The first artwork Joey Margarejo ever made was on a piece of old, pink tissue paper. This was fifty years ago, when he discovered his passion for art. Today, the color pink recurs frequently in Margarejo’s artwork and reminds him of his beginnings as an artist. The colors of his richly textured acrylic canvases are designed to inspire hope, bring luck, and, most importantly, spread positivity. Margarejo’s paintings reflect personal meanings, drawing upon his feelings about such events as the loss of his own mother and his experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. Margarejo bridges these personal memories with his love for the Impressionist movement and for Vincent van Gogh.
Margarejo was born in the Philippines and now lives in Canada. His first exhibition was in Manila in 1996, and he has exhibited all over Canada since then. Margarejo’s canvases are distinct for their rhythmic quality, evoking the patterns of classical music. Margarejo often paints to a classical soundtrack, evident in his staccato brushstrokes and weeping drips of color. His work is inextricably linked to music: Margarejo cannot paint without it. His inspiration changes with the day, depending on the circumstances of his life and his current emotions. Margarejo’s simple outlook on life and his keen sense of color lend his artworks a certain universality. We can all find joy in vibrant color, and apply our own meanings to the canvases he creates.