I wanted to paint classical but the Art folks said that I should “evolve”

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.

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