Fleurs et Muses

THREE THINGS COME to mind when I speak of Alfred Galvez: murals, mentoring, and the Art Nouveau or New Art movement.* Currently based in the National Capital Region (NCR) of the Philippines, Alfred Galvez, through the Galvez Atelier, provides both the “open-floor” art sessions for practitioners and hobbyists and structured lessons for the aspirants. In 2015, he also founded the Art Portal, a contemporary art gallery that he continues to develop at the Paseo de Legaspi, Pelayo in Davao City. Art Portal is an art space for his beloved Davao, where his co-Dabawenyos get to experience his art and his mentoring style through his art workshops.

We have listened too long to the courtly muses of Europe. We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; and we will. — Ralph Waldo Emerson


Alfred Galvez’s rendition of Nature themes exudes serenity and joy. Pleasant as they are, this art of his invoke meditation and philosophical musings, too. His series on Nature tickles the Art Nouveau movement along with Transcendentalism—a philosophy that was referred to as the first notable American intellectual movement which emerged from the American and German Romanticism of the 1800s. Transcendentalism believes in the goodness that is inherent in each one of us, that is similarly found in all of God’s creation and all its forms—a belief that is traced to the Upanishad of the Indian Religions of the east, wherefrom it is believed that our ultimate reality goes beyond the physical experience and that one finds Truth in Nature.

Along the lines and beyond philosophy, the east exaltingly meets the west once again. This time, expertly executed by the artist, himself. Alfred Galvez, who stands by Classical Realism as a sound foundation in learning and strengthening aptitude in drawing and painting, also explored traditional Chinese brush techniques—the Gongbi and the Xieyi. The artist’s study and immersion in his genre bring us across borders—to the West and the East, and back to the source: his homeland, the Philippines in Southeast Asia.

Gumamela, Ibong Maya at Iba Pa [No. 1]
Watercolor on Metallic Chinese paper
19 x 37 inches


*ART NOUVEAU. A style of decorative art, architecture, and design prominent in western Europe and the US from about 1890 until World War I. It is characterized by intricate linear designs and flowing curves based on natural forms such as stems and blossoms.