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Jonathan Olazo & Romulo Olazo at Bencab Museum



Jonathan Olazo, Doom & Gloom to Hope The Kafka Electric Chair, The Bizarro Ego & a Totemic Sustainable Proposal, Pen&ink, watercolor&acrylic on canvas, 2024 and Jonathan Olazo, Moon & Tent over the Hollow, Acrylic on canvas, 2023

Jonathan Olazo exhibits new works in There Was Nowhere To Go But Everywhere, So Just Keep On Rolling Under The Stars at BenCab Museum’s Gallery Indigo.


J. Olazo draws inspiration from Jack Kerouac’s quote which is appropriated as the exhibition’s title. In this exhibit, he revisits works and techniques he has explored in his life, as well as exploring new ones he has worked on recently: impasto paintings, rubber cut prints, pen works, gestural works, hybrids (with silkscreen).  These come together expressing his present state and observations of himself.


The younger Olazo has held solo-exhibitions since 1986, and this is his first at the BenCab Museum. Olazo’s work has been described as forward thinking and experimental yet grounded in abstract painting concepts.


J. Olazo is one of the recipients of the CCP’s Thirteen Artists Awards in 1994. His interest in art began when he took up printmaking in high school, which was taught by his father Romulo.  Jonathan graduated with a degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines and later taught as a part-time lecturer at the same university. He is married to Lyn Yusi-Olazo and has two children, Zachary and Odilon Pablo.


There Was Nowhere To Go But Everywhere, So Just Keep On Rolling Under The Stars is on view until 28 July 2024.



Romulo Olazo, Nude, Charcoal on paper, 1980 Romulo Olazo, Nude, Charcoal pencil on paper, 1983

Olazo Nudes: The Secret Body of Abstraction features thirty-five drawings done in charcoal and pastel culled from 1975 to 1985, a period considered as the artist’s most active years in drawing the figure. A notable inclusion is Olazo’s life-size drawing, Thelma, which was originally part of Olazo Nudes, his first and only exhibition on the said theme at the Galerie Dominique in 1978. This marks a celebratory revisitation of one of Olazo’s favorite themes.


Romulo Olazo was born in Balayan, Batangas on July 21, 1934. The family moved to Manila where Olazo supported himself and his family as a working student, taking up Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas. Olazo initially pursued a career in advertising, eventually becoming a Creative Director. At age forty he decided to go full-time as an artist. His abstract paintings have been exhibited extensively here and abroad, culminating with an Artist’s Retrospective exhibition at the Ayala Museum in 2009. A posthumous and thematic survey of his large abstract paintings at the Main Gallery of the Cultural Center of the Philippines was held in 2017. Adjudged by art critics and peers as a prolific and gifted draftsman, Olazo drew inspiration from the nude female form, as the exhibition title offers. Olazo passed away in 2015, and survived by his children and grandchildren. 


Olazo Nudes: The Secret Body of Abstraction is on view until July 7, 2024, at BenCab Museum’s Sepia Gallery.

BenCab Museum is on Km. 6 Asin Road, Tuba, Metro Baguio. Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 6pm. Closed Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.


For more details, call Vina at BenCab Museum tel (074)442 7165, mobile 0920 5301954 and 0917 3201347; email or Rona Jorah Bananda at AZOOL Inc. mobile 0917 631 3289

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