Inspired by his travels throughout the Europe and Asia, multi-talented Filipino artist, Manuel “Manny” Baldemor, brings to the Philippines the beauty and the art he encountered at the world’s most beautiful places.
Born and raised in Paete, Laguna, Baldemor understands the depth of his craft and appreciates it on a personal note. “My hometown is the home of wood carving, and most of my townmates are wood carvers, ‘yon ang livelihood nila,” he said.
His innate love for the arts heightened when he started to accept painting jobs for toys and advertisements while studying. He eventually pursued a degree in Fine Arts, which opened more art opportunities for him.
“I started painting toys, ‘yong ‘kaka’ (red horses). Then I became a painter of kartelon (painted billboards) at movie houses then naging wood carver ako—‘yon ang nag-support sa akin noong nasa college ako,” he said.
Being a traveler himself, Baldemor’s works take pride in its authentic expression depicting life, nature, diverse cultures, and landmarks from the cities and regions that he has been to and experienced since 1975.
For the past 18 years, he has contributed over 24 designs for reproduction on UNICEF’s greeting cards that are distributed worldwide. He has also received 24 local and international awards and grants, and has recently been chosen as an artist-in-residence in Japan, Israel, Portugal, Estonia, Singapore, Mexico, Chile, and Switzerland.
For Baldemor, hard work and resilience are the qualities that make him the successful artist that he is today. He encourages all budding artists to be generous and work harder to carve their names into the hallmark of the art industry.
“You have to do your (work). Everybody has a blessing, and once you have that blessing, you have to share it,” he said. “It’s a matter of will, kasi sino ba naman ang may pera? Pare-pareho lang tayo sa isang (industry),” remarks the artist.
His greatest lesson? “I found out that art has no borders.”
Some of Baldemor’s most celebrated works are the likes of “Pasasalamat” in 1998, “Philippine Skyland” in 2004, and the “Philippine People Power” in 2009. He has held numerous one-man exhibits in museums and galleries not only in the Philippines but around the world including Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, Tokyo, Cairo, Teheran, Tel-Aviv, Ankara, Cascais, Lisbon, Madrid, Santiago, Singapore, Acapulco, Mexico City, Taxco, Munich, Berlin, Mainz, Dusseldorf, Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, Warsaw, Budapest, Moscow, Bern, Basel, Amsterdam, The Hague, Brussels, London, Paris, Edinburg, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and New York. He received 24 local and international awards and grants and has been chosen artist0in-residence in Japan, Israel, Portugal, Estonia, Singapore, Mexico, Chile and Switzerland.