The humble street artist first became viral in 2019
As inspiration can be found anywhere, so are artists. While an education in the arts allows many artists to hone and enhance their skills, some owe it to time and life experiences to make their artworks true masterpieces.
That couldn't be more true for Edgardo Lam, famously known as Tatay Edgardo. Dubbed as the "homeless artist" of P. Faura in Manila, Edgardo first became internet famous in 2019 through social media posts showing him painting in his "studio," a sidewalk along Ermita.
His story was so inspiring that it was able to encourage everyone to support local artists, not just the ones that are from a good background but also those that are from humble ones. Although his story never fails to capture the interest of Filipinos until today, it is his paintings that is also the true star of the story.
With discarded paint and scraps of wood, the 67-year-old self-taught artist paints colorful images, from abstract face portraits to nature-inspired works.
“Nakatambay kasi ako dito at nagpaparking-parking ako. At para may magawa ako, may mga pinturang nakikita ako na tinatapon- tapon lang. At ayun nag drawing-drawing ako,” he told Tempo. “Napapangitan talaga ako sa mga gawa ko. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang nakikita nila.”
This time, apart from his little spot in the streets of Manila, Tatay Edgardo's works now hang at an exhibit with the help of art enthusiast Panya Boonsirithum and other artists.
"I learned about Tatay's story from an article online sometime around Mother's Day. So I decided to visit him to get a unique gift," Panya tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. "Weeks earlier before meeting Tatay Edgardo, I also met Aster Bedico who operates a Vegan Cafe and art gallery in San Pedro, Laguna. They have a group called San Pedro Art Collective (SPACOL). I asked Aster if he was open to organizing a solo exhibit for Tatay and he said yes."
The exhibit, dubbed as "The Homeless Artist,'' features some of Tatay Edgardo's best works. The solo exhibit aims to help the artist to earn more out of his works, especially during this time of pandemic. After its successful first week, Panya and SPACOL are happy to announce that all his pieces are now sold.
"I was inspired by Tatay and wanted to share his story to inspire others especially in these trying times," Panya muses.
"The Homeless Artists" runs until June 6, 2021.