Let us introduce our first ever FEATURED PINOY in Travel Philippines Today (#IAmPinas) – Rommel Rico. He is a Filipino Abundance Artist who is based in New York City, USA.
Q: What is you inspiration with your artworks?
Rommel: Since I migrated to New York, I become hooked up with appreciating Filipino Culture and our heritage. I guess that’s what happens when you are away without your family and felt so far away from your country; you find endearment in anything Filipino. So I paint arts with Filipino women, their Filipiniana dresses, Filipino baskets – everything Filipino. They are really beautiful inspiration nonetheless. Knowing how we as Filipinos are easily influenced by other cultures, our heritage should really be captured in paintings to preserve it for future generation.
I also started with Abundance and blessings as a theme last year. It is my hope that whoever own my artworks in the future will be abundantly blessed. You will notice that it is recurring to see 8 people on my artworks, abundant baskets of fishes and happy faces. My inherent nature of wanting to be a blessing to others I guess is evidently showing in my works.
Q: What artworks do you consider as your masterpieces so far?
Rommel: I have two artworks that I consider my masterpieces. The “Abundance in the Marketplace” and “Abundance in the Sun”. Both have been in exhibit in Pfizer Headquarters lobby at 42nd St. New York and drew much curiosity and attention. They truly are crowd drawing and super interesting to look at. I didn’t realize that both looks very mediterranean- ish and drew curiosity from Italians and South American guests. Some wrote me an email about happy-esque effect it brought them when they saw the paintings. The “Abundance in the Sun” is still on
exhibit until Feb 2019.
Q: Which school did you took up fine arts?
Rommel: I didn’t go to university for fine arts. Looking back, I should have. My training really was during high school. I went to a vocational school and we have drafting/drawing class as elective subjects. Took up “Paguhit” as my major in 3rd year and 4th year, graduate with honors and took home the “best in Paguhit award.” Unfortunately the curriculum now has changed I believe and we don’t have the vocational school anymore in the Philippines. I was painting since high school then stopped in college, went back to it again when I was at the corporate world, but had major love affair with arts here in New York.
Q: What do you think influenced you to paint again?
Rommel: In New York, we have museum for everything. The most famous as you know are MET museum, MOMA – Museum of modern arts, Guggenheim Museum, they are full of huge artworks! Spending a day in any of these museums will truly inspire you and evoke the artist in you. Since I moved to New York, I have the whole Saturday and Sunday free. Visiting these museums has been my week end get away.
Q: How long do you finish an artwork and how often do you paint?
Rommel: I paint on my free time. I have a full time job from Monday to Friday but I have Saturday and Sunday for my artworks. I’m the kind of artist who always has a canvass on my easel stand all the time. Sometimes I start painting on my vision and eventually put the canvass away after two days and start on something new. So it really a matter of what my mood is. To give you an estimate, I finish after month or two for a single canvass. Very rarely do I finish a single artwork in one setting.
Q: How do you envision yourself in the future as an artist?
Rommel: I wanted to do more Filipiniana themed artworks and come up with an exhibit in the Philippines too. It may take time though because I’m working full time in New York and just do this as a hobby. But if it is part of God’s plan, who knows. I also wanted to study textile design and or print my artworks into silk or other textile for dresses, gowns, scarf, bags etc. I should look into that.
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