Art is always a celebration of beauty of life, of nature, and anything in between. And the works of the emerging master from the town of Tuy, in Batangas, Nante Carandang are the proof of this supposition. For on his canvas, the master had effectively caught—and contained, hence immortalized—the things that are pleasing, not only to the physical senses, but also to the mind and the soul of those who see them.
His paintings of succulent mangos (Guimaras series) and the sinturis or dalanghita (Citrus nobilis), will not only make you drool over these hyper-realistically painted fruits, but will also remind you about abundance and prosperity.
The Philippines have been blessed with rich, arable lands; blue and sparkling seas teeming with marine life; and mountains, volcanoes, and hills that are also teeming with different species of animals, flowers, plants, insects, fungi, and other things. This is the very reason why the archipelago was called “The Pearl of the Orient Seas,” by the late national hero José P. Rizal in his famous poem, Mi Ultimo Adios.
Former professor of Filipino language and a well-known Filipinologist, Gandhi Gonzales Cardenas, Sr. at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Manila opined that Ptolemy had had the idea that islands that will be known in the future as the Philippine Islands do really exist and it was the Greek sage that had coined the term “Pearl of the Orient.”
Indeed, Carandang’s works are not only proof of his artistic prowess as a visual artist, but also homage to his homeland, not exclusively to Batangas, but the Philippines as a whole.
But his works are not limited to hyperrealist fruit of the land, or the fishes of the lake or the seas. He also works on varied subjects—still life, landscapes, abstracts, just to name a few. And just like the waters of the seas and the curves of the mountains of his homeland, these paintings also show such fluidity as well as solidity in terms of rendition and style.
His religious paintings for example are not just simple images of saints, the suffering Christ—they are actually objects of devotion and reverence.
Moreover, what makes Carandang a good painter is his heart for the poor and the underprivileged. His Pintor Kulapol Tuy, Batangas Artist Group has been making rounds in the towns of First District of Batangas—Balayan, Calaca, Calatagan, Lemery, Lian, Nasugbu, and Taal to give the children and other folks free art workshops.
Indeed, his motto “Pinta lang nang pinta!” has not only become a personal philosophy and motivator, but in the future will become a part of the psyche and heart of younger generation of Batangas artists.
N. B. – To reach view his works, you can visit his Facebook page.