Controversial Artist Uses His Own Blood as Paint

Elito ‘Amangpintor’ Circa is a Filipino artist who rose to fame for using his own blood to create canvas paintings that have attracted both praise and criticism over the years.

Born in a poor family that couldn’t afford to buy improper art supplies, Elito Circa experimented with a variety of unusual mediums as a child, including plums and tomatoes, but it was when he accidentally scraped his hand that he discovered the art medium that would mark his artistic career – his own blood. He quickly realized that the blood not only made his paintings more durable, as it was harder to erase from the canvas, but that it also made his artworks his own in a way that he had never imagined before.

Photo: Elito Circa/Facebook

“My artwork is very important to me because they come from me, it is from my own blood, my DNA is part of it…” Circa recently told Reuters. “My philosophy is that life is circular and everything is a cycle, so (my blood) is a tool that serves as a reminder of where I came from.”


Every time he scraped his body, young Elito used the blood as paint, but as he grew older he realized that he needed as stable supply of “paint”, so she started visiting a clinic in Manila to have it extracted periodically. Nowadays, he stops by the clinic about once every three months to have his blood drawn, which he then stores in a freezer in his studio.


Although Amangpintor has been criticized for his use of blood as paint in the past, the Filipino artist has always made it clear that he wants to change people’s perception of blood through his art.


“People are afraid of blood. Because in their minds, blood means death,” Circa said in an interview. “But I want to twist… that belief. That’s why I’m addressing its use because I want people to think that it’s not death, but love and life.”


It’s unclear how much of his own blood Elito Circa has stored in his art studio, but it must be a lot, because he has announced plans to create the largest “blood painting” ever on a 100-meter (328 ft) canvas next year, thus setting a new world record.


As bizarre as using blood as an art medium sounds, Elito Circa isn’t the first artist to do it. In the past, we’ve actually featured artists like Vincent Castiglia and Dr Rev Mayers, who did the same thing.