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Metro Artist Profiles: Tracie Anglo-Dizon

The painter talks about her journey into pursuing the arts, introduces her inspirations and mentors, and walks us through her latest exhibit, ‘Ornament and Crime,’ at the Pablo V Gallery.

As an artist, Tracie Anglo-Dizon has always loved the power that art has to move people. “Whenever I see great art, it moves me to tears. I saw Albert Oehlen’s exhibition at the Serpentine in London last year and I just sat on a bench for two hours, soaking it all in,” she confides. “It was like being in a church—a very spiritual experience. His handling of paint also moved me—so beautiful and emotional, but very nonchalant and abstract. I also want my paintings to move people [in the same way.]”

With an eye for all things beautiful, artist Tracie Anglo-Dizon always starts with an idea, experiments, and then sees where that takes her. “Sometimes accidents happen and something good becomes extraordinary,” she says.

Though Tracie has always drawn and painted as a young girl, she never thought it could be a career. “I just knew that I wanted to go to New York, at some point. Art or design school was always the ultimate dream. I went to the Art Students League in New York to study drawing and painting but decided that I was going to pursue design instead,” she says. She ended up enrolling at Parsons and once she had graduated, became an art director for fifteen years.

“I would always seek painting instruction on the side,” Tracie admits. In Manila, she sought instruction with John Santos at Art Informal, and then in Singapore with British artists, James Holdsworth. “I guess you can say it was always at the back of my mind. I never thought, for even one second, that I could have a career out of it until Manuel Ocampo plucked me out of oblivion by including my works in a show. He was curating [this show] with the artist Melissa La’O back in 2013. I started showing after that—first in group shows, and then, in solo shows.”

For her second solo show, ‘Ornament and Crime,’ Tracie made a conscious decision to paint something beautiful, like Chinese porcelain. On the works featured in this ongoing show, Tracie says: “There is so much ugliness in the world brought about by the pandemic and politicking—bad combination—that I was just so desperate for beauty.” This is evident, especially when viewing the artist’s Instagram profile @tracieanglo, where she shares with the world a side of herself and her artistic process.

Get to know more about Tracie Anglo-Dizon as an artist, her ongoing exhibit ‘Ornament and Crime,’ and her artistic inspirations in a special interview below.

Tell us about your recent exhibition at Pablo Galleries. Walk through the works, your favorite pieces, and what it was like mounting this exhibit.

I’ve been painting plates for quite some time now but for my second solo show at Pablo, I wanted to paint Chinese porcelain because I think it is the most beautiful. When I paint I try to imagine how these artists from centuries ago must have painted these ceramics from the Wanli, Qing, Ming, and Yuan dynasties, and how they also had to master firing and glazing techniques to achieve a certain color—like for example variations in blue, from cobalt blue to a purplish blue to a deep blue-black.

For this show, I wanted to celebrate the exquisiteness and beauty of Chinese ceramics but also further explore themes of breaking that exquisiteness. Like vandalizing an image to break the illusion of the picture. The drips or strokes I employ add another layer which negates its beauty—a transgression against beauty. Some of my favorite works are:

  • Dinner Party for One
  • Don’t worry no one’s coming
  • Lost for 650 years
  • Melting Lotus Blooms
  • The Rage Within Us
  • Submerged in Doubt

Actually, I kind of like them all! I labored over all my paintings so they’re like my babies. I almost didn’t do this show because in my head I was thinking, art is the last thing on people’s minds right now. But I’m glad Pablo Gallery’s director, Osie Tiangco, called and said they were building a virtual gallery called PabloV and that was pretty exciting to me.

Tracie Anglo-Dizon's "The Rage Within Us"

Who and/or what are your artistic inspirations? Why?

I am inspired by my friends who I also consider my mentors, and I have a truly deep admiration for their work, namely Manuel Ocampo and Gerry Tan. Manuel has so far hung my two shows, and I’m very grateful for that. Hanging out with them is like attending an MFA program.  I also like Arvin Flores, Maria Cruz, MM Yu, and all the artists who are part of our group! (See @sugarbarons23 Instagram if you’d like to see more.) It takes tremendous guts to be an artist. You are basically putting yourself out there to be judged, criticized, ridiculed, and, only if you’re very lucky, admired. I salute all artists because it’s a romantic but difficult life. Also, to pursue one’s passions, especially during these times, is a very courageous act.

Take us through your artistic process and your favorite mediums and subjects to use.

I start with an idea and then I just experiment and see what happens. Sometimes accidents happen and something good becomes something extraordinary. I really like painting in oil—you can build it up. I like decorative subjects and I’m challenged by how to transform something decorative into art.

Would you have a favorite piece or series that you worked on in your career? Why?

The painting I painted yesterday is always my favorite. Then, the next day, I look at it and it doesn’t look as good anymore. I just always try and push myself, push the art, and go all the way. So if you ask me now, I really enjoyed painting for this show, ‘Ornament and Crime.’ But ask me that question again in a few months and I might give you a different answer.

How do you hope to evolve as an artist in the coming years?

I’m vain—I like fashion and I like my artworks to be seen. So hopefully in the coming years I will have more opportunities to exhibit. I’m talking about my art, not my clothes!

Experience Tracie Anglo-Dizon’s 'Ornament and Crime' at Pablo Gallery - The Fort. The exhibit runs from July 11 to August 15, 2020 and can also be viewed at Pablo V (

The physical gallery is located at Unit C-11, South of the Market Condominiums, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Visitors may still view the works in person. Entrance to the gallery will be by appointment. Safety procedures will be practiced and social distancing will be enforced.