Sculpting according to art scholars is the most unique of all art forms. While addition is most common in the creation of all artworks as with a painter who dabs color on a plain canvas or a musician who inserts notes on a score sheet, or the writer who adds words on paper to bring out their respective masterpiece, the sculptor subtracts parts of a chunk to complete the figure he has sought.
In the chisel town of Paete, we have marveled countless of times on how the master carver’s dexterous hands whittle away superfluous material to bring out from a piece of log an exquisite sculpture. This is the traditional art of woodcarving. But for a Paete artist, sculpture is both subtraction and addition -this is the Art of Ben Dailo.
While on our way to attend the opening of Islaw Art Gallery, we spotted artist Ben Dailo in his studio. At Ukit Kinale, we watched how the artist carve and piece together sculpted feminine figures, driftwood and other media. The result is an impressive collage of form and texture.
The female form is characterized by the full pouting lips, almond eyes, elongated neck, and sensual curves similar to the images of supermodels found in fashion magazines. The elegant female form is texturized using driftwood and indigenous ornamentation. Streaks of earth colors and painted floral patterns on the sculpture give off a hint of mythology and sense of local culture to Ben’s artistic creations.
Watch Ben Dailo talks about being a craftman and being an artist.