Camille Dela Rosa, Visual Artist
  by Paul Blanco Zafaralla  
  Manila Bulletin  
  October 14, 2012  

"…these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignitaries." (Jude 8 KJV)

These virtues form the paradigm of Camille Delarosa's 19th Solo Exhibit at The Big Room of Art Informal Gallery.

This self-created paradigm challenged the artist's powerful intellection on her show's title, "Dominion," which is an eternal Biblical verity; how she brought her heart into the distillation/deconstruction of the multiple semiotics above the phantasmagoric language of surrealism; and how her hands moved as she "bled" her surreal figures all over each canvas. Clearly, her head, heart and hands operated with depth and dexterity to reveal her as a thinking and feeling artist - truly her raiment of distinction.

Today's cyber age has alienated many people worldwide from God whose dominion is all over, timely and timeless. And for this, people must "bless the Lord.." (Ps. 103:32)

The polarity between theism and atheism is clarified and resolved in "Pandeism." The Lord sits above the half, his right hand raised in a gesture of peace and blessing, as his left hand holds the staff securely. God's centrality takes off from Mt. 18:20 where the Lord says: "When two or more are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

Fowls and flat stones surround the Lord, as a sheepdog stands at his feet. The images below the half symbolize life after death, with four saints without haloes representing the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They have replaced St Paul and St. Peter who adorn the façade of numerous Catholic churches in the Philippines.

In "The Messiah" the hooded St. Peter, with seven Gothic-like mini-arches for a halo, is identified by his cock whose head is undergoing deconstruction, as penitent begins a grotesque deconstruction likewise from the head. The eclectic basilica on the left side rises in full glory against a background without visual impediments. The basilica, being a house of prayer, stands solid and strong and sovereign.

Man's subterranean world is both a metaphor and a release from society-imposed modalities of morality. The three mature and central figures, more androgynous than feminine, carry a metaphoric world rendered skeletal. Urchins enjoy life in the company of the denizens of the deep in various anatomical distortions. Sunlight penetrates the aquamarine sea - enough to depict underwater life sans bubbles, as "Guardians of the Cosmic Orb" shows.

Modern day Adams and Eves are locked in scorching mutual release of eros. Never mind if Adam now has the head of a frog. Above ground and underwater figures in opposing directions within an oval observe the two quasi-human figures as they take heed of God's command to the "great whales, and every living creature that moved to be fruitful, and multiply…" (Gen. 1:21-22).

The play of light on "Guardians of the Cosmic Orb" and "Cosmic Seeding" funs counter to what obtains in the natural world. But the artist relied on the fact that God's ways are not man's ways (Isa.55.8). Furthermore, with God, nothing is impossible (Lk.1:37). Dela Rosa was able to discern these facts which form parts of the Lord's dominion over all things and mankind.

Moses in "The Secret Lore" is the appropriate symbol of trust gone awry when people, started adoring a golden calf. Michelangelo provided the semiotic from which Dela Rosa depicted five faces instead of Moses' long, flowing beard in the original sculpture.

Moses turns his face leftward, for to him the people had become "goats" or "lefteous" before God. The woman-calf carries multiple symbols - either dichotomized or in confluence. The Egyptian pyramid has an eye near the top, while the universal church is crowned with a cross. The Egyptian eye means light (Ra) just as the Lord is Light (1 Jn, 1:15). The pyramid and the church are joined - pictorial and symbolic arguments for the blessings unity and ecumenism bring to mankind.

Underwater creatures are out in the open where a boy meets them with a staff crowned with a skeletal globe in 'The Conspiracy". This emits oneness in a dichotomized world where God reigns supreme.

Dela Rosa proved that ideas take pre-eminence in determining significance as an artist worthy of the label. Contemporary Philippine art is the richer for it.


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