I am a proud dressmaker’s son.
I was born on February 4, 1957, in the small town of Indang, Cavite. My visual images are distinctly an inheritance of my mother’s unique and intricate style and art in dressmaking. Growing up as a fatherless child in a small, rented shack in Pasay City I would run errands for my mother to buy her the buttons, cloth laces, linings, embroidered patterns and colorful sequences, threads, and varied fabrics that she laboriously works on day and night to support our family. My film and TV careers, my stage productions, and the TV commercials I shot and produced all, in some way or form, carry with them a part of my past—a colorful and vibrant childhood. Using loose discarded paper patterns and my mother’s tailor crayon, I would spend hours etching figures and shapes, much like she would do to create the most elaborate gowns and dresses for her rich Chinese clients. Each project I shoot, every proscenium space I create, and every canvas that I etch my signature on carry with them the DNA of my history as a child and that of my mother’s art.
My paintings always tell a story.
I don’t look at my work as creative design to complement a vacant space. I approach a piece of art as an expression of my deep emotions—of joy, pain, tragedy, adventure, and so on. Yes, I do plan my paintings, but like most of my more memorable works be it in theater, video, music, or canvas—the ones that appear without consciousness and intent are those that I treasure most.
I will always be a plebe in the world of Art.
I will never outgrow my childishness; there will be no moving up a ladder to become a learned master. Each single piece of my work will always be an imperfection, a disappointment, a failure, a success, an adventure, a new beginning, and another opportune moment in this lifetime to etch in color the shapes, lines, shades, and figures that drive my mind and body to tell a life story.
*CRISPO is currently the Managing Director of IIFBA Learning, a film and broadcast production training school.