Bagong Bayani Awardee Brought Glory and Pride Again to Milan-based Pinoys

MILAN, Italy – 2007 Bagong Bayani Awardee for Arts and Culture Richard Gabriel proved once again that he is more than  deserving to receive such award when he wowed  Filipinos and Italians alike with his sculptural  works of art and masterpieces  which  were  unveiled  during a one-man exhibit held at  Studio Tolomeo, Via Gianonne, 6 last December 1, 2010.

The exhibit dubbed as “Cinderella between Fetish and Zen” is a collection of  ceramics shoes of different shapes, color and sizes. Each has its own and unique story.

Gabriel’s natural interest and curiosity for the arts led him to immerse himself deeper to this  artistic endeavor. He came to Italy in 1989 and took several art courses such as Corso Libero del Nudo  and   corso di incisione e di ornate.His natural talents and giftedness in sculpture was honed  when he worked as assistant in 1998  to Carla Tomolomeo,  one of Italy’s renowned contemporary artists.

Tolomeo did not only bring Gabriel  along with her to different international exhibits but also made sure that  his name is also indicated in  different art catalogues.

Tolomeo who has also assumed the role of a mother to Gabriel and  his  family in Italy,  inspired and pushed  Gabriel to reach the pedestal where he is now.  

Gabriel’s exposure to the world of ceramics, on the other hand, began in 2009 when he worked in  Pietrasanta  for a  marble and  ceramics factory  and where he was introduced to Massimo Gentile of  Francesconi’s studio. Naturally gifted that he is, Gabriel easily found himself into the circle of qualified artists in the said studio. In there, Gabriel began  to take serioulsy his craft and started creating his masterpieces.

Gabriel said  that he chose shoes for his subject because it is our shoes that bring us to where we would want to be. It is also our shoes that support us in   bearing  our burdens and aids us in our effort to remain standing despite the test of times. Gabriel added further that it is through the shoes which a person wear that we could have a glimpse as to the kind of occupation he has or the destination he wants to reach.  

Gabriel who was born on  Decembre 16, 1964 in  Arayat, Pampanga is married to  Josephine Sonza and father to their three children. (Zita Baron)

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