Michaelangelo had trouble with his hands, Klee had scleroderma, and Van Gogh had epilepsy. But these artists continued to refine their art despite of their physical and neurological disabilities. What they lacked in health did not hinder them in continuing to produce a variety of masterpieces.

Galerie Stephanie mounts Visual Diary: Synesthesia, the first solo show of Gabby Prado, a recent graduate from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Here, Prado shares her experience as an artist with a hearing disability. Her works are reflective of her experience with seeing colors through sounds, signifying another condition she had—synesthesia. Prado shares, “Without my hearing aid, I saw sound as something brown and plain. But when I wore my hearing aid, I saw how it changed into different colors and patterns—glowing, intense, and more pronounced…I heard the street noise…it was spectacular, with orange, yellow, and violet colors. It confused me at first…but even so, I kept staring at the scene and couldn’t help but enjoy [and] reminisce the colors.”

Prado’s works have a sense of emotion that are similar to Michaelangelo’s, Klee’s, and Van Gogh’s artworks. Perhaps one could note the artists’ disabilities as a denominator, but with the retelling of their inner sensations (difficulties, passions, and excitements) ever so powerfully mirrored in their works, it concretizes emotions that vicariously speak through their audience. Prado’s solo show made of fourteen artworks is very reminiscent of those emotions—raw and documented, striking yet humble.

Notes by Grace Micah Oreiro