Carv­ing eggs

Sun.Star Davao - - FRONT PAGE - By Stella A. Estremera

HE was 40 when he tried his hands on creat­ing art, and this should in­spire us to try any­thing long af­ter col­lege. He wasn't even as­pir­ing to be an artist at that time, he was merely look­ing around for some­thing to aug­ment his in­come.

He was gifted a dozen os­trich eggshells in­stead.

Now, he is the only Filipino artist carv­ing os­trich eggs. They are not just your usual carv­ing at that, but in­tri­cately, and high­light­ing Filipino aes­thet­ics.

Danilo Rayos del Sol, who aside from hav­ing a me­mo­rial park as a busi­ness ven­ture in Taguig City, Metro Manila, is an Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee on Art Gal­leries (NCAG) of the Na­tional Com­mis­sion on Cul­ture and the Arts (NCAA) and is an artist over­all cu­ra­tor of ManilArt.

While a Filipino-Cana­dian who spent his youth in fam­ily-im­posed ex­ile in Canada af­ter get­ting in­volved in stu­dent ac­tivism in the Philip­pines, his fam­ily is in­ter­twined with the large Vil­la­fuerte clan of Davao City through the ma­tri­arch, Maria Ar­gana Rayos del Sol-Vil­la­fuerte from whom the Vil­la­fuerte clan of Davao that in­cluded the San Vi­cente, Fuentes, and Hi­lario sprung from.

He was among the throngs of Filipino-Cana­di­ans who went home to the Philip­pines upon the prom­ise of a tiger econ­omy un­der the Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Fidel V. Ramos in 1994, join­ing the likes of Ariel Rivera, Daphne Ocena Paez, and Tisha Si­lang. Be­ing busi­ness in­clined, he dab­bled in small busi­nesses aside from the Gar­den of Mem­o­ries Me­mo­rial Park and Chapels Inc. where he is the cor­po­rate sec­re­tary. Th­ese small busi­nesses, how­ever, went through rough wa­ters in 2005, he was look­ing for some other ac­tiv­i­ties to aug­ment his in­come.

Ac­tu­ally, it was a visit to the farm of Dante Ang that found him in pos­ses­sion of the eggshells.

"Niyaya niya ako sa farm niya where he has horses and os­triches and gi­ant goats, then parang pasalubong lang, he gave me a dozen eggshells," he said.

Like many pasalubongs, Rayos del Sol didn't know what to do with the eggs, and so he checked the In­ter­net and saw the carved eggs of Africa.

"I thought, I can also do that," he said. "Ac­tu­ally, I said, I can do bet­ter."

He or­dered his first carv­ing ma­te­ri­als also from the In­ter­net; the cheap kind.

He dab­bled into carv­ing, teach­ing him­self how, broke some, bought more and was ap­pre­ci­ated by a friend from Cou­ples for Christ who in­ci­den­tally owns Gallery­nine in Man­daluy­ong.

Af­ter see­ing his first works, this friend chal­lenged him to make 30 and promised to put up a one-man show for him if he does it.

"I took the chal­lenge. The rest is his­tory," Rayos del Sol said.

His first one-man ex­hibit was in 2007.

The cen­ter­piece of the fam­ily chapel in his house in Taguig is his Retablo dela Div­ina Mis­eri­cor­dia fea­tur­ing an in­tri­cately carved lat­tice Holy Cross, the Sto. Niño, Padre Pio Pi­etrel­cina, Pope John Paul II, San An­to­nio de Padua, Div­ina Mis­eri­cor­dia, St. Joseph, Mother Teresa of Cal­cutta, and the Mother of Per­pet­ual Help.

At the ManilArt last year, aside from the Mother and Child se­ries that were in in­di­vid­ual dis­play stands, was a col­lage de­pict­ing land­marks in Taguig City. His Di­wata se­ries in­cludes a cou­ple of Tik­balangs. Then the Bu­lols are a col­lec­tion of the dif­fer­ent North­ern Lu­zon rice gods.

His mantra that ev­ery late bloomer of an artist should get in­spi­ra­tion from: "Deal with your art with reck­less aban­don! Just go ahead, make mis­takes, undo, redo, start all over again and ex­per­i­ment un­til you find what you're happy with your work."

Now on his 11th year as a full-fledged artist, his eggs de­pict fig­ures and pat­terns both orig­i­nal and de­riv­a­tive folk iconog­ra­phy. He weaves metal and wood­craft to frame the eggs and cre­ate unique pieces that are very Filipino.

FRIENDS. The artist Danny Rayos del Sol with friends Kublai Mil­lan and cou­ple Bobby and Lani Jose. At left is the Mother of Per­pet­ual Help in the Retablo dela Div­ina Mis­eri­cor­dia (right).

ON EX­HIBIT. The artist ex­plain­ing his works.

TAGUIG DE­PICTED. Three of the six-egg sculp­tures about Taguig City fea­tures land­marks.

A FILIPINO FA­VORITE. The Di­vine Mercy at the Retablo dela Div­ina Mis­eri­cor­dia.

DI­WATA. His Di­wata se­ries show eggs that are carved through in in­tri­cate lat­tice works and in­cludes Tik­balang.

AT THE RETABLO. Padre Pio Pi­etrel­cina.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.