The Master of Murals


March 27, 2017 | BY Shauna Popple Williams

Eduardo (Eddy to his friends) Herrera puts his paints and brushes down for a candid chat with Shauna Jay Popple Williams about art, life and where he is headed in this Philippine Tatler exclusive

Eduardo Herrera.JPGEduardo Zobel | Photo by Mon Mangila

The world is Eduardo Zobel’s stage. No matter the medium through which the irrepressible artist wishes to express himself – whether riding waves or rolling his sleeves up for one of his mural masterpieces – he’s just annoyingly natural at it all. And like a true blue artist, it doesn’t matter if he’s an audience or not.

Herrera's %22Panther%22 for The Social.JPG

Zobel's Panther for The Social | Photo by Mon Mangila

Zobel grew up in vivacious Madrid, schooled in cool Cali (he is a Design graduate from the University of San Francisco), lived a laid back albeit charmed life in Costa Rica and recently moved indefinitely back to the Philippines so he could delve into the two things he loves most: surfing and art.

A with-it project, The Social, which is set to open the end of April has provided Zobel with an avenue to explore the latter. Established by co-proprietors Mike Kerveillant and Andie Ngan, The Social pitch is to provide a casual cool “come one, come all” environment where everyone can converge and share well-crafted food and drinks. The establishment, which is located in the über hipster Poblacion comprises five spaces: a pop-up (which local but global apparel brand Piopio is confirmed for) as well as a yet-to-be revealed bar and three restaurant spaces. 

The Social co-owner Mike Kerveillant with Herrera on the rooftop bar .JPGThe Social co-owner Mike Kerveillant with Zobel on the rooftop bar |  Photo by Mon Mangila

Herrera describes himself as adventurous, kinaesthetic and ecstatic and finds it important to possess acumen and wit.JPG

Zobel describes himself as adventurous, kinaesthetic and ecstatic and finds it important to possess acumen and wit | Photo by Mon Mangila

As such, the talented Mr. Zobel was contracted to paint murals throughout the spaces of The Social, the main mural being done (as seen in the work-in-progress images as well as the finished artwork) and the rest shall be unveiled in the bar and restaurants once open.

Watch The Social space….but first, a chat with the artist:

Philippine Tatler: What are your passions besides art?

Eduardo Zobel: Surf, the ocean and music.

PT: Describe your style (art and personal). 

EH: In roots and origin, it is elegant and clean. In life, free. Professionally, I have recently been changing my line of work from digital art to mural painting. In fine arts, it is a mixture of urban and traditional.

PT: How did you transition from a background in business and end up fully immersing yourself in art?

EH: After a year and half of business school. I realised that I was a very creative person. Pursuing art had never crossed my mind in terms of a professional career. I was conscious that with whatever you do in life, to a certain degree, you are going to have to deal with business matters. However, I decided that a creative approach would benefit me in every aspect. 

PT: What medium (or media) do you prefer to work with?

EH: I enjoy all of the fine art mediums. acrylics, oils, spray cans – they all have their own personality and are extremely fun once you get to know them. Regarding the media, working on canvas in the studio is always good as you have a controlled environment. However, painting outdoors is extraordinary!

PT: Tell us about the first mural you painted and what the design meant to you.

EH: I have had the chance to work in many fields, writing, photography, designing, and film, however, I believe one of the biggest challenges in an artist’s life is focusing on something specific. When the time came to start painting the murals, I found comfort in traditional tattoo art as a root from which to learn and get inspired. The symbolism for the panther is powerful and protective. It is also a symbol of courage and valour.


Click on the gallery above to see the work in progress | Photos: Courtesy of Maria del Sol Rojas

PT: What inspires you and / or your art?

EH: Life, women, culture, creativity, and the intangible laws of nature. 

PT: You’re working on this amazing new project called The Social. Tell me about this.

EH: The entrepreneurs in command of this incredible project are Mike Kerveillant and Andie Ngan. Their focus is converting a space located on Ebro Street, Poblacion, into a unique and open food, music and art court gathering some of the finest cuisines in the city in one space, The Social. I created the mural and will be working on the those inside the establishments.

PT: What was your inspiration for The Social’s mural and how long did it take? What about the those you’re about to tackle?

EH: My girl at the time, Sol, was my inspiration. She helped me and guided me into the world of traditional tattoo art. I have just finished the first mural. The full process took over a month including my leave of absence for two weeks to paint another mural. 

PT: What is your mantra?

EH: Ganpati Gayatri mantra.

PT: What possessions do you most treasure? 

EH: Photographs.

PT: Dream job? 

EH: Freelance artist.

PT: Where will Eduardo Zobel be in 10 years?

EH: I will let you know in ten years!