There’s something dark and mysterious in Ian Jose Semira’s art

Published December 28, 2020, 8:00 AM

by Rom Mallick

FYA! Instead of taking criticism as a call to change, Ian kept doing what he liked, until his unique art style was born

There is a certain kind of appeal that comes with dark, mysterious art. Some even say that artists are, in general, mysterious. While all artists put this inner sense of mystery into every artwork they make, some manifest it clearly. Or, in the case of Ian Semira, quite darkly.

Ian Jose Semira

Manila Bulletin Lifestyle chatted with Ian, a self-taught artist from Southern Luzon, to understand how his love for the arts started. 

How would you describe your art, and yourself as an artist?

Others say that my art is something dark, creepy, or heavy. For me, however, I simply express my vision of being an artist. My art style injects neo-surrealism, inspired by the works of old masters from the renaissance and baroque eras with a touch of contemporary art.

As an artist, I like to show what’s beyond realism, and to show the beauty and creativity of my subconscious mind.

Where do you draw inspiration for your works?

As a self-taught artist, I take my inspiration from the works of old masters. I study these, their techniques and approaches to art, and add my surrealism and contemporary gestures to it.

The Melody

Do you have a particularly favorite piece that you’ve done? Which is it, and why?

All of my art pieces are my favorites. But there is one study art piece that drove me to continue and keep doing what I love. It has a skull, a crow, and a rose [in] it. It was a “study” work that my father taunted me about. He said, “Who’s going to like that kind of artwork?” I understood him but I took that as an inspiration to create more. After I finished that painting, one collector bought it and that was the start of my art career.

What is your personal opinion about young people pursuing arts, whether as a passion or a profession?

If you know you have talent and the love for art and you want to pursue it, go and strive for it. Make it your passion. Eventually your art will be your profession.


Any message you want to give to aspiring artists?

To all aspiring artists, don’t be afraid to be what you like or to do what you like to do. Take the challenges and chances. Remember that art takes years to learn but a lifetime to master. Love your work because it is who you are.

IG @moth.ianjo, @ianjosemira | [email protected]