Sam Penaso is a multi-talented artist who was born and brought up in Bohol, Cebu City. It was here he incubated his dreams of becoming an artist. Shortly after high school, he moved to Manila and completed a degree in Advertising from the Technological University of the Philippines. He engrossed himself in the local art scene while in 1996; after a short stint in advertising, he became a full time artist and soon after won a series of art awards and nominations.
As a painter, sculptor and performance artist, Sam embodies the multi-media, cross-disciplinary character of Philippine contemporary art. Bohol artist Sam Penaso showed his mixed-media works “Metalscape” 1 and 2 in the exhibit, “Life Force: Contemporary Art in the Visayas” at Gallery Orange in Bacolod City. He also did a performance art titled “Yolanda” during the opening ceremonies. And last January, “Metalscape,” at Altro Mondo Arte Contemporanea in Greenbelt 5, Makati City. Now, his latest group manilART exhibition will be in SMX Covention Center, SM Aura on October 8-11 at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
His paintings have also developed from his early works of realism to abstraction, and settling into his own distinct style with rudiments of portraiture. Sam adds his signature touch of the unexpected, incorporating numbers and letters that adds texture and depth, not only appealing to the visual sense, but to the palpable senses as well. As an augment to that is his choice of colours which are salient, animated and expressive, are also a vital part to the story of every artwork he creates.
The artist was a 2013-2014 grant recipient of Asian Cultural Council in which he took part in a six-month fellowship that allowed him not only a trip to New York City, but an apartment on 44th street, access to 1st class art materials and the opportunity to research on contemporary art. Part of his artistic journey was to visit the iconic artworks and monuments not only for the purpose of admiring them, but also to do his Striped Walker series. He was stirred by the sophisticated performance and art installation works that abound within the countless galleries in the galaxy that is called Manhattan. The same year, he also received an art residency at the Art Hub in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Performance art is a medium that holds a special place in Sam’s heart, as cited by David Medalla—one of his biggest influences. He says: “In performance art, I have something to say that I cannot express on just paintings alone. I am not comfortable separating the two mediums. He truly believes that by doing so it helps him reunite and record fragments of thought, feeling, and memory; and saying things that I can’t express in any other way.” From its outset, the Striped Walker has since struck a pose in many iconic landmarks from the Luneta Park in Manila, to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Big Ben in London, Times Square, Museum of Modern Art and other beloved places in New York.
Sam Penaso is one visionary Filipino artist of today—his talent cannot be contained in one medium, but seems to flow effortlessly into sculpting, visual, and as a performing artist. He is quite remarkable.
***A selection of Sam Penasos’ art masterpieces***
(pleas click image to enlarge)
All images used with permission.
To contact the artist for art inquiries or commission work, please email Sam Penaso at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, call him via mobile +63 9283482268. Visit and like his Facebook page here or at Instagram