signed and dated 2014 (lower right)
oil on canvas
48" x 72" (122 cm x 183 cm)
Supported by a metal ladder that personalizes the mood and grit of a hushed studio setting, an artist stands, his back facing the viewer, absorbed before his work.
Its subject is drawn from classical antiquity, specifically the period of imperial Rome, when bloody gladiator combats were hailed as public entertainment. The gladiators who fought in the arena were often captive kings, nobles, and warriors from the territories conquered by Rome. Spoliarium was the name given to the basement hall of the Roman Coliseum to which, after the bloody ordeal in the arena, the dying or dead combatants were dragged, there to be despoiled of their last worldly belongings, and where relatives and friends went to claim the bodies and those abandoned were put to the torch.
Rodelio “Toti” Cerda uses bold, flat resonant color areas to grasp the essential character of his studio presence. He is a prolific artist whose
career went on a fast track since he entered the art scene as a painter twelve years ago. Trained as an illustrator for local paperback novels, Cerda at the age of thirty-eight, one day walked into an art gallery with a small watercolor painting, hoping to be an exhibiting painter—with no idea that it would be the beginning of an exciting career which would enable him to fully realize his dreams and his full potential as a painter.
He bursted into the art circles of realism in the late 1990s. As if, a creative dam had been broken, soon, an endless flow of work came pouring out, creating volumes of critically acclaimed works. With the use of watercolor as his primary medium, he secured his place in the Philippine art scene by winning major art competitions which earned him the title “Grandmaster of Aquarelle”– most notably the annual Art Association of the Philippines competition, Philippine Art Awards sponsored by Philip Morris, and the GSIS Painting Competition.