fanstastic painter of modern art
Mr. Sarmiento, a son of Manila , born in Dapitan Sampaloc, is an acknowledged master in his chosen field of art. He has been President of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) for three consecutive terms – a testament to the respect and support he has earned from his peers for four decades of selfless dedication and exemplary achievement in the art community both here and abroad.
His works has been exhibited in the most prestigious venues and galleries in no less than four continents, including the United Nations World Summit in 2002 at Johannesburg, South Africa, after winning the best Sail Painting Award conducted by an InterAgency Committee with the Earth Savers movement, UNESCO – International Theatre Institute (ITI). Sarmiento has also been the recipient of numerous awards, some of which are cited in his curriculum vitae.
He is currently involved in the multisectoral and interagency poverty alleviation initiative called Kalahi Cultural Caregiving which endeavors to impart knowledge of the arts to marginalized sectors all over the archipelago. In fact, he has already given several arts workshops for the marginalized youth in Baseco as well as out-of-school youth participants in several districts of Manila in conjunction with the Culture Committee .
Sarmiento’s interest in colonial houses stemmed from his initial college work while taking up an architectural degree course at MAPUA Institute of Technology. After one year, he found out that architecture was too linear and too technical in its approach to drawing. He realized that he was fascinated with the vintage appeal of period houses, more than the logic of the structure. He readily shifted to a fine arts course in painting at the Feati University. Enjoying a university scholarship, he was armed with pure essence in what was to become his art.
His fascination bas brought him to various places where large settlements of old houses abound. Their collective charms allure him. These places are living dioramas where the rich colonial past dialogues robustly with the forward-moving present.
Much of this interaction resides in Sarmiento’s old house paintings. He presents both the interior and exterior views of provincial ancestral houses, whether full or cropped, depending on the dictates of the composition and the corresponding mood he, as an artists, wants to amplify. There are also street scenes, to properly situate the houses and their environs. There are also pigeons, cats and other pets thrown into the compositions to breathe life into the paintings. Fidel’s paintings have very refined architectural details and strong interplay of light and textures. He does not only capture the mood of the morning light, he actually paints the light. Sarmiento paints directly onto the canvas. Studies are done mentally, and the use of photographs is resorted only to point of reference for composition. He infuses details like plants, animals, and human figures to dramatize contrast between what is vintage and what is contemporary, an indirect allusion to the generation conflicts between the old and the new.
Sarmiento, having gained the respect and support of his fellow artists, was elected President of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP) for three consecutive terms. He opened new horizons for the members by fostering relationships with the artist’s groups in other Asian countries and encouraging art competitions sponsored by both private and public companies.
(www.artconsultancygroup.com, Cecile Guidote Alvarez Executive Director - NCCA)