CEBU is an art kingdom and as far as hierarchy is concerned, many are vying for a seat in the industry. For a visual artist, earning a title in a saturated art circuit involves the painstaking task of getting one’s name out there. But sometimes, painters just do their thing and all of a sudden, the world pours in attention. Naturally, sincerity of the craft gives artists a break.

A first of its “Rising Artist” series, Qube Gallery presents “Heirs to the Throne,” an eclectic display of contemporary artistry dished out by Cebu’s next rock star prospects in the local art arena. They were chosen. They deserved to be.

The assortment of more than 30 intricate artworks, all under the figurative category, is staged with narrative and thematic contrasts depicting youthful vibe and societal reflections. The exhibit is a genuine testimony, powerful enough to convince not only spectators but more importantly the artists themselves of their competence.

Qube Gallery’s review (cited below) for each exhibitor cements the artists’ indubitable credential as influential players in today’s art generation.

Romanced by magical realism and fantasy, 25-year-old Thomas Jopson utilizes elements from the Medieval Era and stitches them together with his love for comics and animated films to come up with a dynamic art repertoire. Through his outlandish imagination and crisp execution, the University of the Philippines (UP) fine arts disciple from Tacloban, Leyte carves his niche in the local art field one interestingly curious piece at a time.

Also trained in UP’s fine arts program, Lhee Isabel Taneo comfortably expresses herself through a meticulous art that is mosaic, with subjects dancing with light and shadow produced by the natural color and texture in shells. Although not expressing so much confidence with her painting skills, the 22-year-old multi-media artist develops her strength in the simplicity and flexibility of indigenous materials, her own unique take on art.

Clean lines and fine details work their way through the Andy Warholish set of Wyndelle Remonde. Weaving everyday realizations and art musings into the canvas, the 28-year-old UP fine arts graduate projects public issues best via the signature vivacious comical approach. The striking visuals in lively colors appease the modern youth with the same wavelength. Wyndelle’s established reputation online earned him the label of being among Qube Gallery’s social media darlings.

Always whimsical and playful, Kenichi Wani’s style inevitably hints of a Filipino-Japanese background. Creating under the influence of Takashi Murakami among other personal heroes, Kenichi, a UP graduate of fine arts born in 1985, juxtaposes characters that play around the traditional landscape settings, those that usually portray natural sceneries in cotton candy colors suggesting the familiar psychedelia in dreams.

Notorious in Cebu’s effervescent street scene, Kidlat proceeds as one of those go-to conceptual icons attached to symbolic subjects in minimalist compositions in black and white, and pops of colors. Being a college dropout doesn’t matter. A conversationalist in engaging the audience with his art, Kidlat never fails to deliver a message with every output.

Metrobank Art and Design Excellence, the Philippine Art Awards and the Juror’s Award for Excellence in Philippine Art Awards are just among the honors gracing Marvin Natural’s portfolio. The sensitivity of the subject matter he highlights the most in his items makes the homegrown painter from Toledo, Cebu a bold artist to anticipate in the roster of Cebuano artists. A recent collection captures the youth’s innocence and vulnerability.

“Heirs to the Throne” ran from May 20 until June 8 at Qube Gallery at the Crossroads in Banilad.