People That You Meet Around Town
Meet Artist Dave Parker, also known as Hugo Sheridan
There is certainly no shortage of characters running around Angeles City. Occasionally you run into a few who are actually doing fascinating things with their life and not just telling tall tales around the bar.
Hugo Sheridan, also known to some as Dave Parker, is, like a lot of us, no stranger to bars but he is also an accomplished painter. And the reason I bring him up in the sports pages here is that Hugo has a certain fascination with boxing, especially Manny Pacquiao.
It could be that the London born Hugo shares the same birthday with Pacman, December 17. Or it could also be that, like a lot of us who have been a part of the Philippines for many years, he fell in love with the whirling dervish of a fighter who came from nothing and became a worldwide legend.
It’s probably a bit of both. Hugo lived and worked in Hong Kong as an artist for nearly 25 years and began visiting the Philippines in the late 1980’s. In the early 1990’s he took notice of this fero- cious boxer who laid waste to everyone in his path. Over the last few years, Hugo has taken to honoring Pacman before his big ghts with the likes of Marquez, Bradley and Mayweather by producing a slew of incredible oversized paintings of Pacquiao and some of his more noteworthy opponents.
I have been lucky enough to know Hugo for several years and have seen his paintings up close. These are no ordinary paintings done by street artists out to make a quick buck off of the Filipino hero. With amazing detail Hugo captures the very essence of the warrior spirit that makes Pacquiao so fascinating.
In one painting a giant Pacman unleashes his powerful left hook and you can literally feel the punch move through the air and the sweat y o of Manny’s flying hair. In another, Hugo presents Pacquiao in a pensive mood with his hands pressed together giving thanks to a higher power. Then he portrays the wild child Pacquiao throwing a vicious right upper cut.
Hugo has also produced some terri c oversized paintings of Tim Bradley, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao’s arch nemesis, Juan Manuel Marquez. With his obvious talent and eye for detail, it’s easy to compare Hugo to the legendary American painter Leroy Neiman, who made his name painting in and around boxing in the 1970’s and 80’s.
In all Hugo says he has produced nearly 20 oversized boxing related paintings, with three fourths of them featuring his hero Pacquiao as the subject. Interestingly hardly anyone outside of Hugo’s friends has seen this amazing collection. He paints for the love of it and to express his fascination with the great Pacman.
“He came from nowhere and captivated his people,” Hugo said explaining his attraction to Pacquiao. “He’s a street fighter. He fights for his people. I’ve watched him since way back when he began ghting in the early 1990’s. He’s got an incredible energy and as an artist, I just vibe him. I feel the energy. And when I paint him there’s a lot of energy. It’s like a workout where you fight with the canvass. Painting Manny Pacquiao is sexy.”
Hugo has never met his hero and frequent subject but hopes that one day the Filipino great will get a chance to see the body of work that this British artist has produced. Right now, the entire Hugo Sheridan boxing collection sits in storage somewhere in Angeles City. Hugo says he has several interested buyers who have expressed interest in obtaining the entire collection. Hugo Sheridan has certainly produced a chunk of boxing history on a grand scale. This is a collection of art that belongs in a serious collectors’ gallery.
Scroll below for more pictures!
*If you would like to contact Hugo Sheridan please email him at [email protected] To see some of his artwork up close, visit Frontera Tex Mex restaurant on Don Juico Ave near the Clarkton. The owner commissioned Hugo to produce a series of paintings featuring old American western themes. The results which hang on the walls of Frontera are nothing short of astounding. Check them out while sipping a margarita. You won’t be disappointed.
*Ted Lerner is the author of the classic book “Hey, Joe—a slice of the city, an American in Manila,” as well as the book of Asian travel essays, “The Traveler and the Gate Checkers.”
He also works in professional boxing as a writer and ring announcer, and professional billiards as a writer and TV commentator. He has lived in the Philippines for 21 years.