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APRIL 29, 2018



Art is a way of expressing one’s views about the world, culture and history. We have
the freedom of expression, our freedom to portray what we think and see about our world and
the problems of our society. Sometimes art seems to confuse the audience and from what they
can literally see in the art, they tend to overreact to the point that they are already hurting the
feelings of the artist just like what happened to an artist named Mideo Cruz.

Artist Mideo Cruz is now at the eye of one of the biggest controversies in the
Philippine visual arts scene. His latest work Poleteismo is being vilified left and right by
various religious groups and influential leaders. Cruz’ “Poleteismo” is part of the exhibit
“KULÔ”, group exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Gallery
showing until August 21, 2011.It was launched on June 17 on the occasion of CCP’s
celebration of Jose Rizal’s 150th birthday.

Poleteismo is actually three walls entirely covered with various images and papers —
calendars, bus tickets, old school certificates, photographs, political posters, postcards,
advertisements and other printed materials. Jesus, Mary and Joseph are not the only images
featured, but Robert Jaworski endorsing Dr. J. rubbing alcohol; Alma Concepcion smiling
over Champion cigarettes; two Thai actors selling Coca-cola, and US President Barack
Obama. Since the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic Country, people have been
offended by the work of Mr. Cruz. Filipinos especially the religious groups does not approve
to this kind of art since it is destroying their image and they, the Filipinos feel as if the art is
disrespecting their beliefs that is why some Filipinos are throwing nasty comments and
criticism to Mr. Cruz.

If I were to judge the work of Mr. Mideo Cruz, at first I would feel confuse, a little
disappointment, disrespectful, and at the same time curious as to why does the work of Mr.
Cruz has been that way. I know that in the field of art, we cannot please the audience. Qe
have different kinds of views about anything that is why some people would like your art like
others won’t. From what I learned, in the making of your artwork you must see to it that what
you want to tell the audience about your artwork they must see it without being confused. Art
enhances our critical thinking. It teaches us how make our own judgments. The audience is
free to make their own conclusions and interpretations about the images. Yes, in art you have
the freedom of expression but you must still think of what others will think of your artwork.
You must balance what your artwork wants to say to how the audience will view your work.

According to Mr. Mideo Cruz, he entitled his work ‘Poleteismo’ which loosely
translates into ‘many beliefs’ or ‘many deities.’ Throughout history, humanity has grown to
create new gods and these are not always religious figures but concepts and objects. Some
have taken to worshipping money; some see politicians as godsend. People create idols and
these idols whether or not they’re deserving of idolatry or worship affect our lives and how
we function and see the world. If we try to hear the side of the story on how did Mr. Cruz
come up with this concept we can truly understand what the artwork is really telling us about
which I think is actually true. The appearance of the artwork is very alarming but if we try to
look deeper to it then we can see and understand what it actually tells.

Our life is very colorful, varied, and full of conflicting beliefs and values. As they say,
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”. We all have our faults here; we judge without knowing
first. Mr. Cruz could have gone to a less confusing way of making his art but he didn’t.
Instead he went to the other way and has provoked a lot of people to dislike his work because
of its appearance. He had a choice, he has the freedom and he used it. The audience has also
the freedom to criticize the artwork. Nevertheless, we still need to respect each other’s idea,
opinion, judgment, and everything for art has a way of making things complicated in the eyes
of the people