San Diego artist to exhibit ‘Leftovers’ in Angeles, Pampanga
The doll looks eerie with its bald head, uncertain smile and large eyes that seem to follow Raul “Paul” Del Mundo’s every move. He picks up the doll lying on the dusty concrete near the studio where he works. He looks at the speeding cars wondering if someone had thrown it.
Del Mundo takes the doll home to transform it into an artwork, which will soon become one of the exhibits at the American Pikinisan at Museo ning Angeles in Angeles City, Philippines this coming Feb. 18-27.
Raul “Paul” Del Mundo, is a San Diego based artist and graphic arts designer at Strategic Operations, Inc. (STOPS) owned by Stu Segall, a television and movie producer.
“My arts are mixed media. There is no such thing as useless. I can transform thrash like pieces of iron, wood, colored bottles, etc. into artworks,” Del Mundo says.
He also frequents swap meet or flea markets to look for things he fancies to complement his art material.
Del Mundo fondly recalls that his early artworks were found on the walls of his childhood home in Angeles, Pampanga. He made posters in grade school. The first of his many exhibits happened during recess when he would do drawings on the soil while the students looked on.
He became serious in art in high school at Holy Angel University. He started with charcoal portraits. Robert Odejar, a member of the Pampanga Artists Guild (PAG), taught him proper shading. His first group exhibit with PAG was in 1994 at Tarlac Museum.
“All the members of PAG are my idols, like Edille Paras and Lorina Capitulo-Tayag to mention some. Jose Tence Ruiz another multimedia artist also influenced me. They are not traditional artists using paints and brushes. Instead they continue to develop and experiment using different materials,” Del Mundo says.
However, Del Mundo relates that when he joined PAG and changed his medium, his family said that his works were “horrifying.”
To each his own
Artists have their own processes and styles and work with their hearts and minds, imbuing their works with emotion.
Del Mundo believes in the universality of art. He does not see his work as specifically Filipino or Kapampangan. Although, he does not claim to be unique when it comes to mixed media, those who are familiar with his works can immediately recognize a “Paul Del Mundo.”
He does not have anything in mind when he collects “thrash” for his art. He also considers his art as a consuming vice that needs to be fulfilled.
“My style has an element of surrealism though it’s revolves around social realism. Colors range from earthy tones to dark themes in order to convey the message,” he explains.
Del Mundo has joined group exhibitions since 1996. His works were exhibited in Museo de Tarlac, Museo ning Angeles, UP Vargas, Cultural Center of the Philippines and at Zepf Art Gallery in San Diego, California.
Coming to America
Six years ago Del Mundo immigrated to America, petitioned by his wife. He was lucky to land a job that is related to his interest. STOPS makes state-of-the arts props like foods, animal carcasses and guns for various television and movie productions in Hollywood.
The only Filipino in the company, Del Mundo worked with four other artists assigned to different props. Noting his artistry, the four employees were dismissed and he was left to do all the props with only a helper.
“It is difficult to apply if you do not have a diploma and no connections. I finished a two-year computer course. There is a lot of competition. For example, some other immigrants would accept even the lowest wage just to get jobs. It was just through sheer talent and confidence that I was able to work here,” Del Mundo relates.
In making props, Del Mundo says everything must be “exact” especially the colors, which are mixed with the help of computer programs. He proudly says that as an artist he can manually mix colors without the aid of machines or computers.
“I learned so many techniques in the studio which are helpful in developing my art,” Del Mundo says.
Pikinisan is a Kapampangan term for leftovers. When the US bases were still in Clark and in Subic, Del Mundo recalls that rejected parts of cold cuts, bacon bits, uneaten or leftover hotdogs and week-old burgers would be saved by many Filipino workers to feed their families. The leftovers were then cooked again and made into another viands. This practice became the basis of Del Mundo’s art.
“Selling art is just one perk of an artist, but it should not be the only motivation. Instead, make art for art’s sake,” Del Mundo’s advice to young artist.
“It feels good when your work is appreciated because people like your style. If you make art just to make money, your work no longer has heart and soul,” Del Mundo states.
American Pikinisan at Museo ning Angeles in Angeles City, Philippines will open on February 18-27, 2017.
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