During my childhood, I tried to imitate the work of Juan Luna’s ‘Spolarium’ by sketching from an old Philippine History book. I was amazed by the work of Juan Luna, Felix Hidalgo, and Amorsolo. The book never mentioned them as artists, but as painters and heroes.
During those times, I did not know about Art or Kitsch because they were never common topics in my hometown. We called a maker of paintings a “pintor” (painter) but never an “artist.”
When I entered art school they told me that my works are art, and painting is art. At that time, I learned about the Mona Lisa, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, etc. What struck me most was the work of Caspar David Friedrich, which I admire.
I truly wanted to paint in a classical manner but the Art folks around me said that I should “evolve” and create something new if I want to be in with the galleries and for my works to be sold. Out of poverty, I tried my best to follow it, but I end up creating confusing and mediocre works.
I am glad that through the internet I found and learned about Kitsch and Odd Nerdrum. It brings hope to my soul.