Leslie de Chavez
Published November 14, 2020
When looking at the art of Leslie de Chavez, one can immediately notice the influence of Philippine social realism in his paintings, sculptures, and installations. His visual style is reminiscent of the last 30 years of this movement and his imagery gets its potency directly from the struggles, conditions, and personas of Philippine society and history. Colonialism, poverty, inequality, imperialism, contemporary filipino values, class struggle, and the like enter into his work as narratives to be worked into provocative symbolism. And like the best of his forebears, De Chavez’s art provokes discomfort, exposes ugly truth, and cuts at the apathy of his society.
According to De Chavez, aligning his work with the realities of the Filipino experience is rightly his motivation as an artist. And to achieve this alignment, “entails the resurfacing of historical templates, re-examining contemporary social discourse, and rediscovering introspection.” He believes this truth seeking venture is how art or the artist can respond to the continuous victimization brought about by chronic conditions in society or how art can be relevant to the artist’s milieu.
Leslie de Chavez is Filipino contemporary artist who has had several solo exhibitions in the Philippines and in other parts of the globe, including China, Korea, Singapore, UK, and Switzerland as well. He has also participated in several notable exhibitions and art festivals. De Chavez was awarded the Ateneo Art Awards for Visual Art in 2010 and 2014.