WORK IN PROGRESS: Photo shows the forward movement of Jonathan Benitez' artwork documenting the advent of COVID-19 in the Philippines from March 20 to March 21, 2020. See story for the March 23 progress photo in the article.

Local artist Jonathan Benitez has called on his colleagues in the country to “record” the advent of COVID-19 in the most imaginative ways they can so they can be subjects of aesthetic contemplation.

Benitez said Saturday to Palawan News that though dreaded as it is now a pandemic, the emergence of the coronavirus disease should be “recorded in world history” not only in mass and social media but also in artworks that live through time.

“Sa mga kasining sa buong Pilipinas, keep painting, paint this pandemic. Record this time in world history. Hindi natin alam sino sa atin ang makaka-survive sa sitwasyong ito. By doing this, nakakaambag ang sining mo sa maraming kuwento ng sangkatauhan patungkol sa panahong ito. Post the progress in your social media accounts,” Benitez said.

He said he and his colleagues can do it by making the COVID-19 pandemic as their theme, using any medium.

Benitez said the artworks will be their tribute and inspiration for people serving in the frontlines of the pervasive disease, like doctors and nurses who are treating patients, other medical and health volunteers, local and national government officials, and more.

Magpipinta lahat ng artist about the pandemic as a theme, using any medium, digital art, or drawing, any materials available sa kanila, any size. They can post their progress to daily update people in their social media accounts,” he said.



Benitez said all artists nationwide can participate and dedicate their artworks to the health, medical, and other frontliners in their cities, municipalities, and provinces “to inspire them”.

COVID-19 happening in 2020, though posing challenges, is an extraordinary event in history, knowing how it is currently affecting not only Palawan but the world.

Kapag natapos ang piyesa ng hindi pa tapos ang current situation natin, do more work until this is over. Through this activity, makikita ang kuwento ng bawat artists sa bawat region kung saan sila nakatira, regardless of diversities ng narratives,” Benitez said.

“Isa lang ang common ground ng lahat: apektado tayo lahat, all walks of life, walang mahirap at mayaman. Art is another form of being human… we want to inspire, we want to mark this in history to remind us how we rose up about this eventually,” he said.

Benitez said his work is still in progress because it is like a diary, a creative journal in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences.


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