Joseph Bernadas (JB)

Artist Statement

I believe capitalism is destroying our world. It is creating global economic conditions where the ability of nature to replenish and renew itself is strained to a breaking point. In this age of efficiency, our wholesale, relentless exploitation of nature have resulted in destruction of ecosystems, and species extinction. If we do not temper capitalism with new enlightened ideas, we are leaving behind a bleak future for the next generations.

Of wealth inequality. I see the insatiable appetite for material wealth, attendant in unchecked capitalism, is producing unimaginable wealth for some, but exploitation and poverty for others. In a society where the rich can afford $40K handbags, working people should be able to afford a roof over their heads.

The dollar sign. I chose the dollar sign, being the world's reserve currency, as my capitalist symbol. It replaces the religious symbols prevalent in Catholic cultures. In my art, it signifies modern society's abandonment of old cultural norms and the propping up of new ones. The new norms are centered on materialism, hypocrisy, superficiality and a lack of principles.

My painting style. I try to paint in the classical style of the renaissance or baroque, because I feel it suits my message. I liken ourselves today to them of that era, because our way of thinking has not really progressed beyond theirs. We still have the same mindset. Even though our technology have advanced exponentially, the underlying motivations are still the same; to conquer the world and exploit its resources, without any regard for the future.

Like them, we rationalize our actions upon the self-righteousness of our religion, which instead of Catholicism, is capitalism. Our plunder now are no longer limited to gold, precious stones and pearls. We have figured out how to monetize everything. We plunder the world for its dwindling resources, its oil, the sea's bounty, the timber, the fresh water, the labor of the underprevileged. And this is happening all at once, systemic, in concert, methodical.

The people that populate my art. The priests of capitalism are the politicians; and its nobility, the corporate wealthy class and stock holders. Instead of intricate renaissance garb and clothing, they don respectable coats and ties. A few of the women, and a few of the men, are dressed the way they see themselves, as entitled royalty.

It is not lost on me that a lot of capitalists are patrons of the arts, which to me is bittersweet, because an artist needs to survive after all. But let it be known, I see what is happening and I will paint and create socially realistic art tirelessly, so everyone too will see what I see, even future generations.

My goal is to get everyone involved politically, because there will be no social, ecological and economic change without political participation.


Joseph Bernadas received his political science degree from Silliman University in the Philippines. His formal art studies consists of one year of fine arts advertising at the prestigious University of Santo Tomas, also in the Philippines. He immigrated to the United States in 2006.

He is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and works as a web developer.


PrizeShow TitleYearVenue
First Prize, Works on CanvasDimensions XLV2017Art Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Honorable MentionAmerican Dream - National Juried Exhibition2017K Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
FinalistMetrobank Young Painters Annual1998Makati, Philippines

Selected Exhibitions

YearShow TitleVenue
2022The Divine FeminineArt From Heart CIC (virtual), London, United Kingdom
2022Deception of the DigitalGeneva Center for the Arts, Geneva, Illinois, USA
20221st Annual Photography & Digital Art ExhibitSan Francisco Women Artists Gallery, San Francisco, California, USA
2022All Art+: Creating RealityVan Der Plas Gallery, New York, NY, USA
2017Dimensions XLVArt Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
2017American Dream - National Juried ExhibitionK Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
2016The RememberedK Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
2012K Space Studio ArtistsK Space Studios, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
2009K Space Painters AnnualCorpus Christi, Texas, USA
2007Art Center Independents AnnualCorpus Christi, Texas, USA
2006NO Art ExhibitDumaguete City, Philippines
2005Buglasan FestivalDumaguete City, Philippines
2003Kinaiyahan Art ExhibitDumaguete City, Philippines
2001Drowing-drowing DosAyala Center, Cebu City, Philippines
1998Metrobank Young Painters AnnualMakati, Philippines
1997Dipolog Art FestDipolog City, Philippines
1996Grupong SosyalEndhouse, Dumaguete City, Philippines
1995Sugod sa KatapusanEndhouse, Dumaguete City, Philippines
1995The Endhouse ArtistsEndhouse, Dumaguete City, Philippines
1994Samba LikhaanQuezon City, Philippines