Press Release
February 9, 2019

Visual artist honored for painting simple Filipino rural life

The Senate adopted a resolution honoring the late Edsel Moscoso for his life-long love of the arts and for his masterful depiction of the rural life of the Filipino people.

Senate Resolution No. 999 was introduced by Senator Loren Legarda. According to her, Moscoso was a prominent painter who remained a steadfast champion of the cultural identity of the Filipinos, through his art.

Born to Dr. Julito Moscoso and Remedios Atillo Hermoso on January 30, 1952 in Bugasong, Antique, Edsel succumbed to leukemia at the age of 55.

His paintings were described by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin as "manscapes," for his depiction of Filipino daily rural life.

Moscoso finished his degree of Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines. He later studied archeology and fine arts in Italy for eight years through a scholarship program offered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

In 1975, Moscoso was chosen as one of the 13 Outstanding Young Artists of the Art Association of the Philippines. He was likewise honored by his home province in 1993 as the "Pride of Antique."

An accomplished artist, Moscoso held numerous solo exhibits in the Philippines as well as abroad. Columnist Sammy Julian related a story of Moscoso's generosity in the Panay News dated July, 2016. He said Moscoso donated a 5-foot wide and 6-and-a-half art work to the Max Foundation, the biggest institution that helps fight cancer worldwide. He said the mural, entitled "Biyaya ng Lupa" or "Blessings of the People," is now displayed in Seattle.

Art aficionados said Moscoso's paintings show a life that is slowly disappearing in the Philippines, such as a fisherman working on his fishing nets, a farmer with his children running around the house or people selling fruit at the market.

"In his paintings, halos appear above his subjects. The colors are basic and the style is closer to pencil sketches. Although Christianity was not the main subject in Mr. Moscoso's work, religion is undoubtedly the motif," an article in the Korean Joongang Daily said.

In the same article, an ambassador to the Philippines said "Moscoso remained true to his Filipinos ethnicity although he would probably have benefited from the influence of Western culture had he lived in Europe for an extended period."

Legarda said Moscoso had always been grounded and proud of his Antique roots. She said he deserved to be honored for his works and his love for the country.

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