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“Krista” by Pablo Baen Santos Critique Essay

Pablo Baen Santos created the artwork, Krista. It was created in the movement of Social Realism. This artwork is oil on canvas painting which shows a female whose mouth is wrapped with a barbed wire and clenching her fists. At the back of the female subject, the Philippine flag and a lot of people are present. The female and the people can be observed to be clearly in agony and pain. It was like torturing the female and the people were likely to be dead by observation. The colors used were simple, not too pale, and not too bright and associated with a shade of color black. The lines are mostly curvy and some have edges; a lot of irregular shapes were used to form the image of the humans and the flag. The lighting saturation was just enough to visualize the painting. The different elements used in this painting are color, line, shape, form and texture.

The color used for the subject is mainly brown, a warm neutral color, extensively found in living things. It creates the wholesomeness and dullness of the painting. In addition, there are also shades of primary colors and white at the back of the female. The choice of color is good; it has shown a good picture of the painting by its color. Due to the blending of black color in all parts, the painting appears natural and firm. The diagonal lines are used to create a sense of feeling, specifically agony, and movement. The combination of lines makes up the irregular shapes of humans and the flag. A feeling of right texture is attained as the artist conveys the resemblance of humans in pain.

The Philippine flag is a symbol where the case is evident, in the Philippines. The group of people who are most likely Filipinos shows rebellion and oppression. And the female subject is likely to be the situation of the Philippines. The artist is trying to renounce the happening in the Philippines through art. As I saw this art piece, I was struck in the heart of how real and actual its message is. I was a blind not to see and care of the hardships my mother land has undergone. It was amazing that the artist used his hands not to fight but to draw what he wanted to express for a long time. It was a portrait of the truth.

Krista made by Pablo Baen Santos on 1984, depicts inang bayan (Philippine motherland) with a crown of barbed wire around her mouth like a gag. The work simultaneously embraces the themes of nationalism, censorship and the strong influence of the Catholic tradition in the Philippines. The Philippine flag and a sea of protesting bodies forge the backdrop as the female Christ holds her clenched fist in defiance. One year shy of the silver anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, not much has changed in Philippine politics. In many ways, it is even worse than during Marcos’ time.

Corruption is rampant and has filtered down to all levels of government, public education is a joke, poverty levels have not improved, environmental degradation is uncontrolled, and journalists still fear for their lives. Even if we manage to elect an ethical president, there will not be much to celebrate during the revolution’s silver anniversary. It will take much, much longer than a year to apply breaks to the downward spiral that our country has gotten itself into since that historic moment.


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