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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Solenn Heussaff Accused of Poverty Porn in Her Artworks

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Art is Personal. Unpopular opinion : Solenn Heussaff could be using the location to increase awareness of the nation's poverty situation. Or this was intentional to create buzz. How you take it is totally up to you. Like I said, art is personal.

Lol I used to think that people who said that Solenn was using poverty porn were overreacting as I thought it was just one exhibit/concept. And now she comes out with a new one with the poor as the backdrop.

Solenn posted a teaser for her upcoming 3D solo exhibit to show "love, appreciation and hope for our country and our people." Solenn will hold a solo art exhibit titled “Kundiman” starting March 26.

Solenn's new art pieces will feature paintings and rug designs that she worked on for three years. 

Meanwhile, some have criticized the choice of backdrop. Some of Solenn's followers said the photo used by the actress-host to promote her upcoming art exhibit was done in bad taste. 

Solenn  literally sat in the middle of the road of a poor community in a lingerie with a photoshoot team, 

And called it ART.

What do you think? 

So I'm just here to educate sa kung ano natutunan ko after doing some research abt Solenn issue and her art.

May tinatawag pala na POVERTY PORN where they used poverty for money and fame without the intention na sugpuin mismo yung poverty. 

According to a CNN article, poverty porn involves the use of "exploitative imagery of people living in destitute conditions." 

As if we’re not sick of Erwan deconstructing homegrown Filipino dishes to make them taste like swine feed for all his failed restaurants– here comes solenn heussaff fetishizing poverty for capitalism. in a pandemic. poverty is a problem, not a concept for famewhoring.

How is Solenn bringing to light something that’s being lived through day to day by millions here? what do these people eat that’s making them so short-sighted? Swine feed? 

As an artist, I would like to emphasize the fact that in art, every detail matters. Therefore, each detail went through a thought process.

Maybe Solenn used that backdrop to implicitly tell us that our nation should be a paradise, a place for our dreams and for us to thrive. But suddenly her art doesn't fit in the paradise we dreamt of having that maybe we need to be aware of what is happening. She just expressed it.

Unfortunately, she lacked sensitivity, no matter how "good" her intentions were. Ms. Solenn, an art student, you should've known better.

If only Solenn shot this with a white background, her art piece would be more appreciated and pop out, but instead she chose this concept which (kinda) messed up the color palette of her art piece + the fact that she glorified the poverty most filipinos are going through.

She could've chosen a better background that won't glorify something AND would make sense in showcasing her art, she could've chosen something minimal para atleast the aesthetic is there + mas mag pop out yung art piece niya.... in my own opinion at least.

Posturing luxury against a backdrop of poverty contributes nothing to the interests of the urban poor, who are already marginalized economically & politically. Aesthetic exploitation is a spit in the eye.

But Solenn won't understand that bc she doesn't live in their reality.

Her recent photographs paint her worse than her previous attempt to do art for "charity." This is oppressive/privilege aesthetics, where marginalization acts as foil to one's wealth. And there she reaps cultural capital (likes, praise, etc.).

I mean, ok, mayaman ka, 'wag mo nang isaksak sa baga ng iba. Disseminating images like hers only cement (i.e., further normalize) a visual ~culture~ of poverty, a REAL issue that the inutile government needs to address!!

This was her explanation, but it's not enough. Ninotchka Rosca called her out too. Posing with a painting and a rug in front of homes of people who can afford neither is truly insensitive and only romanticizes the reality of poverty. 

"Stark contrast between the green exuberance of the painting with the colors of the rug, on the one hand, and the desolation of a poverty-blasted site where there's no evidence of life.  Between a concept and a reality of existence."

This is not for aesthetic. Gusto niya lang mapag-usapan para mapansin yung exhibit niya. Parang katulad lang yan ng movie na tililing or yung RC commercial, they're done to seek attention.

RIGHT ????  ang lala teh, she could've known something better than this, using poverty as her "aesthetic" + nawala na yung saysay ng pagshowcase ng art piece nya, nakain ng background, sobrang loud eh.

Solenn is trying to gain fame and money? Joke ka. Solenn is already rich and famous. Try to know more about her arts bago ka kumuda. SHE CAN'T "ELIMINATE" THE POVERTY IN THIS COUNTRY BUT SHE CAN HELP A COMMUNITY.

If this is done by a nobody and a poor person, i’m pretty sure people will praise it and call it ART.

If this is done by a somebody and a rich person, they will call it ARTE.

Stop being too sensitive. 


Perhaps I'll give Solenn the benefit of the doubt and see the whole exhibit myself. The idea and intent seem okay but the execution was just idk maybe haphazard and didn't take into consideration the medium it was conveyed in. 

I don't doubt Solenn's good intentions. 

But posing a glam shot in the middle of a slum area will never sit right. Just because you have good intentions doesn't mean this wasn't a bad move.

If Solenn wasn’t rich, would people think it’s still #povertyporn? If it was an unknown artist (and a poor one at that) who did this, would it receive the same flak? Just trying to understand where the “wrong” is coming from.

Art is a freedom of expression, Solenn doesn't do anything wrong. Kung masakit sa matang makita ang  salamin ng lipunan then let's help each other and start a new canvas.


Solenn is one of the best contemporary social realism painters today, but those Filipino talangka artists and critics ignore her because she's a woman. Oh she's rich and biracial too. She and other artists should be free and allowed to do whatever they want aesthetically. 




Cancel culture is toxicity. lol! Solenn is an artist and clearly her intention is pure & knowing her beautiful soul She didn't mean any harm to anyone at all. But she is guilty. You guys should sit the fuck down. Don't take this too seriously.

The first thing that came to mind is Gloc 9's "Upuan". I support her message to view the whole exhibit. One problem is what many see in Solenn's picture a celebrity doing a photoshoot. Please look at it as an artist trying to convey a message.

In an artist perspective, so many things you can make up to interpret the photo. It makes you wonder, even ask “why kundiman?”

But of course, people will see her as the famous/privilege/rich that she is known for.

They don’t consider her as an Artist. They judge her because of her social status. Others even dictate how she should do her art.

Oh yeah, Solenn can paint. I like how she frames texts and images without insulting the intelligence of her audience. No redundancy and shallowness. Her style is an artistically schooled Basquiat. Of course, hindi siya sisikat sa Pilipinas. Hija, go to the US or Europe. 

What I see is metaphor. Can we not see Solenn as the rich in this photo? See her as a person framed in her “caged/fiction paradise”that she has made; when outside of it, is the reality, the ordinary. 

But, I guess we have to see the whole exhibit first to see her interpretation. 

Solenn has since apologized for the picture, stating "I love my country and everything that makes it what it is." 

True enough, we don't need more rich celebrities raising awareness on poverty in this country. What we need are people who are able to bring solutions and tangible help to our marginalized communities.

She can’t use the narrative of the poor in her art without so much as shedding a light on who put them there and why they are there. Otherwise, it would just be performative and exploitative. She can use her power in a much better way.

I think their point is that we already know that a large part of our society is poor and that's the reality, but what does Solenn or the upper class do about it?

Quite frankly, the rich has no obligation to the poor. It's the government who should work for everyone's welfare as we all pay taxes.


"This exhibit expresses my love, appreciation and hope for our country and our people."

*shows off her luxury rug and enormous painting*

*proceeds to an impoverished area*

*poses like a bored person*

- Solenn Heussaff

Solenn is receiving flak over her choice of promotion setting.

Maybe give her art the benefit of the doubt?

Who knows? Maybe she's onto something much more than just the misconstrued promotion.

I just hope the Solenn defenders realize that art is also political and that stunt pulled by her was not to shine light on the urban poor but merely used it as a prop for her own selfish gain.

I think people quickly judged Solenn's art without waiting for her interpretation...and confused it to aesthetics when it has artistic properties. But art is always open to any opinions and she made her point by letting her audience notice that poverty is still relevant in our country.

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