May 28, 2015 

The National Artists of the Philippines

Visual Arts
 Napoleon Abueva
 Federico Alcuaz
 Ang Kiukok
 Victorio C. Edades
 Cesar Legaspi
 Vicente S. Manansala
 Hernando R. Ocampo
 Fernando C. Amorsolo
 Carlos "Botong" V. Francisco
 Arturo R. Luz
 J. Elizalde Navarro
 Guillermo Estrella Tolentino
 Jose Joya
 Benedicto R. Cabrera
 Abdulmari Asia Imao
 Francisco Coching
Other Categories
 Historical Literature
 Theater and Films
 Visual Arts
 Fashion Design

Benedicto R. Cabrera
Painting (2006)

Benedicto R. Cabrera, *who signs his paintings "Bencab," upheld the primacy of drawing over the decorative color. Bencab started his career in the mid-sixties as a lyrical expressionist. His solitary figures of scavengers emerging from a dark landscape were piercing stabs at the social conscience of a people long inured to poverty and dereliction. Bencab, who was born in Malabon, has christened the emblematic scavenger figure "Sabel." For Bencab, Sabel is a melancholic symbol of dislocation, despair and isolation--the personification of human dignity threatened by life's vicissitudes, and the vast inequities of Philippine society.

Bencab's exploration of form, finding his way out of the late neo-realism and high abstraction of the sixties to be able to reconsider the potency of figurative expression had held out vital options for Philippine art in the Martial Law years in the seventies through the contemporary era.

*from the citation

Selected works

Madonna with Objects, 1991
Studies of Sabel, dyptych, 1991
People Waiting, 1989
The Indifference, 1988
Waiting for the Monsoon, 1986

National Artist Guidelines ׀ List of Awardees

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