The sixth solo exhibit of Joy Rojas called “The Journey Continues” was an inaugural event at the Artist Space of the newly renovated Ayala Museum. It showcased his journey as an artist and the different phases and evolution of his art. Joy attributes his art to the Saturday Group of Artists, whose members he considers his mentor, and the assistance and support of the Pinto Museum, most especially Dr. Joven Cuanang, and its artist community.
“My inspiration to paint came from my sister who took up fine arts in the 1970s for two years at PWU (Philippine Women’s University),” Joy says modestly. He was the youngest of six children, the “bunso” of the family.
As art writer Kristoff Peralta writes about Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas, he “has worn too many hats to count. He is a lawyer, a columnist-writer, a former radio host, a lay minister, and a sportsman. He was in government service, the vice-chairman and general manager of PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office)” from 2010 to 2016. But one thing is certain: He will always be an artist at heart.”
Joy admits to filling his notebooks from grade school to high school with drawings and sketches. He had a distinguished career as a lawyer, and art took a back seat, albeit temporarily. Away from government service, he had an outstanding stint handling huge funds for charitable purposes at the PCSO. It took time before he blossomed to be a full-time artist. From his home to his workspace, he designed the interiors, which also helped him develop the composition of his artworks.
Joy, a prolific artist, has had six solo exhibitions as well as several group exhibits in less than a decade. I met him when we were both serving under the Cory Aquino administration. He wasn’t painting then, at least not publicly. But when he did, what first showed up was masterful strokes showing handsome horses in full gallop! This was probably an aftermath of his work in the Philippine Racing Commission.
The paintings were quickly bought by horse enthusiasts and his popularity grew. Now Joy dabbles in sculpture with interesting subjects like father and daughter for his whimsical resin and marble Unica Hija 5, the cross of Christ, saints, and heroes. Indeed his journey through adventurous and amazing landscapes has made him an artist to the core. He is now in the abstract genre, which he has so mastered it that he is now counted among the best in the field.
Joy is married to lawyer Trisha Bunye.