Award-winning Fil-Spanish sculptor debuts at London art fair

by Patrick Camara Ropeta, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at May 24 2012 10:36 AM | Updated as of May 25 2012 02:36 AM

LONDON - A Filipino-Spanish artist exhibited his work in England for the first time at an international art fair in the capital, following his successful exhibits in other parts of Europe.

Sculptor Raimundo Folch showcased his work at the Parallax Art Fair in Chelsea, a curated exhibit of contemporary artists from around the world across various disciplines including painting, photography and sculpture.

“England is always a good place for art, especially London. For a curriculum it sounds good, and you always try a market to see if your pieces are accepted,” he told ABS-CBN Europe.

The 52-year-old artist exhibited three of his works at Chelsea Town Hall in West London, including a majestic figure of a horse and chariot, a gentle woman and child, and a surreal galloping horse with wings.

“Raimundo’s sculptures are strong. It’s great to have him on board, and we’d like to have him back for another one. We’ve had a really high quality this time around. This is the fourth we’ve done, so as we get more established, it just keeps getting better each year,” said Kyle Gregg, exhibition manager at Barlow Fine Art Ltd, which organized the fair.

The Filipino-Spanish sculptor has been exhibiting his work in Spain for several years and, since 2010, he also started to participate in art fairs in Germany and France.

In 2011, his work was featured at the Carrousel du Louvre International Painting and Sculpture Exposition in Paris, where one of his pieces entitled “Sea Deity” was awarded the Baumel-Schwenck Prize, the highest distinction in sculpture from the French National Society of Fine Arts.

“Sea Deity was inspired by a simple graffiti line sprayed by someone on the wall near my studio. I really couldn’t believe it when I won. It’s a big achievement because France is an authority in art, where a lot of fashion and art come from. A prize from Paris has a lot of distinction,” he recalled.

Folch describes his style as a “synthesis” of various artistic movements, from classical Greek and Roman, to art deco and baroque, to surrealism and expressionism.

“It begins in my mind. I first have an inspiration which is what they call the ‘pareildolia’ effect, a process in which you see figures of animals or people in clouds and stains. I have a very imaginative mind,” he explained.

“I want to make movement in my sculptures. That’s one the characteristics of my work. If it’s a woman, for example, you can see the hair and clothes flowing in the wind. I’m fascinated by the expression of the body and its poise, but it must be graceful.”

His work is also influenced by surrealist master Salvador Dali, an artist he admires and can identify with since his early years as an artist.

“When Dali was a boy, he was saying that he can see the Lourdes in the teeth of his auntie because of the stain. And I understand him, because I also have an imaginative mind,” he said.

Folch has been living in Valencia since the age of 15. Born in Manila, he moved to the Spanish city with his parents and eventually studied at the School of Arts and Trade of Valencia, as well as the Manises School of Ceramics.

“Valencia has a big influence in my development. It is a land of artists and we have great arts schools there, and also ceramics, and materials for making ceramics, and that’s why all my pieces are made of ceramics.”

After London, Folch is planning to bring his work in New York and Manila. He lives and works in Spain with his wife and their children.