Robert Alejandro's 'ART FOR ALL 3' Is an Exhibit and Sale Two Decades in the Making

It runs until May 28 only.

As Robert Alejandro's second online exhibition for Fundacion Sansó’s Art+Design=Empowerment (ADE) program, ART FOR ALL 3 seeks to empower children in poverty-stricken communities. The show and sale also reveals another side of Alejandro's inventiveness as an illustrator.

The exhibit features 70 pieces of his work, ranging from subjects such as Philippine botanicals, jeepneys, and, in a rare occurrence, abstracts. People will also get a chance to purchase a selection of art books under Fundacion Sansó.

According to a post on Alejandro's Facebook page, the concept for the said abstracts on sale came to him after a doctor's appointment that bared some unfortunate news. 

The artist wrote: "I don't normally create abstracts. A spark within me was lit when I heard the grim prognosis of the oncologist. The kind doctor explained to me that my cancer is affecting my kidneys... When I got home, I created these series of abstracts in a huff."

Alejandro expressed that the abstract works were a product of a "completely free mind and soul." If we observe the gestures of the strokes, form, and colors, we see Alejandro figures unconfined. They veer away from his typical whimsy, too. The brushwork is stern in the most subtle of ways, yet still manages to retain the soft silhouettes we have come to love from Alejandro's classic illustrations.

The proceeds of the sale go to Alejandro's chosen beneficiary, the ATD Fourth World Philippines, a non-profit organization established in 1987 that aims to "eradicate extreme poverty and build a world living in peace and dignity."


In line with Fundacion Sansó's own commitment to art education and mental health, Alejandro's new exhibit works to give back to his main advocacy: children. At the launch, he told viewers why he went with ATD Fourth World Philippines for this venture. He's known about the non-profit organization for more than two decades, after all.

"Pinili ko ang ATD dahil ang ATD Fourth World Philippines ay kaibigan ko for more than 20 years na. Nagsimula siya more than 20 years ago. I remember I was at the exhibition of Ilustrador ng Kabataan at Ayala Museum," he said. "I think me and my friends were there because it was our exhibition. May dumating na maraming bata, and I was watching them and wondering who they were. Tapos may foreigner na nagu-guide sa kanila. So kinausap ko 'yung foreigner."

That's when he first got acquainted with the organization in Pandacan, Manila. He continued: "Nagkwento siya about [a] street library—mga libro ng mga bata na nasa bayong. Tapos dadalhin ang mga libro sa mga communities sa North Cemetery, sa railroad tracks. Sabi ko this is so interesting as a children's book illustrator, it's important for me to know that my work reaches children who cannot really afford the books."

In the catalogue: "Abstract B49," mixed media (27.5 in x 39.3 in).

Selling Price: P24,000.

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In the catalogue: "Abstract B55," mixed media (27.5 in x 39.3 in).

Selling Price: P24,000.


The exhibit and sale, however, is only until May 28, 2022. With this showcase, the public gets the opportunity to own some of Alejandro's works for under P25,000. His matchbook collectibles, which feature Philippine storefronts, food, and various Manila scenes, are also up for grabs for about P200.

In the end, Alejandro is happy that his work reaches children who live in extreme poverty.

"When I went to the street library, I was so overjoyed that my work and the work of my friends reaches the children who live in extreme property," said the artist. "It's not work, it's volunteering."

Click this link to view the official catalogue. Fundacion Sansó will only entertain orders through Facebook messenger. For more details on how to purchase, visit the organization's official Facebook page here.

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About The Author
Bryle B. Suralta
Assistant Section Editor
Bryle B. Suralta is a Filipino cultural critic, editor, and essayist. He writes about art, books, travel, people, current events, and all the magic in between. His past work in film and media can be found on PeopleAsia Magazine, The Philippine Star, MANILA BULLETIN, and IMDB.
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