paulina consults her lolo sometimes to talk about ideas. She adds, “The colors are obviously inspired by him.” But Paulina’s work is also her own. There is a freshness to every piece, rooted in the same principles of design mastered by her bloodline, but injected and invigorated with new life that is her own. This is Paulina’s “New Abstractions.”

Paulina will be launching her first solo show, “New Abstractions” at The Crucible Gallery, 4th Level Building A, SM Megamall, from Feb. 9-28 2016.



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