Renowned Filipino artist “Malang” passes away at 89

Image by Facebook ARTlead Masters Series: Mauro Malang Santos

Renowned Filipino artist Mauro “Malang” Santos passed away Saturday morning at the age of 89 due to a lingering illness.

Mauro Malang Santos (born January 20, 1928) is commonly known by the mononym Malang. He is a prominent and award-winning Filipino cartoonist, illustrator, and fine arts painter.

As a painter, he created every day familiar street scenes such as the Quiapo traffic, Chinatown, sari-sari stores, kalesa, and jeepneys that he exhibited at the Philippine Art Gallery. Through the years, his art developed into abstract that would still form slices of life such as houses, churches, and people.

He married Mary San Pedro, with whom he has four children; including painters Steve Santos and Soler Santos.

Malang studied at the College of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines in 1946 for one semester. He stopped attending formal school at the age of 19 in order to work for the art department of the Manila Chronicle.

During 1972, Malang attended art classes at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California, under a three-month scholarship.

At the Manila Chronicles, Malang created Kosme the Cop Retired, the country’s first English-language daily comic strip. In 1955, Malang established the Bughouse, a gallery specializing in cartoons. Malang established the gallery together with cartoonist colleagues such as Larry Alcala, Liborio Gatbonton, Hugo Yonzon, and Elmer Agustan. In 1966, Malang launched Art for the Masses, a project that brought printmaking to a larger number of artwork enthusiasts at affordable prices.

Samples of Kosme the Cop Retired (Image by Blogspot)

Awards and Recognition

  • In 1957, Philippine Art Gallery founder, Lyd Arguilla, included Malang in the Twelve Artists in the Philippines-Who’s Who
  • In 1958, the Art Directors Guild of the Philippines conferred Malang the Award for Editorial Design
  • Malang won in competitions sponsored by the Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists
  • In 1964, the Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists named Malang as the Artist of the Year
  • Malang won awards in the annual art competitions held by the Art Association of the Philippines, namely for hisStreet Fight (Second Prize, 1951), Traffic (Third Prize, 1953), The Yellow Sky (Honorable Mention, 1959), Quarter Moon (Second Prize), and Gate to Intramuros (Honorable Mention, 1963)
  • In 1963, Malang was included among the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines
  • In 1981, the City of Manila awarded him the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan (“Guide of Arts and Culture”) award

Memorial services for the painter will be held at Arlington Memorial Chapels in Quezon City from June 10 to 13, Malang’s son said, as reported by ABS CBN news.

Malang pictured with some of his great artworks:

Image via Facebook page
Image via Facebook page

To see more of the great artist’s work, please visit his Facebook page:  ARTlead Masters Series: Mauro Malang Santos