I never thought that a guy who would often make jokes to make a conversation lively is a man who has deep, unfathomed emotions deep within his soul. I know him from the flashes of smile on his lips, from the crack of humor and the sudden outburst of laughter.
And it did never come to my senses that this man can paint emotions. It’s simply so great that I held my breath to admire the movements of his hands.
Roberto Reniva Aytona, 33, paints and make sketches as if there’s no tomorrow. He’s so eager to finish each and every portrait that he forgets to drink coffee.
Just like Henry Miller, Von sees himself “forever and ever as the ridiculous man, the lonely soul, the wanderer, the restless frustrated artist, the man in love with love, always in search of the absolute, always seeking the unattainable”
As a portrait artist and computer graphic artist, he paints whether it’s charcoal, pastel and oil. Henry Ward Beecher was correct when he said that every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
He earned his high school education at the Sorsogon State College of Arts and Trades. In 1992, he obtained his degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Painting at the Aquinas University in Legaspi City. He started as a Junior Artist at Shangrila Plaza in Mandaluyong City in 1992. In 1994, he established Portraits and Caricatures with shop at Alimall, Araneta Center in Cubao. He ran this business until 1997.
He moved to Qatar in 2008. He was employed as Airbrush Artists until 2011 at Q Airbrush in Al Rayyan. Climbing the ladder to make murals under the heat of the sun is no small task especially if that has to be accomplished to honor an Emir of a state. Von was commissioned many times by educational institutions in Qatar to make large scale art works. In 2012, he was with the Al Rashid Agency in Madinat Khalifa, Qatar as Instructor for Arts.
He transferred to Dubai few years back to seize opportunities. It did not take long for him to be noticed. Lucky is this man for he’s making a name now not for himself but for the Filipino community. His works are yet to be known but in time, I know very well that his magical hands will move you just what he did to me and to hundreds of souls touched by his works.
If it is true that an artist cannot fail and that it is a success to be one, then we can say that Von triumphantly heralded the call of his mind and heart. Need I say more that this visual artist is a lover?
o0o —————– o0o
THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.