The work of art you’re looking at is only 40% of what it actually is. It’s called the artistic residual. The major part of it is about the artist. Understanding his inner landscape, which is mostly emotion, is knowing his art.
My family insisted that I studied medicine but I fought it out. I knew that I’m an artist and I wasn’t going to be anything else. So with scholarships here and there I made it through UP Fine Arts. It is important for an artist to really know his subject, and where he came from. Mine have roots in my sentiments against the Marcos which eventually evolved into love for country. The fact that I was very poor and angry was clearly rejected there. It was a big bank of emotions which I whipped hard into canvas that delivered the message: Love your country because you are a Filipino. I love reading Philippine History and all of my works reject this. I love creating artworks that reject the Filipino traits both the good and the bad. I bring art materials everywhere I travel. It’s a dedication, which is really important as an artist. All my figures are painted straight on to canvas. A study will just interrupt the energy. In a sense, the should is lost—like being buried in a deep dark labyrinth and painting is how I get out. It starts with chaotic graphite pencil lines, shapes and gures on canvas. I let it grow free. Then the nal painting just shows itself. God gives that to you. I’ve spent more than thirty years as a professional painter; created at least twelve solo shows and they were all about country. As an artist, I watch my country through art. This country is a beautiful place.