Art as an expression

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez - The Freeman

Cebuanos by nature are artists. When you look around in the metropolis, every nook and cranny is surrounded by art in every form. From commercial billboards to graffiti, one can say that Cebu is indeed more colorful than other areas in the country. We produce our own short films, advertisements, and social media content that often make waves in the capital. That's how we give a high regard for the arts.

No wonder that in the recently-concluded Visayas Art Fair, a massive market of buyers and collectors came to see Cebuano visual art. Pieces ranging from small ones to those the size of a wall hung in every panel. Although it looks good being an art piece, those who patronize it look beyond the brush strokes. They want depth and character.

The theme is common among the canvas and paper: The social reality of the disparity between rich and poor. Ever wonder why most artists thrive on farmlands as their subject? Because selling the poor concept to others often clicks. One finds a balance of subjects in the frame; from green rice fields, the blue sky and the human toiling. However, it sees more than that. It portrays an ordinary Filipino who has to toil all day to bring home food to the family.

What we all saw in that art fair was a reflection of the current state of society. There is no contentment in the artist about what is going on today. There is a continuous nudge to keep on painting, to keep on expressing until finally they reach what they have been aspiring all along --a better life. The power in the brush allows certain individuals to enter their world and understanding in an attempt to awaken the masses. There is more that they can do than just doing the usual grind, their art is power.

More than the beautiful pieces that got sold, we should still pin down the problem that the artists rally behind. The current socio-economic status is affecting not only them, but the ordinary Filipino. There is a larger call to action, and that is for the leadership to address issues that affect us directly. This includes the prices of basic goods, fuel, and the like despite the world economic problem of inflation.

There is so much a brush can do but there is also so much that needs to be said beyond the painting. The Visayas Art Fair may have been a validation for our rising artists, but it is also an affirmation that we are on the same page in our stand. This stand calls for an accountable administration, one that has to fulfill its promise of bringing us back to our feet. We were told we'd stand up together, but it rather feels like pushing to balance on very unsturdy knees. One needs a thorough review of the situation, accompanied by concrete action.


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