Profiles of Courage

Jerry Araos

Jerusalino “Jerry” V. Araos was a sculptor who dedicated his craft in search of scrap wood and discarded trunks to be transformed into tables, chairs, and objects of social commentary.[1] His works are distinguishable for their finely polished, abstracted, and dramatically sinuous forms.

In his youth, prior to embarking on a career in the visual arts, Araos dedicated himself to the far-Left movement and became a guerrilla fighter for the newly-founded New People’s Army (NPA) in the late 1960s.[2] He was also a ranking leader of the Samahan ng Demokratikong Kabataan (SDK), a national democratic organization that organized and mobilized students to support mass movements and make their own demands heard through various creative forms of protest against the martial law regime. Through his and his contemporaries’ leadership, the SDK succeeded in expanding from the different University of the Philippines units into other universities in Metro Manila and the provinces of Rizal and Nueva Ecija.[3] His active role in the movement was cut short when he was thrown into prison, a period that journalist Barbara Mae Dacanay attributes to Araos’ metamorphosis into the sculptor that he came to be.[4]

 

His works are distinguishable for their finely polished, abstracted, and dramatically sinuous forms.

 

Araos died in 2012 at the age of 68, leaving behind a legacy in the arts as well as in the mass movement against tyranny. His friends and comrades salute him for his steadfast devotion to the revolutionary cause throughout his life.[5]

Samples

Araos was famous for doing what was called as "torso sculptures." He made more than 30 of them since the 1990s, They reflected his earlier devotion to armed struggle which influenced his view of art. Photo retrieved from https://lakansining.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/university-of-the-philippines-quezon-city-hidden-treasures-south-of-the-academic-oval-quirino-avenue-t-h-pardo-de-tavera-f-maramag-e-delos-santos-lakandula-and-p-velasquez-streets/06-jerry-araos-2/
Araos is also known for "Luklukan Chairs." He describes them as "non atrocious" chairs. They allow "the lap to fall away from the torso, and prevents the compression of the internal organs." Photo retrieved from http://homeact.blogspot.com/2011/06/dream-moment-with-sculptor-jerusalino-v.html

[1] Ruben Defeo, “Jerry Araos’ wooden art,” PhilStar Global, February 11, 2002, https://www.philstar.com/lifestyle/arts-and-culture/2002/02/11/150271/jerry-araos146-wooden-art.

[2] Carmela G. Lapeña and Howie Severino, “Artist, NPA pioneer Jerry Araos, 68,” GMA News Online, December 24, 2012, https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/287574/artist-npa-pioneer-jerry-araos-68/story/.

[3] Ibid.; Jose Ma. Sison and Julieta De Lima, “Foundation for sustained development of the National Democratic Movement in the University of the Philippines,” in Serve the People: Ang Kasaysayan ng Radikal na Kilusan sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, ed. Bienvenido Lumbera, Judy Taguiwalo, Roland Tolentino, Arnold Alamon, and Ramon Guillermo (Quezon City, Philippines: IBON Foundation, Inc., 2008), 60-61; Millet G. Martinez, “Left to Right: The Student Activists,” Sunday Times Magazine, February 22, 1970, 34-38 (published online by P.T. Martin on February 19, 2010 at https://fqslibrary.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/left-to-right-the-student-activists/).

[4] Barbara Mae Dacanay, “Famous Filipino sculptor Jerusalino Araos dies,” Gulf News Philippines, December 24, 2012, https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/philippines/famous-filipino-sculptor-jerusalino-araos-dies-1.1123306.

[5] Lapeña and Severino, “Artist, NPA pioneer Jerry Araos, 68.”

Wikimedia Foundation. (2020, October 10). Jerry Araos. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Araos.

 
Jerry relaxing at home. Photo retrieved from http://brooksidebaby.blogspot.com/2012/12/i-love-you-jerry-araos.html.

ARAOS, JERUSALINO “JERRY” V.

Filipino sculptor, landscape artist, and activist best known for using discarded wood and felled trees in his sculptures, and for his prominent role in the resistance against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Filipino sculptor, landscape artist, and activist best known for using discarded wood and felled trees in his sculptures, and for his prominent role in the resistance against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

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