Production designer and director for films Richard V. Somes opened his first solo exhibit titled “Into the Mind of Richard V. Somes” at the Secret Fresh Gallery, RONAC Arts Center in Greenhills, San Juan on Sunday, Oct. 24.
A person who wears many hats, Somes unleashed her creative side on paintings at the height of the pandemic.
“I really wanted to be a painter way back since high school in Bacolod. Bago ako nag-dwell sa Manila, nagkaroon muna ako ng mga small racket as a tattoo artist around 1995-196,” said Somes, during a Zoom press conference recently,
“Growing up I’m a self-taught illustrator, I draw a lot. It just so happened na hindi ako nabigyan ng chance to really paint and go to an art school because of the whole essence of economics. Hindi namin kaya ang arts school,” he added.
Believe it or not, Somes wanted to become a seaman before he ventured into films.
“I’m a proud nautical graduate. I’m a seaman by heart. Noon nag graduate na ako at ready na ako to become a seafarer, my best friend made the first gig in Manila.
“Erik Matti invited me to go to Manila. If I stay here, magiging alalay niya muna ako sa shoot nya. We were really fond of arts na talaga.
“It was his dad who introduced me to the art scene. Sobrang fan ng papa niya sa mga arts. Ever since, I fell in love with the arts,” Somes recalled. “My first experience sa film was ‘Scorpio Nights 2.’ The rest is history. Hindi na ako natuloy magbarko.”
“Pero balak ko pa rin talaga bumalik sa arts kapag nakaipon ako ng pera as seaman,” Somes also said.
However, the pandemic affected the entertainment industry a lot. This forced Somes to divert his attention to painting. “The pandemic brought me to my first love, which is to do paintings. After one year, I will have my first solo exhibition.”
“I love expressionism, so I started doing portraits of women. People say it’s bizarre. But I want to show the creative side of me that I can stick to a subject I can spend a lot of time with. Fulfilled ako sa expressionism,” he explained.
Why women as his subject? Somes said: “Nakikita ko ang strength ng babae. Nakikta ko ang pagiging resilient ng babae. If you see my works, it may be bizarre or fatalistic, but the woman in my subject is resilient. If you look at my films, too, lahat ng bida ko babae. I just find women fascinating and proud of it.”
Check out some paintings of Somes: