"Art is an expression. There are no bounderies. I explore the expression of a serious sculptural form in body adornment.
When is jewelry expressed in a serious manner...when it doesnt condone to any fashion trends...my sculptured art jewelry goes beyond fashion.They are miniatures of my monuments and vice-versa."
- Eduardo Castrillo
If you want to see the most original creations in the history of Philippine jewellery, don’t miss the Castrillo current exhibit…Castrillo first caught this writers attention when he came out with his medallion to inaugurate the Gardner Station of Meralco in 1969. We then commented that it was the breakthrough in local medallion art. Later he was commissioned to execute the medallion for the opening of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and it was not only the most beautiful medallion in Philippine numismatic history but the outstanding contribution of the much-vaulted Cultural Center of the Philippines.
By Former Secretary of Education Alejandro Roces
Eduardo Castrillo’s great reputation as a sculptor has eclipsed his prestige as a jeweller. Actually those of us who have followed his artistic career know that he was first a jeweller before he was a sculptor. It is a fact that many Italian Renaissance painters and sculptors were also the outstanding jewellers of their era. And even today, great artists such as Picasso, Dali, Calder, Moore, Giacometti, Mondrian, Chagall and many more created original jewelries. Castrillo’s jewelries are in this great tradition. What is amazing is the fact that Castrillo can work on such gigantic pieces as his PIETA and at the same time execute exquisite pieces of jewelry. Castrillo is the only original jeweller in the country today. Unlike other self-proclaimed local jewel-designers, his designs are not copies from the latest avant-garde jewelry magazines of Europe and the United States. His designs are original creations in the truest sense of the word. Each piece of jewelry is a unique work of art. He is the only jeweller whose pieces are worth collecting.
Secretary of Education Alejandro Roces
From the Brochure of 1971 Jewellery Show
They may not be as permanent and snooty as diamonds, but when you buy a Castrillo gem you don’t need to live forever, because all you’ve got to be is tall, statuesque, in, and very with-it. If you are looking at foreverness, perish the thought. Castrillo is pure now.
Pace Magazine, December 3, 1971
You have made me begin to doubt some long held views on art fro you seem to have successfully united sculpture and craftsmanship with a gain to each. Your jewellery enchants me.
Paul Weiss, American art critic, in a note to Castrillo in 1973
Only recently deciding that the world of fashion was fair game, he has gone into handcrafting jewellery fit for a sheik’s harem. His collection in the United States was such a success that he was persuaded to set up a boutique devoted exclusively to his jewellery. It is unmistakably stamped with his personal style and signature, an extension in mini-scale of his familiar craggy, assymetrical and angular freestanding and relief works … body sculptures. Whether they really enhance the body or the other way around, they are ready-to-wear mini-Castrillos intended to compliment every part of the human (female) anatomy/ earrings, noserings, finger-and-toe rings, bracelets, bras, thigh clasps, buckles and heaven-knows-what-next, chastity belts maybe …
Poet, art critic and curator Emmanuel Torres, 1974
Castrillo’s reference to his jewellery as “body sculpture” suggests to us how closely he links the medium to his monument making. He takes his jewellery designs just as serious as he does his sculptures. Allowing him greater room to play, jewellery is the wellspring of his more “serious” work.
In general the medium Castrillo favored for his jewellery is silver because, like his large brass metal sculpture, silver yields quite readily to the type of forms he is partial to shaping. Castrillo may also include other materials such as semi-precious stones. Unlike most commercial artisan-jewellers, however, he has never allowed the dazzle of a precious gem to take command of his creation. In fact, many interesting creations out of mundane objects such as seashells and natural minerals has been the basis of some of his works.
Far more than innovations in material for jewellery, however, Castrillo chose to explore the many ways to wear jewellery. Aside from toe rings and silver bras, Ed has fashioned slim silver metal designs which snake around; cling and wrap themselves around various parts of the body, crawling around the forearms, around the neck and probing the cleavage, down the back or up the thighs.
Alfredo Roces, from the monograph Breaking Out: An Eduardo Castrillo Sculptural Tour