Friday, July 10, 2009

Joseph Firmesa

During the Iloilo leg of our Sine Indie caravan, we met an unassuming artist named Joseph Firmeza. His lolo was a classmate (Joseph is still in his 30s, I think) of Jose Rizal and owned the first car in Iloilo City which he promptly drove into the river. Another of our anti-tourist guide, he told us about the historical sites in the city which were destroyed in the name of development and restoration. His first paintings, he said, were castigated because they were so cute. So he rebelled and enmeshed himself in the German expressionists like Lucian Freud and Beerbohm. Include Francis Bacon and other screaming rebel artists. Add a dash of Ilonggo irony and you have Tiny Firmesa. Here are his powerful and unflinching works to be included in the INA/ANI exhibit.


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