Art as expression of faith

Ascension (acrylic on canvas, 2021) . (Edgar Allan Sembrano)

Visual artist Nani Reyes has been establishing his status as a church artisan through his works for religious institutions in the country.

Born and raised in the town of Angono, regarded as the “art capital” of Rizal province, Reyes has a penchant for the religious and the divine as a former seminarian.

He recently completed three commissioned paintings for the new crypt of the Antipolo Cathedral (National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage).

Done on acrylic-on-canvas in 2021 amid the Covid-19 pandemic were Ascension, Transfiguration and Pagdududa ni Tomas, depicting the death of Jesus Christ, His resurrection and ascent to heaven.

Transfiguration (acrylic on canvas, 2021)

Reyes has previously done three large paintings for Antipolo Cathedral in 2018 to commemorate significant events associated with the Virgin of Antipolo.

His grandest work, thus far, was in 2017: The altar of the Saint Maximillian Seminary in Parañaque City composed of 16 pieces of plywood.

Reyes has previously done three large paintings for Antipolo Cathedral in 2018 to commemorate significant events associated with the Virgin of Antipolo.

Pagdududa ni Tomas (acrylic on canvas, 2021)

Apart from these, he has also done projects for the San Agustin Museum in Intramuros, Manila (2018) and the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Guiguinto, Bulacan (2019).

In a recent interview, Reyes explained his interest in working on religious iconography.

“My motivation in creating works of this type is for me to help people have a deeper faith in God,” he said. “Through my paintings, I am able to describe and let people easily understand our strong and fervent belief.”

Painter Nani Reyes with Fr. Nante Tolentino of the Antipolo Cathedral with the finished paintings.

His paintings for the Manila Cathedral in 2016 were used as models for the stained-glass windows that now adorn the sacristy of the church.

He pointed out that in the early years of evangelization when Filipinos didn’t know how to read, Spanish friars used religious images for easy understanding of the Christian faith.

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Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph

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