Born in Tarlac, the artist has nevertheless spent his entire life in Antipolo, a hillside pilgrimage town in the east that overlooks the sprawl of metropolitan Manila. The fact of his location and environment has been part and parcel of the artist's life - and consequently his art. A founding member of the Antipolo-based artist group Salingpusa, Montemayor has been active in the local community of artists; first, as a collaborator for projects and works among local painters and peers; and later as mentor to a younger group of artists who would also
achieve renown for their own work.
An important aspect of Montemayor's art is the influence of the painter's location and abode - a pervasive character on many of his works. The artist often takes the image of the city seen from the vantage point of Antipolo, a hilly town, almost 200 meters above sea level, overlooking the sprawl of the city of Metromanila. His iconic “Bayan” series exemplifies what was a critical and curious steady state of urbanization that took place
in key cities in the Philippines in the 1990's.
The painter would persist working in this series until the mid-2000's, even to a point where he represents the city as occupying a whole planet, a global village. His canvases often feature the artist's active brushwork, defined by a combination of long and short strokes of paint,
often in strong hues of warm colours.
His canvases would also feature the artist's active brushwork, defined by a combination of long and short strokes of paint, often in strong hues of warm colours. The painter would persist working in this series for a decade, even to a point where he would represent the city as occupying a whole planet, a global village.
In 2010, the artist moved from a brighter palette to a more monochromatic, yet starker black-and-white one. His subject has also changed from depictions of a town in still-life into evocations of action in games and competitions, such as triathlons or races. Yet his frenetic brushwork prevails, this time in fluid acrylic, and in textural surfaces that show the fury of action
and the intensity of effort.
In 1994, Montemayor received the prestigious 13 Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines. His work can be found in the Singapore Art Museum and
the Pinto Art Museum collections.
Mist defines a lone figure carrying an umbrella and a case, possibly a medical doctor, trekking through a storm as he moves, round after round (pardon the pun!), again and again in circles. If one were to dwell more specifically, we note the artist’s continuous reference to Manila as a city below, as he overlooks it from his vantage point in Antipolo, his hometown and a city that sits almost 200 meters above Metropolitan Manila;
Ferdinand Montemayor’s Alitaptap (Fireflies) is represented by a single white sphere topped by an almost discernible tree and a figure resting underneath it, with a bicycle strewn aside. Part of Montemayor's Globo series, the painting gives a relatively playful viewpoint of a disconnected world belying the crazed nervework beneath one’s personal utopia; rising above the world’s twists and turns, snarls, knots and snags.