There are hardly any surviving sketches on paper for Napoleon Abueva’s sculptures because he usually drew his preliminary ideas on any piece of paper that was on hand, sometimes the back of receipts.Amihan Abueva says, “For Celebration of Life, there were no preliminary sketches. He prepared a small clay model of the sculpture as a base for the overall design. Unfortunately, we do not have a molded version of the clay study. The development of the actual clay model for the cement mold was made in only one to two weeks, which is very fast for a sculpture of this complexity.”
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
Amihan Abueva, the sculptor’s daughter, recalls that there was a minor brouhaha about the exposed penis. Some college officials wanted it covered with the usual fig leaf, like the Oblation. Abueva says, “My father insisted that since this was a sculpture for the College of Medicine, it should be anatomically correct. He refused to budge, and so the sculpture was finally accepted and paid for eventually.”