MANILA, Philippines – Internationally-recognized folk artist and painter Elito “Amang Pintor” Circa has painted a montage of President Rodrigo Duterte in his signature poses with his own blood.
“I asked a nurse to extract my blood and place it in test tubes so I could use it to paint,” he told ABS-CBN. “I had to paint fast and keep the blood-filled vials in a refrigerator as the blood will spoil in a matter of days.”
Aside from showing several images of Duterte, the portrait also bears the presidential seal and the Philippine eagle. One image of the president shows him clutching a crocodile by the snout.
According to Circa, he wanted to paint Duterte because he was impressed by his performance.
“Bilib talaga ako sa kanya. Minsan negatibo siyang magsalita pero parang kaibigan lang ‘yan na naiintindihan mo kahit iba pa ang pananalita niya. Marami na siyang nagawa [I really admire him. Though he sometimes speaks negatively, he’s just like a friend whom you can understand even when he speaks rough. He has already done a lot],” he said.
Circa also said he won’t sell his artwork as he considers it his masterpiece.
Other than Duterte, Circa has also painted boxer and Sen. Manny Pacquiao and members of his family using blood.
Known for preserving the indigenous arts, Circa’s advocacy has inspired other Filipino artists to use local or native materials as their medium.