Painter Rommel Rico in a fundraising project.
Caveat’s Oscar correspondent and New York-based painter Rommel Rico recently came to town to brave the pandemic to personally push his ongoing advocacy for children with HIV / AIDS.
Shortly before that, Rico concluded a one-man virtual painting exhibition titled “Salamat Frontliners” under the auspices of VIRRCO Virtual Art, the UP College of Medicine Class of ’97, and Film Arts. This was hosted by Giselle Toengi and highlighted by artists led by âCrystal Voice of Asiaâ Sheryn Regis with Rachel Alejandro, Jerome Amanquiton, Louie Roa and a local Zyruz Imperial, also a film actor.
Another reason for the painter’s return to his roots is to film his mythical hometown, the island of Sibuyan, in the province of Romblon; its rich biodiversity of flora and fauna is scientifically recorded and more than fifty species are found nowhere else in the world under the banner of the endemic “Nepenthes sibuyanensis”, a one-of-a-kind pitcher plant.
The island of Sibuyan has never been connected to any part of the Philippine archipelago since its formation, which is why it is called the âGalapagos of Asiaâ.
It sounds like another Andy Warhol making a controversial crossover from his canvas to film medium, including the social media surfaces that Rico is also concerned about. Like Warhol, he adopted the innovative technology of historical sublimation arts where his pictorial works are incorporated into textiles, clothing, accessories ranging from shawls to ties, bags to laptop sleeves, wall decorations to glasses, etc. for practical use.
Rico’s germinal paintings – mostly acrylic on canvas – are refracted in his semi-figurative abstractions from the tangible essence and charm of his childhood years on an island known for its crystal-clear waters, sunny coastal facades, unspoiled countryside. , simple and sustainable life of the fishermen of the village, and his favorite subject – women.
These images are rendered in brilliant abstractions and lyrical images of fully clothed nubile women from the past (including her grandmother) in colorful native costumes meandering at their feet chatting merrily and going through early morning labor for sell large catches of stirred fish harvested by men or their husbands in the village; these are contained in native handcrafted baskets, fixed above their sturdy heads.
It’s the painter’s way of re-imagining abundant and haunting memories of strong and charming women of the house through several rich creations in his host city, New York.
Early on, his solo exhibition in the lobby of Pfizer’s headquarters, 42nd St., New York, caught the attention of art critics and aficionados for his unique brush works that were endowed with dye and dye. ‘a distinct synthesis of Mediterranean allure and “tropical oriental brillo”. . “
As stated, Filipino children who are suffering from the aforementioned health condition through âProject Duyanâ under the Project Red Ribbon Care Management Foundation, Inc. are the beneficiaries of the proceeds of Contemporary Artworks, at Rico’s fashion and laptops in limited editions available at www.virrco.net
Rico, who is a nurse by profession, streamlined his advocacy, saying it has opened doors for him to become proactive through the arts with the deplorable situations of Filipino children living with a health problem who are forced to do so. lost in health centers. for adults with the same affliction.
Marginalized families in this state have found it much more difficult to care for their children; this in the sense of keeping the secret of the diagnosis of children and to face the stigmatization and prejudices due to the lack of information.
Rico added: âThere is a need for us to take our educational and therapeutic role with these families to help them develop effective child care programs and strategies with the cooperation of schools and other care agencies to help them develop effective child care programs and strategies. build an inclusive social support network or system around the child with HIV / AIDS. “
Before long, Rico will be back in New York early next year for another round of exciting and hysterical predictions among those who âwill winâ and âshould winâ the nominees for the upcoming 2022 Oscars.