Born in Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Justiniani established himself as an artist-activist in the late 1980s to the early 2000s by being part of artist collectives Artista ng Bayan or ABAY, Salingpusa, Sanggawa and the short-lived Sakay group. His early paintings portray a cross section of Philippine society, from the rural to the urban masses, often depicting them in sentimental if not humorous contexts. This approach at once differentiated him from the local Social Realist movement whose highly charged protest pieces characterized much of Filipino activist art, and pervaded the practice of Philippine painting following the end of the Marcos regime in 1986. In fact Justiniani defied the trends and expectations of his work and towards the end of the 1990s he forayed beyond painting and produced constructions using mirrors, glass and stainless steel. Yet his range of subjects remained critical of Philippine post-colonial culture and politics. He is also known for his paintings on wood panels, most of which are lyrical, folk and poetic compositions that delved into personal issues that are often illustrative in nature.
Justiniani undertook a five-year sojourn in the US in the first half of 2000 and it was during this time that he began to refocus his attention from an ideological/philosophical perspective for a more “scientific” inquiry into nature of representing reality, and the issues of perception where the divide and the conjunction of virtual and actual are highlighted. At the same time, the artist also studied and produced sculptural work and in combination with mirrors, reflective surfaces and light, he created diorama-type assemblages that explored the perceptual nuances of infinities and depth. While still in touch with his Marquezian magical realist style, Justiniani engages himself with the notion of Superposition, “where one thing exists in several places at once or a multitude occupying one position.”
The artist has widely exhibited his works in shows in the Philippines as well as in Fukuoka, Copenhagen, Brisbane, Sydney, Singapore, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Jakarta among others. His work appears in several private and public collections. He received the prestigious 13 Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1994. He lives and works in Paranaque City, Manila.