Camille De La Rosa is daughter of the late great painter Ibarra Y. De La Rosa and humanities and art history professor Ethel Dimacuha, also a visual artist. Perhaps aware of the then pathetic plight of artists, Ibarra purposely did not encourage Camille to pursue her own artistic vision. He did not teach her how to paint, nor expose her to the art world he circulated in. Upon his demise in 1998, Camille nevertheless followed her heart and decided to become a painter. Ethel provided Camille with much needed support and encouragement. As constant observer, Ethel taught Camille the basics of painting, as the young artist started to produce art like her father, possibly in the style reminiscent of the French Impressionists. The noted artist Ben Francisco would be credited for Camille’s ultimate development as a painter, as a visual artist. He introduced her to the vast world of painting and gave her a dose of art theory, accompanied by various techniques in drawing and painting. Camille’s intense ambition to create a style of her own inspired her then to paint incessantly.
WITH a non-formal yet consistent artistic education outside of the College of Fine Arts, Camille developed her own style without the logical guidance of academic instructors, imposed and forced upon their students. Neither was she programmed systematically in the creation of art from basic lines, the production of forms and the use of color, to composition, to the development of artistic concepts, artist style and artistic expression. Education states that one must learn the rules in order to break them. Greater artists need not even know the rules, so there is nothing to break.
PROLIFIC is distinctively Camille’s trademark. She has had 15 solo exhibitions from the time she was only 16 years of age till she became 26 last year. This incessant production is further compounded by participation in over 50 group exhibitions here and in Asia and Europe. In the absence of formal education in the Fine Arts, that amount of art making in 10 years can surely replace 5 or 6 years of academic study. In her early career, Camille produced spontaneously and exhibited her landscapes, flowers, gardens, churches, portraits, nudes, people in various endeavors, and her abstracts. Her collectors continued patronizing whatever she produced. Yet suddenly in her 8th year as artist, she became restless and an urge to get out of the doldrums besieged her. She felt the gnawing call to unravel her real psyche.
To be able to appreciate the surreal, one must see the ultimate reality: the interweaving of societal and personal events, the conflicting philosophies, and the universalities and particularities of some ideas or theories. Since the surreal is the material representation of the sub and the unconscious, it is perfect to use as a tool in meditating on some aspects of being human: the capacity to discern what is right from wrong, the beneficial and the detrimental.
I’m Inspired and fascinated with the marvels of the human anatomy. How the skeleton serves as scaffolding that supports our internal organs; the complexity of the work of the brain; the phenomenal wisdom of the digestive and excretory systems; and the taken-for-granted automatic functions of the body. I have considered the idea of putting them as the base of my works because they reveal the amazing hand of God, which I find marvelous and beautiful. For me, the bones and skulls do not only symbolize death, but also eternity, the resurrection of the pure soul. I juxtapose them in a strange and illogical way that reflect certain realities of our world, based on my own observation of the society, both the positive and the negative: the reign of greed, non-compassion, non-empathy, lack of love, the desire of belongingness to ever indifferent world. These bring up the images from my subconscious mind.
- Camille Dela Rosa