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Public Affairs

"Buhay na Obra" (Jay Taruc Documentary)

Episode on April 11, 2011 Monday after Saksi! How far would you go for art? For Alvin Zafra and Elito Circa, paintbrushes and pigments are tools they set aside to pursue more uncommon, even bizarre forms of art—those made from skulls and blood. Alvin was a UP Fine Arts student more than a decade ago. He recalls how he learned to express himself out of the box. Among his recognized yet controversial work so far is entitled “Number 80 versus Complex" for which he used a human skull as medium and sandpaper as his canvass. The artwork is now being displayed in the Osage Gallery in Hong Kong . His most recent work is called “Killing Box," for which he used live bullets to draw the portraits of slain journalists. Alvin believes he is transforming a negative element into something positive. Alvin says, “Making portraits of dead people is not fun. Killing Box is violence in a capsule like bullets in a shell. I turn ammunition into art." The portraits are now displayed in Quezon City ’s West Gallery. Elito Circa hails from Nueva Ecija. Unlike Alvin , Elito had no formal training in painting. When he was 7 years old, he found himself rummaging through his father’s things. With scraps of plywood and acrylic paints, he began his first painting. As he grew older, however, his art became more and more unusual. Elito painted during the dark days of his barangay in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija when the construction of the dam sub merge d the town’s houses including his own. The fate of the entire community is immortalized by his paintings, including his folklore hero called “Minggan," whom he reveres as a savior of his town. His more extreme art involves using his own blood to make paintings. The artist believes in reincarnation and says that when he is born again, he will recognize his own paintings through his blood. Take an art tour that’s beyond the ordinary. Jay Taruc’s “Buhay na Obra" airs Monday on I-Witness, after Saksi.