Daniel dela Cruz
Artist / Sculptor

​Daniel  de la Cruz’s  journey  to  becoming  an  artist  began   during  his   childhood  when   he  was  fond  of  creating indistinguishable forms  out of  clay. A Filipino by  birth and sensibility,  his natural  artistic skills were discovered during his freshman year at college and gained him a measure  of  fame.  Nonetheless, having  been  raised by  parents  who were bent on educating their five children as professionals, Daniel was expected to study and practice medicine or law. Despite  his  reluctance, he tried  his best to please  them and pursued courses in  both fields. These attempts did not turn out  very well but Daniel still obtained a degree  in Philosophy from the  prestigious University of the Philippines in 1991. Upon graduation, and to the disappointment of his family, Daniel bravely decided to follow his heart and intuition and strike out on his own.

Daniel found work in an  export company as a product  designer  creating gift items and  Christmas décor  designs. His first job proved life changing as he soon found freedom of expression in this environment. Back to his childhood love of sculpting, Daniel’s inborn skills, along with his discipline and perseverance, led to his promotion as the leading product designer, and ultimately a full partner and president of the company. Daniel became well-known for his designs and his expert  use  of diverse  materials, with  his products   distributed  and  trademarked  in the  United States,  Canada and Europe. He was the  first Filipino designer to develop ceramic collections for the prestigious company, Villeroy  & Boch in Germany.

But Daniel’s artistic urges were still not pacified, and he vowed to experience doing the work he loved  before reaching the  age  of  40. He courageously  ventured  beyond  the world  of  product  design and  manufacturing, where  he was already  an  unmitigated  success,  into his  true passion :  sculpture. Applying  his instinctive  skills and  knowledge of diverse materials as well as through constant  experimentation,  Daniel used mix metals to create sculpture works and allowed his creative energies to take over.

In 2007, he mounted his first solo exhibition, Kandungan, themed as a tribute to women and giving birth to what would be  his  signature and  trademark: robust  women  defined with grace,  strength and  wonderful  movement. This  initial success led to a second exhibit of works called Parangal, in  April  2008. The  artist’s tribute  to Christ  featured  gaunt, elongated forms which  were a  dramatic contrast  to  the  robust women of  Kandungan. In  less  than a year, the word about  Daniel  de la Cruz  was  out. The  professional  designer  cum-artist   now  had a  following  within  Manila’s  art community, and along the way, had raised the bar for the established contemporary sculptors in the country.

His third solo exhibit in September 2008, entitled  Himig, was another unique  celebration of women. These  works  set out  to  depict  women  in  terms  of  familiar objects and to describe  the sensations and feelings they evoke.  Whether merged  with  musical  instruments,  where  the  music  and  the woman are as one, or shown even in  the  simplest  of movements in their daily lives, the result was the same:  women of beauty, strength and grace.

2009 saw Daniel at his most prolific and boldest yet. He produced 30 works, where for the first time, Daniel tackled the challenging and painful theme of man struggling to discover his own spirituality within depictions of the physical  world. Entitled Passages, he describes the works as showing man’s great journey  through  countless passages  in  search of the truth. This represented a milestone for  the artist as it saw him extending his  creative  powers  and  boundaries  of metal with his use of chrome for the first time. In August 2010, Daniel will again break new barriers with 25  new  works of an unparalleled scale. This  newest exhibit, called Precipice, aims to describe the  points in one’s life where  man  is perched  over  the  edge  and  faces  his  own mortality. Precipice defies conventions, and physical laws, as de la Cruz juxtaposes figures on top of each other to create a sleek, single piece of artwork.

Internationally, Daniel  brought the Philippines  honor and fame by  winning the coveted Gold medal for the “Festival of Nativities” in Rome, Italy in December 2008. Daniel’s Nativity sculptures won the highest honor in a field of 131 entries from 71 countries.

He is married to Monica Guevara, and lives in Pasig City, Philippines with their three children.