Twenty-twelve was a year of retrospectives in the Philippine art world. The most significant from the vantage point of art history would be the multiple shows (at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, UST Museum, UP Vargas Museum and Metropolitan Museum) to mark the 10th birth anniversary of National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco.
With Galo Ocampo and another National Artist, Victorio Edades, Francisco formed the so-called “Triumvirate of Modern Art in the Philippines.” While Ocampo indigenized western art genres, as in his “Brown Madonna,” and Edades departed from idealistic exteriors to present life as the artist would see it, Francisco renovated mural art.
Perhaps more than the art of either Edades or Ocampo, Botong’s would be the most Filipino, however contentious that claim would be nowadays. Most of