Creativity and passion defy the boundaries of age, bringing forth art that resonates deeply with people. Rolando Delos Santos, a septuagenarian artist, perfectly embodies this ethos. His evocative paintings transport us back to quieter, simpler times. His paintings, transcending time, invite viewers to a slower, more serene era.
Delos Santos takes center stage at ARTablado in Robinsons Galleria from June 1-15, showcasing a collection that paints tranquility in every stroke. His canvas comes alive with serene pastoral scenes, bursts of flowers, and intricate still life depictions featuring Chinese blue and white porcelain and detailed white tablecloths.
Born and raised in Tanay, Rizal, Delos Santos fell in love with drawing as a young boy, sketching out comic book illustrations. “In grade school, I would copy the illustrations in comic books. Most of the time, these tended to be human figures in action or at war.”
He drew inspiration from renowned comic illustrators such as F.C. Javinal, Nestor Redondo, and F.V. Conching. “I wanted to do what they were doing so I would copy their drawings.”
His artistic journey led him to study Fine Arts at Feati University, where he honed his distinct painting style. His work has been celebrated in numerous solo exhibits and acclaimed group shows, including “100 Years, 100 Artists” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
A notable commissioned project found Delos Santos painting 27 floral artworks that adorned the lobby of the Heritage Hotel Manila. This significant commission allowed him to build his own house. “I was able to have a house built from the commission I received for that project. I had been living in an apartment for five years before I was tapped by the hotel,” he said. Another cherished memory is when former First Lady Imelda Marcos purchased one of his paintings during a solo exhibit held in a department store in Makati.
His upcoming exhibit at ARTablado, aptly titled “Vision of Reality,” highlights the importance of an artist’s vision. It is this vision that gives life and color to everyday objects, creating vibrant images from the mundane. “From that singular vision, we are able to create images and pictures solely from our minds. It really depends on what you see as an artist and how you are able to bring those images to life. As artists, we gaze at the mundane, the everyday items and imbue color and meaning to them,” he shares.
To budding artists, Rolando offers sage advice: “Use your God-given talents wisely. Figure out what your passion is and stay the course. Even as a child I already knew what I wanted to do, and that was to make art.”
Being featured in renowned art books by Manuel Duldulao has extended his artistic reach. Delos Santos considers his feature in ARTablado a blessing, as it provides artists an avenue to showcase their talents without worrying about the financial aspects of holding an exhibit.
Established in 2020, ARTablado (a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado”) is Robinsons Land’s tribute to Filipino creativity and ingenuity. It empowers emerging and established artists to express themselves freely through art, paving the way for wider recognition of their talent and dedication. So far, ARTablado has hosted over 300 artists and numerous exhibitions.
Experience the timeless artistry of Rolando Delos Santos this June and immerse yourself in his captivating world where every brush stroke tells a story.