ARTISTS come in different forms. Some create art for art’s sake, while others create art based on their emotions. Then there are also those who create works based on current social issues, like Jose Burgos III.
The son of press freedom proponent and social activist Joe Burgos Jr., Burgos III uses social concerns as an impetus for his work. The artist-turned-farmer has decided to stage a one-man show after over 3 decades of being away from the spotlight. His last one-man show was in 1987 and in 1990, Burgos III turned to farming to help the family.
Still continuing to paint, he has finished more work with a style that matured over time.
This volume of work prompted him to put up a one-man exhibit after several years of absence from the scene. “I have 17 works on display, 12 of which are acrylic on paper and 5 are acrylic on canvas. These are all works that were completed within 6, 7 months ago ” he shared.
His works touch upon a wide range of topics and emotions with one showing the calming view from a window of a rice field nearing harvest. Another piece highlights the innocence of a child playing with the moon as his ball. “I wanted to show the innocence of children… they can play with everything. The world is their oyster and the limit is only their imagination,” he said.
Another piece titled “Nagaantabay” shows a young girl waiting anxiously with eyes staring in the distance. “When I was making this piece, what I had in mind was my brother, Jonas Burgos. He was abducted more than 12 years ago. When will he come home? What happened to him? How long will we have to wait,” Burgos III said.
Another piece tackles the continuation of duty. In the piece “The Show Must Go On,” a beer-bellied balding man strikes a theatrical pose. “Even if our body starts to fail us, even if time has robbed us of our youth, there is still work to be done, a duty to uphold,” the artist said.
One of the most striking pieces in the collection is “Yes You” which features a massive hand with the pointer stretched outwards to the viewer on a stark black background. “This piece was born out of guilt,” Burgos III said. “I was thinking, in the many years that I lived my life, what have I contributed to society? Have I lived my life the best way possible?”
The finger, pointing straight at the viewers, challenges them to look into themselves in a moment of introspection. “If you see a work of mine that connects and resonates with you, then I am happy as an artist,” he added.
Pihit will be on view from Jan 15 to February 6 at Conspiracy Garden Café in Visayas Avenue, Project 6, Quezon City.