By: Jeannie E. Javelosa
The visual arts is the truest physical expression of Man’s values, beliefs and culture. It reflects in form and color the state of humankind’s consciousness in that time. Many have expressed art through the generations but the existing art today that still stands, are recognized as national and international treasures of the world, have the mastery and perfection, the refinement of style, philosophical and powerful meanings and themes, dynamic innovations and majestic proportions. These are the masterpieces of our world and our race.
These major art pieces are created by Artists of significance, artist who, through time, are able to present a changing body of work reflective of their own personal growths and styles. These are the artists who have dedicated their life to the refinement of their art and to the spirit of creativity. In their pursuit, they themselves have become timeless…Michelangelo and Benvenuto Cellini, Van Gogh, Rodin, Picasso, and locally, Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, Fabian de la Rosa, Botong Francisco the great muralist, Guillermo Tolentino the sculptor.
Many artistic practitioners are good but works are often decorative in traditionally accepted forms. While the price of their works are fixed and situated within a time and society, the difference with works of the Master Artist is that these transcend locality, are enormously expensive and in time, become priceless.
To distinguish serious artists are their dedication in the pursuit of the refinement of their art/craft, their lifetime standards to contribute to their field of artistic expression, and not merely the material or financial returns that their art can bring. Their works during exhibitions are put to public scrutiny, open to critics to respond to and analyze their body of works in which their importance is gauged, their levels of accomplishments defined and set. Works of the Master Artist are highly celebrated, collected, and become national treasures.
Very few national artists reach international acceptance and command respect and admiration. More such acknowledgement goes to such a Master Artist living and practicing away in a country without strong global communication, promotions and publicity like the Philippines. Thus, most of our National Artists are only known locally. However, Eduardo Castrillo who has exhibited extensively and has produced commissioned works abroad for the last forty years of his artistic life.
His monumental works, as well as the smaller gallery pieces and sculptured art jewellery are celebrated in national and international landscapes, historical sites and cultural institutions, corporate landscapes, important museums, homes of respected art collectors, are highly published and hailed by art critics both her and abroad. His work, especially his historical and cultural monuments around the country, have been cited as exemplary and fitting for their educational content and value and are widely acknowledged as aiding in helping educate the Filipino people.
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