Ryan Cayabyab:  The National Artist  for Music also paints!

National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab will unveil over 50 of his paintings at his first solo exhibition titled Tunay na Ligaya, from 21 October to 5 November at the Power Plant Mall, Rockwell in Makati.

With the prolonged lull in live performances during the pandemic, Cayabyab revisited his old love for painting, particularly with acrylic as a medium. While his last major brush with the visual arts was when he won the YMCA National Art Competition in 1968 at 14 years old, he continued to doodle and draw constantly in the following years.

In 2022, the pandemic gave him an opportunity to rediscover his passion with more gusto, both as a means to cope with the challenges of the time and as a way to reinvent himself as an artist.

Tunay na Ligaya showcases seven collections of Cayabyab’s various visual experiments: “Red” in bold sunset hues; “Estilo’s” geometric neoplasticism; “Riprap’s” use of model paste; “Hardin’s”  vivid, bursting florals; “Dreams” in fluid color play; “Explorations’” modernist lines and strokes; and the headline “Eyefie” series, a 16-part collection drawing inspiration from the 16 voices of Cayabyab’s first iconic record, One (1981).

“I am spontaneous, careless, loud and full of fun as a musician… I use the same mode in creating visual art,” Cayabyab said. Indeed, true to its title, Tunay na Ligaya is an offering of delight, joy, and exuberance — a testament to the pleasures of curiosity, discovery and reinvention by the esteemed National Artist for Music.

While Cayabyab is not without apprehensions in revealing his works to the public through Tunay na Ligaya, his excitement for his new, rather unexpected debut is infectious.

“I want to show that at any age, we can still pursue a passion, or whatever moves you, to create,” he said “There are still so many things that we can do. There is no age limit to what you can do.”

A second show for Tunay na Ligaya is slated for 10 to 26 November at the East Wing of Estancia Mall, Pasig. For inquiries regarding the art pieces, email or call Ma. Dinah Remolacio ([email protected], 0998-5561158).