Solenn Heussaff speaks up about romanticizing poverty in her art

Published March 4, 2021, 9:23 AM

by John Legaspi

She has been called out on social media for her supposedly ‘insensitive’ art exhibit promotion

Solenn Heussaff (Photos from @solennartportfolio)

Actress Solenn Heussaff’s announcement about her upcoming art exhibit “Kundiman” has not been seen in a good light by some netizens claiming that it was “insensitive.”

The now-deleted announcement post depicts Solenn with her painting and rug design, and set on the background is what appears to have been a slum area somewhere in Manila.

In a lengthy post, Solenn expressed her apologies, saying that it wasn’t her intention to offend anyone. 

“[I] wanted to shoot it in a typical street, those we drive by every day. Streets full of life, since all my paintings are about the people we see. Not the rich or the poor but people for who they are. Humanity,” she said. “The choice of painting was to show the environmental side. The abundance and balance of what life was, but also growth and hope.”

While the artist promises a different perspective once everyone sees the exhibit as a whole, she also pondered on how divided people are in their comments, proving that art is subjective. But still, she assures everyone that it was a learning experience that helped to be more sensitive in the future

“It was my hope that I could lend my voice and my art to show the reality of Filipinos. This is the heart and inspiration of all my paintings, both old and new. I did not want to romanticize the poverty of the everyday Pinoy or the resiliency that we naturally have,” she said. “I really hoped to honor our people by being truthful about the kind of life a lot of Filipinos live today and to show that Filipinos deserve better.”