Max Balatbat has taken it upon himself to
document the invisible human condition contained
within visible degraded spaces which he depicts
with crisscrossed checkered or gingham patterns.
Calling his style, “Architectural Abstraction,”
Balatbat did not have to look far to find
inspiration, developing his ideas from the infinite
well of stories residing in the busy bustling streets
of his home in Caloocan. A Caloocan native since
birth, Balatbat had witnessed the activities of the
brothels in his area, and in his eyes the working
girls were more than their job, more than whatever circumstance in their life led them to be. They were people, a human heart and soul residing
within flesh and bone, suffocating under the vastness of the urban landscape.
He has become an advocate, giving a voice to the voiceless, challenging others to pay attention to the people who have been shunned and
misunderstood by society, giving beauty to what others have misjudged as repellent. Studying Architecture in Far Eastern University before
moving on to University of the East to pursue a course in Fine Arts, Balatbat is an abstractionist with a social realist twist. His work is captivating
and stunning for its aesthetic quality; however, lurking underneath the layers of color and textures is a fascinating narrative. With each work,
Balatbat proves that you can have beauty without sacrificing substance, and more importantly that beauty itself resides in the unlikeliest places.