Painting with Pope, PH celebrities raises mixed reactions

DANTE Hipolito’s painting depicting the Pope Francis riding a carabo-driven cart surrounded by local showbiz personalities drew mixed reactions, mostly negative, from netizens recently. Titled “Salubong,” the painting featured Gov. Vilma Santos, Kris Aquino, Marian Rivera, and Gary Valenciano, among others. Discussions centered on the depiction of the said stars as farmers, the right of the artist to self-expression, and Gary Valenciano’s religious affiliation.

Hipolito, however, clarified that the painting was for his wife and not for the general public. “Hindi ko ginawa yun para sa masa. Hindi ko inisip yung masa, o kahit sinong tao. Mapagbigyan ko lang yung asawa ko.” (I didn’t for the public. I didn’t have them in mind. I would just like to please my wife.) He also added that the inclusion of showbiz personalities was due to his wife’s request.

Gary V doesn’t mind being included in the painting and instead would like to personally view the artwork in an exhibit. Delighted, Gov. Vilma Santos requested for a copy but the artist politely turned her down because he wanted his painting to be exclusively owned by his wife. The painting will be on exhibit at Galleria de las Islas in Intramuros from Jan. 25 to Feb. 20.

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