B. Philipines, 1943
Fisherman’s Family, 1994
Signed and dated “TAM AUSTRIA 1994” on upper left
Oil on canvas
61 x 91 cm
Private Collection, Canada
SOLD – RM 5,600
“I think my work reflects a number of basic truths, perhaps, too, nostalgia for the good things slipping away. Then there are the earth, the fields, the sky, and the quiet corner people long for. Perhaps people are drawn to my painting by common feelings that go beyond art.”
Tam Austria is considered to be a highly skilled figurative art, one that excels in the dynamics of realism. Art critic and author Manuel Duldulao mentioned once that, “Every painting by Austria works to achieve a fusion of form and content that transcends the narrative or symbolic implication.” Fusing his Filipino spirit well into his artworks, this piece seems to capture nostalgia, warmth, family and simplicity all at once. It emanates its very own ethereal atmosphere – tender and kind, what with the strong spirit of down-to-earth village folks. Austria also has managed to capture a feeling, not only a moment.
Austria’s first run with art happened when he was barely 10 years old. He painted a highly realistic painting of Christ, with oil and the parish priest gave Austria more exposure to art. He then won a four-year high scholar scholarship and he enrolled at the University of Sto. Tomas for a degree in fine arts. Austria then joined the Ayala Museum as an artist and illustrator and his first project was to design the diorama of Philippine history. He then got a commission to do a mural for the St. Anthony Chapel in Forbes Park. Austria mounted his first exhibition in Oakland then at San Francisco and represented the Filipino community in the International Art Festival. He was also one of the five finalists in the 1983 Mobil Art Awards.