No, you don’t need to look up in the sky to see Superman because he’s not there. He’s busy lifting a car from the ground in a house somewhere in Davao City. Indeed he is more than a bird, a plane, and a pretty face inside the train- he’s a beautiful sculpture made from wire and petroleum clay.
Who made this, you ask? His name is Harold Soriaga. He is a loving husband to his wife, Tita Jolla, and a very good father to his two sons. My mom and I paid them a visit last month because my mom wanted to show me the “super sculptures”. I’ve been meaning to see them too since I’m also into molding and sculpting clay. Their house is very simple- it has a garden with just enough play room for the two boys, a nice view (which I had to mentally capture), and art displayed in almost all corners of the house. Tita Jolla is very good in sketching while Tito Harold is very good in sculpting which is quite a perfect match, don’t you think so? Anyway, I wish I could go on and give you more details about their house but I got distracted. You see, these were on display:
So. Yeah. From afar, they look like toys but when you look closely, you’ll see that they’re sculptures made from petroleum and water-based clay. All of the details are present- weapons, accents on their costumes, soles of their shoes, even their teeth! I’ve been sculpting for quite some time now so I know how tedious the process is. It’s really impressive! Check out the details on Spiderman:
In case you’re wondering, the lines are from electrical tape cut into uber thin strips and the dots were placed one by one using a mechanical pencil. I remember Tito Harold telling me that he doesn’t want his sculptures to look like the toys that you see in department stores. As much as possible, he wants each figure to be unique so he watches movies and reads comic books to look for signature moves or poses that he can use. Some of his sculptures have detachable helmets, capes, wings and weapons (see Thor’s picture below).
Remember when I said that he looks for inspiration from movies and comic books? The battle between Batman and Bane (below) is an example. Normally you would expect someone to stop once Batman’s final details are put but not Tito Harold. I think he wanted to add life to the molded Dark Knight so he included Bane.
It’s impressive how someone who graduated from a highly technical course(Mechanical Engineering) is capable of producing very detailed sculptures of our favorite superheroes (and villains). It takes a certain kind of skill to mold the blocks of clay into the crime fighters we looked up to while growing up. Tito Harold started sculpting in 2005 using plaster of Paris. According to this article, he was in the United States for his post-graduate studies when he felt that he wanted to collect sculptures of his favorite superheroes after seeing them on display. Since each sculpture cost Php 10,000, he decided to make them instead. Each sculpture takes three months (or more) to finish since he only works on them when he has free time. To date, he has 50+ sculptures in his collection, all made by him.
I know that with all the violence going on in our country, we’re secretly wishing that these superheroes existed. A lot of us are feeling hopeless and I understand why. I know it sounds cliche, but I want to remind everyone that we don’t need to be superhuman to do something about our country’s situation. There’s a superhero living in each and everyone of us; we just need to be brave enough to take the first step. 😉
Before I forget, here’s my favorite piece:
I’m sure you know why. 🙂