Oftentimes, hear a famous artist in the western world but rarely in the far-east in southeast Asia. There is one artist who stands out, his name is Rommel Rico aka Virrco. According to Virrco.net Virrco is a New York-based artist who transforms his artworks into wearable art. He has done two well-received solo exhibits in New York and is known for his “Fishwives” artworks and colorful Filipiniana artworks as a tribute to his Filipino roots. The Virrco Art Show is his 2nd solo exhibit in the Philippines.
Virrco works as a project manager in the US. He is also a Physical Therapist and a Registered Nurse in the US. A rare talent who comes from the Philippines with so much passion for artwork paintings. Who is Rommel Rico aka Virrco. A humble beginning in the province of Romblon.
Who is Rommel Rico as a person aka Virrco? Rommel Rico is a US registered nurse working currently as a project manager with a big US-based pharmaceutical company. He paints and helps the Duyan Project or Project Red Ribbon.
Who inspired you to paint? None inspired me to paint. Can’t attribute it to a person. But can attribute it to NY as a place. NY will surround you with different kinds/forms of art, it awakened the artist in me.
You are using Virrco, why that name? My subjects are women and guess it is influenced by the strong-willed, independent, and well-accomplished women in my family, my friends, and workplace. Always been fascinated by the trait and characters that they always manifest in my paintings.
VIRRCO is a combination of the family names of my grandparents. It is a tribute to them. a combination and a product of all of them. Believe that if not for their genes and experiences, wouldn’t be who I am. VI for VIctorio, Rs for Ruga, Repil and Royo, CO for Rico.
Some of your work was an exhibit in New York City. Yes, had two exhibits done in NYC. In the building gallery where I work in 2nd avenue and 42nd st. It’s one of my first 2 abundance paintings, showcasing Filipino people with their harvest.
It is a tribute to my roots as a Filipino. Also had two one-man exhibits in queens, one showcasing Filipiniana arts again showcasing Filipinos with baskets in Filipiniana attire, and the 2nd showcasing colorful watercolor art and acrylic which we converted as wearable art, like shirts, dresses, scarves, etc.
Heard that you are helping the less fortunate with your paintings. My artwork helps the children with HIV and Aids under the care of Duyan project. These children are survived by their grandparents or aunts and uncle. These families have difficulty buying food to place on their table, so buying Medicine is not their priority. Can’t fathom how difficult their situation is. Just really heartbreaking.
Tell us about your advocacy and upcoming projects. Really wanted to help more these children of Duyan. In my little way, hoping to shed light on them, not only through the income coming from art but as well as to encourage other people to share their blessings with these children.
3 fun facts about you. One is that I’m afraid of heights, Two I love coffee, 4 to 6 cups q day, and three I wish to paint in Europe someday
Future Upcoming Projects
One-Eyed Women Art Exhibit, World AIDS Day Exhibit, December 4 to 18, 2021, Venue: Met Live Mall Atrium, Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City