New York-based Filipino artist brings his pop art to Manila

New York-based Filipino pop appropriation artist Sean Go is set to hold his first solo exhibition in the Philippines. “Fallacies of Fantasy” will run from 25 June to 2 July at the Secret Fresh Gallery at the Ronac Art Center in San Juan City.

Known for his cheeky pop art style, Sean Go’s works in the exhibit take inspiration from childhood icons, playfully infused with modern pop-culture aesthetics, creating new idealized abstraction of heroes, villains, fairy-tale endings, and even hope.

Influenced by renowned abstract artists such as Ang Kiukok and Federico Alcuaz, as well as Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Picasso, Maurizio Cattelan and Daniel Arsham, Go’s works evoke childlike wonderment and untamed creativity, inviting viewers to rediscover the magic of Disney icons and DC heroes through an entirely new lens.

An example is Playmouse, one of Go’s more famous pieces, which challenges what Disney films have taught viewers about idealism. In his work Humpty the Iron Samurai, tragedy is depicted as a catalyst for determination and resolve.

Sean Go’s Playmouse

“The pieces express childlike curiosities, and the show explores the possibilities that exist. At some point, we have to start looking at what’s real and not the projections in our heads. But it’s also optimistic that in this pop art universe, you can be whatever or whomever you want to be,” says Go.

Born and raised in Manila, Go has a Masters of Art degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and degrees from Columbia, Emory, and University of California Berkeley. Curious to explore different mediums, he plans to pursue a Master of Arts degree at Parsons in Paris.

Prior to becoming a full-time artist, Go worked in the finance sector for Fortune 500 companies. He was also an analyst at Ernst and Young in San Francisco, as well as Techstars Venture Capital. He founded the Berkeley Club of the Philippines, the official alumni club of UC Berkeley in Manila. Go is represented by Derek Flores of DF Art Agency.