Beauty in a time of despair

Alfred Galvez. It’s A Small World After All, 2020. Ink wash on paper, A3 size

What inspires an artist to create? Perhaps emotions play a key factor. Their current state is channeled through the brushes and on to the canvas.  At a time of joy, colors burst and at a time of gloom, somber tones are defined. Other artists though may approach it the other way around. Or, they just want to interpret ion canvas what they see. 

Art in Davao is alive. In the past couple of years, there were a good number of exhibitions across the city. It inspired aspiring artists to come out, and it showed the city how plenty they are.

Today, the human race is battling an invisible army, COVID-19. Exhibits were put on hold until it’s safe for everyone to step out into the open. However, art appreciation does not have to stop. There are channels we can use to view amazing art. Several museums have offered free online tours and locally, artists post their works on social media. Let me offer you another channel—this page.

I asked several Davao artists how they perceive the COVID-19 virus, and here is what they came up with. 

Alfred GalvezIt’s a Small World After All. The artist interprets how easily and quickly the virus can spread across the globe.

Rodney YapThe Celestial Organism. An illness is inflicting humanity. The artist wants to remind us the fragility and essence of life. We have been gifted by the Creator strength in spirit and love, and encourages us all to show compassion and love on this trying times.

Mary Ann GuinooDeath. In the midst of a colorful life come the grey of death.

Mary Anne Guinoo, Death, 2020. Watercolor on paper, 12″ x 14″
Rodney Yap, The Celestial Organism, 2019. Acrylic on Canvas, 18″ x 24″

Nina Custodio. Overwhelmed. I wanted to show how I, as a medical professional, felt realizing that the threat is here and it is a huge. I felt darkness descend and shadow the light, a feeling of impending doom, knowing how huge the challenges ahead will be for everyone, fighting off something you cannot see.

Dennis Puzon. Home Quarantine. It’s about hoarders. The mind is consumed by the virus that causes them to act like the virus itself hoarding stocks until its all gone leaving others who need it most with nothing (referring to the front liners in the hospitals who take care of patients).
Nina Custodio. Overwhelmed, 2019. Watercolor on Paper, 9″ x 12″
Dennis Puzon. Home Quarantine, 2020. Oil on Canvas, 12″ x 16″

Robin CastilloTao Sa Daan. The scenes-from-the-streets artist catches homeless people outside the hospital.

Coi San PedroPrayers for the Frontliners After Willam Adolphe Bouguereau’s Pieta. The artist extends his gratitude to the frontliners in the middle of the chaos, confusion and fear brought upon by the pandemic. It’s the least he can do, he said.

Robin Castillo. Tao sa Daan, 2020. Watercolor on Paper
Coi San Pedro. Prayers for the Frontliners After Willam Adolphe Bouguereau’s Pieta, 2020. Oil on canvas, 12″ x 16″

Kim Valle. Common Portrait of People in 2020. It’s a strange world when you step outside of your home. It’s like a ghost town and the few people you meet are all wearing masks. It’s surreal.

Rey BollozosHidden. A face hidden behind and a mask and a hoodie covers some Filipino’s true intentions. This pandemic unmasks the greedy and selfish. Where is their Bayanihan spirit?

Rey Bollozos. Hidden, 2020. Oil on paper, 10.5 x 7.5
Kim Valle. Common Portrait of People in 2020, 2020. Graphite on Paper, 12″ x 12″

Folks, stay indoors and wash your hands. Be safe!

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.

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