Ral Arrogante: “Parang” Artist

I went to Tito Ral’s workshop last Wed night with my mom. I was supposed to interview an artist for bonus points for my FA165.1 class. It was a great experience and I really learned a lot. Tito Ral is so charismatic and so very creative. With his words, I couldn’t help but agree with his ideology. And I was so surprised bec even if he has no formal background in art, he really sounds like an artist. He said, “Art Studies inspires, but the real challenge is what to do next.”

Ral Arrogante is a ‘junk art’ sculptor. He uses brass and copper from junk shops to create sculptures. He doesn’t weld them, but instead he collects materials and with his own two hands (and a few basic tools), he shapes them into something new. He says his real talent is, “sourcing materials”. He’s not afraid of his artwork being copied because it takes years of collecting materials, and a lot of patience to do what he does. Besides, even he can’t make copies of his artwork because the materials would differ.

It all started out with his dad ordering him to go to the library to borrow a book. In the end, he’d usually take his time and read other books such as art books. He was inspired by American sculptor, Alexander Calder and his mobiles and tried to imitate them. His artwork started out like puzzle pieces, finding out which part to put where and how to put it in order to make something. But through the years, his art became planned art wherein he now knows what he wants to make and how to do it. He then uses anything and everything to create his art. He can even use the little things to make his art because he believes that everything has a purpose.

He had a lot of things I could quote like “Let your hands do the thinking.” Tito Ral believes that his material dictates the work. He said something to the effect of, what’s the use of thinking if you can’t do it? But he also believes that what you sell isn’t the piece itself but your creativity, your ability to create something new. That’s what makes art. Art shouldn’t be about copying Old Masters or even trying to beat the Old Masters. It’s about self-discovery, about self-fulfillment, and about creating something new. You shouldn’t be afraid of breaking rules or having no limitations. Ideas should never be compromised by limitations. Art, to him, is about not being afraid to create, and not fearing rejection.

His work then becomes what he calls as ‘parang’ art. He lets his viewers interpret his works. It’s called ‘parang’ art because… “Mukha siyang parang _____”. His artwork is non-abstract but open to self-interpretation. He also does not follow anatomy rules because he feels like his art should not be restricted to those rules and limits. He lets his art then become ‘parang’. What matters most in his art is that he is able to create SOMETHING from NOTHING. His art is his way of being able to freely express himself. Like sometimes, he’ll have little things jotting out from his artwork and people always ask why it’s like that. He doesn’t answer them because there really isn’t a purpose for them except he wanted it to be like that. 

Through the years, he his work has become a path of constant discovery. He now knows more about his personality, as well as his subjects such as machines. He also teaches, and is hopeful in spreading his attitude and way of thinking. It’s not about the money, but about art as a way of sharing inspiration. He also gives heavy importance to recycling which is why he uses materials from junk shops. He hopes that through his teachings and through his artwork, he will be able to gain honor, and inspire more people to create.

For pictures, pls refer to my Multiply Account at http://hirika.multiply.com (Friends Only) But if a lot of people request to view the pictures, I can open it up for everyone. :)

  1. Hi there,

    Ral is a long lost friend of mine from the early 1980′s. How do i get in touch w/ him ASAP before i leave for the US this wed, Nov 18, 2009.

    i would appreciate it if you could email me his cel # and email address.

    looking forward,

    richie quirino

  1. October 18th, 2008

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