Joseph Bernadas (JB)
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.
|First Prize, Works on Canvas||Dimensions XLV||2017||Art Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA|
|Honorable Mention||American Dream - National Juried Exhibition||2017||K Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA|
|Finalist||Metrobank Young Painters Annual||1998||Makati, Philippines|
|2022||The Divine Feminine||Art From Heart CIC (virtual), London, United Kingdom|
|2022||Deception of the Digital||Geneva Center for the Arts, Geneva, Illinois, USA|
|2022||1st Annual Photography & Digital Art Exhibit||San Francisco Women Artists Gallery, San Francisco, California, USA|
|2022||All Art+: Creating Reality||Van Der Plas Gallery, New York, NY, USA|
|2017||Dimensions XLV||Art Center, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA|
|2017||American Dream - National Juried Exhibition||K Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA|
|2016||The Remembered||K Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA|
|2012||K Space Studio Artists||K Space Studios, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA|
|2009||K Space Painters Annual||Corpus Christi, Texas, USA|
|2007||Art Center Independents Annual||Corpus Christi, Texas, USA|
|2006||NO Art Exhibit||Dumaguete City, Philippines|
|2005||Buglasan Festival||Dumaguete City, Philippines|
|2003||Kinaiyahan Art Exhibit||Dumaguete City, Philippines|
|2001||Drowing-drowing Dos||Ayala Center, Cebu City, Philippines|
|1998||Metrobank Young Painters Annual||Makati, Philippines|
|1997||Dipolog Art Fest||Dipolog City, Philippines|
|1996||Grupong Sosyal||Endhouse, Dumaguete City, Philippines|
|1995||Sugod sa Katapusan||Endhouse, Dumaguete City, Philippines|
|1995||The Endhouse Artists||Endhouse, Dumaguete City, Philippines|
|1994||Samba Likhaan||Quezon City, Philippines|