Wednesday, September 24, 2008

EXHIBIT: JOEY VELASCO

Joselito “Joey” Salvador Alvir Velasco is a young businessman and "heartist" who has endeared himself to many Filipinos through his numerous works - all heartwarming, moving and oftentimes coming across as a subtle rebuke of Philippine society. I took the liberty of taking photos of his paintings during this exhibit (no flash, mind you) to share to those who may not have the time - or the chance - to go out of their homes or offices. I hope that this feature contributes to the propagation of Joel Velasco's message of hope, deliverance and introspection so that we may all, one way or another, be agents of change or at the very least make a difference in the world we live in.

The exhibit was alloted a space along the passageway of Glorrietta 3 in Makati. A video, Sa Kambas ng Lipunan, was also being shown to a rather large group of passersby. I will update this blog soon to include the texts that accompanied each work. It's going to take some time though, so bear with me. :-)


Joe Velasco first came to the national consciousness with this painting entitled Hapag ng Pagasa (Oil on Canvas, 48" X 96") done in 2005 which portrays 12 children he has met on the streets of Metro Manila. A huge billboard of this work can be seen along Guadalupe, near the San Carlos Seminary.

Let there be peace of Earth (2007). A picture of contradiction. Note wall clock at 3 o'clock position.


Kalakbay (2007). As Joey was finishing this painting, two of his subjects - farmers - in this work were shot to death reflecting the long battle that Filipino farmers have to fight for the right to till their own land.


This is the work that really touched me, Hele (2008). It features three children afflicted by Down's Syndrome, a rather common affliction among children in the Philippines. I have had the chance to live with an adult with this condition and I have seen the love and attention his parents poured over him; their understanding was truly beyond measure. People with Down's may appear detached, but they really are very observant of their surroundings and are often quite intelligent.


In this corner of Hele are these words: "DEUS CARITAS EST, et, qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo" representing the second half of 1 John 4:16, "So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." - the opening lines of Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, released on Christmas of 2005.


Manunubos (2008) is a moving work featuring a family - or a Filipinized Holy Family for that matter - holding court in a garbage dump. There is that ethereal soft light that emanates for the main subjects separating them from the darkness and sadness of their surroundings. Note also the children bearing gifts (see details below).


A loaf of bread, which is sold and seen arranged one on top of each other in stalls and bakeries all over these islands during the Holiday season - a common feature on the Filipino Christmas or New Year table.

Two cans of 555 sardines being handed over by the boy.


The subject is a caddie on some golf course and when a community commissioned Velasco to paint them a Mary & Child Jesus scene, he used the girl caddie as his subject to represent Mary.


A rather different way of looking at the Agony in the Garden, this time in a decrepit corner with tired, old wheels and rusty galvanized iron.


Mga Munting Simon Sireneo (2008)


Come Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me (2007). A haunting image of Christ holding up a tattered Philippine flag, both a scathing and humbling take on how we have come so low in many aspects - in self respect, in human rights, and in upholding and supporting the culture of life in our country.


Paleta de Sangre (2008). A very interesting story accompanied this work. I think you must go to Velasco's exhibits and read it yourself.

That We May Live (2007). One of the most powerful images in this exhibit, That We May Live draws you the facial expressions of the children carrying Christ's dead body.

Read more about Joey Velasco
here, here and here. Special thanks to B.C. for inviting me to this exhibit. You are truly heaven sent.

9 comments:

BC said...

Awwwwwwwwww........

Let's be gifts of heaven to each other. And by heaven, I mean, the presence of God: love, life, peace, joy, fullness.

cKat said...

Hi!

A very special tribute to a very special man!

May I feature one of your photographs as a link to my flickr post on Mr. Joey Velasco?

Thank you!

Chiqui P. Azimi

the donG said...

nahuhuli talaga ako sa balita. hindi ko to alam. kundi nandun sana ako.

Anonymous said...

i can't help but cry everytime i saw his paintings...

Anonymous said...

I saw Joey Velasco's life story in Aming Mga Sala, a holy week Special episode in ABS-CBN and I really saw how he changed his life.. His child made a very big part in making him realize that life is worth living with Christ. to Mr. Velasco, hope that you'll continue painting. For your masterpieces give inspiration to those lives which were lost and to those who are lacking hope and courage to pursue.. Godbless!

Anonymous said...

I saw Joey Velasco's life story in Aming Mga Sala, a holy week Special episode in ABS-CBN and I really saw how he changed his life.. His child made a very big part in making him realize that life is worth living with Christ. to Mr Velasco, hope that you'll continue painting. For your masterpieces give inspiration to those lives which were lost and to those who are lacking hope and courage in their lives.. Godbless!

സുനിൽ ജോസ്‌ said...

joey is a blessed painter!

pamatayhomesick said...

sir pwede ko ba itong i link sa blogko www.pamatayhomesick.blogspot.com

salamat!

chriz09 said...

--naappreciate kuh keo.........