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Ato Chavez on being part of the Aldrtz story

BY RITZY R. MALO-OY

Ato Chavez; right, the artist in action*

Making history or being a part of it is perhaps one of the greatest legacies you can share with the world especially for those who have tangible contributions in which people can constantly be reminded of them.

Agustin “Ato” Chavez Jr. is a Negrense visual artist, musician, father, and friend. He has been creating contemporary art for over four decades and shows no sign of stopping and retiring anytime soon.

Chavez is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts Major in Advertising and landed a job with an advertising firm in Bacolod City where he, by fate or coincidence met the young visionary who later became Aldrtz Corporation’s founder and president, Mr. Ritchie Neil Corpus (RCC).

In 1997, the company was just starting. Being an artist himself, RCC had Chavez put into the picture his vision of what the company would represent – the mortar and pestle.

Chavez’s “Violinist”, “Ladies Drink”, and “Paskwa Ko Ninong” (l-r)*
The artist’s late parents; right, ethnic art*

The mortar and pestle symbolizes fertility, abundance and the creation of beautiful things in the environment and around us. It is life itself – which Aldrtz’s products “For Better Life” represent.

From then on, Chavez has been designing and putting into discernable art whatever RCC envisions. He paints on flour sack cloth for RCC’s visual aids when the latter goes teaching and training farmers on the Morphology of Rice.

In addition, he also designs logos and labels for the young businessman who later became his friend.

Before parting ways as the artist life often longs for inspiration, Chavez did body paint on a model for RCC’s television advertising material. Unlike his other works of art, body painting took him painstakingly more than eight uninterrupted hours to finish – from there happened the birth of Pau D’Arco Therapeutic Botanical Oil.

Ato Chavez, beyond the years after he did his last work for RCC, will always be a part of Aldrtz history.

As Paul Strand said, “The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away.”

Chavez, at sixty-two years old and with four beautiful grown-up daughters by his side, still paints passionately, creating beautiful works of art as his living legacy to the community. He can be seen with other local artists at exhibits and related events. One may also find him playing his acoustic guitar with local musicians, a platform that makes him express his love of art more.

From the words of his favorite artist, Edgar Allan Poe he draws some inspiration too – “Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it ‘the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature through the veil of the soul. The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of artist.’”*

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