Born and raised in the Philippines. Studied Architecture. Started de Vera in 1991. Basically my work is my life. I’m a designer, an artist, a curator, a collector and a bon vivant of some sort. I think I found the reason for my existence. It’s what I’m good at.
How did your passion for collecting started? We feel your aesthetic close to Wunderkammer. Do you think this vision fits your style?
I’ve always collected shells, stones and driftwood as a child often intrigued by how nature has formed them. My father liked antiques and mother collected jewelry, so I was always curious about the history and beauty of objects and gems. I think it would be accurate to compare my vision to that of a Wunderkammer but in a contemporary context.
How did it feel to have books published that summarize “De Vera’s World”?
It was good to finally have something that was a distillation of my ideas and aesthetic after almost 20 years in business. I gave it my best effort and it would be difficult to make the other books (that I’m working on) better than the last ones.
“Blind for Love” is the theme given by Alessandro Michele to the latest edition of A Magazine, to which you contributed with your perspective. How did it started this collaboration?
Alessandro is a regular client. He has my books. I could only imagine that my style is something that he understands and appreciates otherwise he wouldn’t have asked me to contribute to the magazine.
Which upcoming projects are you excited about?
I’m working on another set of de Vera books. I’m also curating and designing an upcoming museum exhibition in the Philippines in November 2017. It’s about objects, art and jewelry that I think are the most interesting and beautiful in that country. I’ve been working with other museums and private collections.
This month RedMilk focused on the analysis and the various interpretations of “beauty”. What does it mean to you?
Beauty is when something is perfectly balanced. It’s when form meets function. It’s when something elicits a good feeling in you even when you don’t know anything about it and becomes more profound when you finally understand it.
What’s the image (a painting, a photo, a movie frame, etc…) that had the biggest impact on yourself and your work?
There are several indelible images one sees as child that could have an impact on his aesthetic vision. Perhaps the image of a beautiful church would be one that had an impact on my work. Although I’m always evolving and looking at things that inspire me.
If you could have an imaginary conversation with three artists, icons or celebrities, dead or alive, who would you wish to talk to and about what?
Pablo Picasso. I just want to tell him that I consider him the best artist that ever lived.
Johann Sebastian Bach. I want to tell him that he’s the ultimate composer.
Antonio Canova. I would ask him why everything he made had to be so perfect.
Tell us something more about your culture:
– favorite artwork: Botticelli’s “Primavera”
– book: mostly art books
– record cover: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass – Whipped Cream and Other Delights
– movie: Tree of Life, La Grande Bellezza