Celeste Lecaroz-Aceron y Salud, born in 1971, hails from the De Villa, Lecaroz, Salud, and Malabanan clans of San Juan, Batangas and Marinduque. She honed her drawing skills while growing up in the beaches of San Juan and attending Miriam College, then known as Maryknoll College, where she finished high school. She completed her college education at the Ateneo de Manila where she graduated in 1993 with an AB degree in Social Science.
She started her career as a research associate for the AIM Washington Sycip Policy Center, and thereafter worked as news anchor for Stock Market Live of Sarimanok News Network, later known as ANC. She got married in 1998 and became a homemaker for her husband and her four kids.
She began painting professionally in the summer of 2016, with large acrylic portraits in the style of spontaneous realism as popularized by the European artist, Voka. She joined various group exhibitions such as the Ateneo Alumni Art Fair, Sining Batangueno, Philippine Pastel Artists, Inc., Freedom Art Society, and recently the Portrait Artists Society of the Philippines, Inc. - Manila Chapter (PASPI).
She had her first solo exhibit at the Gateway Gallery at the Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, entitled “Lecaroz Spontanrealismus” in May 2018. In August 2019, she held a back-to-back exhibit with Florida-based pastel artist Gary Carabio, entitled, "Pastel Puro" at Galerie Y, Megamall. "Pastel Puro" featured the tandem's realistic artwork rendered in pastel medium.
On September 6, 2019, Lecaroz's more than 50 large spontanrealismus portraits of the country's top business leaders were featured in the exclusive, one-night only “Spontanrealismus Lecaroz 2.0: Honouring Filipino Tycoons & Entrepreneurs Exhibit” during the 40th anniversary celebration of leading air-conditioning solutions company, Hi-Cool Engineering Corp., at the Peninsula Manila Hotel.
Lecaroz was also featured in the “Center and Periphery," exhibit at the National Commission for Culture and Arts Gallery, which ran the whole month of September 2019. The exhibit showcased rare vintage photographs of the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century from the personal collection of historian Bernardita R. Churchill, and Lecaroz's interpretation of these photographs in spontanrealismus style.
On January 28, 2020, she was so moved by the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant that she created a 5 feet X 5 feet portrait of the basketball star in her signature spontaneous realism style. As a tribute to the basketball legend and to share her work, she announced the release of the copyright to her painting entitled, “Mamba Forever,” taken from the moniker that Bryant gave himself.
In October 2020, Lecaroz was among more than 20 artists who lent their talent to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature’s Earth Exhibit – a digital fundraising event series that celebrates their work and the rich biodiversity of the Philippine landscape. The featured artists accepte commissions from the public, with part of the proceeds going to WWF’s local conservation efforts.
The following year, Lecaroz held her fifth one-woman show entitled “Blue Skies, Crimson Wind,” at Eastwood City Mall’s The Atrium. The exhibit, which ran from March 1 to 11, 2021 featured pastel paintings of playful flower girls in impressionism style. In the exhibition essay, award-winning writer Och Gonzalez said that with the exhibit, “the artist invites us to engage in a wistful return to innocence and connection, not as a means of escape, but as a note of hope to carry us forward into brighter days.”
From June 30 to July 28, 2021, Lecaroz staged her sixth solo exhibition, “Repetitio,” at the Makati gallery 1335MABINI. Held in collaboration with the Fernando Amorsolo Art Foundation, the exhibit comprises 15 reinterpretations of works by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, which Lecaroz renders into spontaneous realism. “Exploring the idea of translation as reinterpretation, Lecaroz effectively borrows Amorsolo’s timeless subjects to explore her present-day artistic ideals. Characterized by uninhibited brushwork, strident colors, and the simplification and abstraction of subject matter, she describes the collection as 'experimentations on chromostereopsis,' that is, visual illusions whereby depth is achieved in two-dimensional color palettes with bright, saccharine colors,” wrote art curator and critic John Alexis Balaguer in his review in kanto.com.ph.
A number of Lecaroz paintings are on permanent display at the following institutions:
- Rizal in Spontanrealismus - Sentro Rizal at the National Historical Landmark, Old Chancery Building, Philippine Embassy, Washington DC.
- Jones Bridge in Spontanrealismus 1 and 2- a Gift of the Philippine Government to the Virginia County Museum Permanent Display and at the Jones Ancestral Home Gallery as a Gift of the Philippine Government to the heirs of Cong. William A. Jones
- Rizal Library in Spontanrealismus - Ateneo de Manila Rizal Library Gallery, Ateneo de Manila, Katipunan Ave., Quezon City
- Apolinario Mabini in Spontanrealismus - Batangas City Capitol
- Calachuchi Walk - Miriam College High School Library, Katipunan, Quezon City
- Quezon in Spontanrealismus - Balai Quezon, Philippine Embassy in Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel