The waterlilies remind the viewer of Monet, but the graceful presence of swans brings a happily saccharine reality check to the vision. Romulo Galicano developed an extraordinary intimacy with the outdoors and strove for a spiritual understanding based on unspoken emotion.
Born in 1945 to a family of artists from Carcar, Cebu, Galicano studied intensively under his uncle, the Cebuano maestro Martino Abellana. At age 13, he became part of his uncle’s household. The close relationship of maestro and apprentice made Galicano the direct and immediate heir to Abellana’s artistic heritage.
The mastery of color and tone, composition, techniques and materials came from lessons he learned from his early youth.
He took up fine arts at the University of the East where he was under the tutelage of Florencio Concepcion, who taught him abstract designs. From 1969 to 1975, he painted with the Dimasalang group, named after the street in Sampaloc, Manila where he once lived in the late 60s and through the 70s. Many impressionist artists have been identified with the Dimasalang group, with writer Emilio Aguilar Cruz providing guidance and inspiration.
The group promoted impressionism and representational art when modern art was at its peak — a quiet revolution wherein the dominance of modern art was softly challenged by re-emergence of the traditional representational art. The group was responsible for bridging the gap between the two movements in harmony.
“The Lagoon - Vancouver”, painted in 1992, while still strongly reflecting Galicano’s Dimasalang roots, has its very French Impressionistic use of colors and romantic theme.