Solenn Heussaff has penned an apology after drawing criticisms online for supposedly using poverty porn to promote her upcoming 3D solo art exhibit.
The Kapuso actress has already taken down both her Instagram and Facebook posts showing her posing with her artwork in an urban poor area setting, which some netizens deemed as an “insensitive” way of drumming interest in her art.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about the comments you guys left on the photo I posted. I know it sparked some debate and there were both good and bad takes on it. While I appreciate the encouragement some shared, I also want to apologize to those I have hurt,” wrote Solenn in an Instagram post on Thursday.
Solenn explained the story why she chose the backdrop for her promotional photo.
“Wanted to shoot it in a typical street, those we drive by every day. Streets full of life, since all my paintings are about the people we see. Not the rich or the poor but people for who they are. Humanity. The choice of painting was to show the environmental side. The abundance and balance of what life was, but also growth and hope.”
While Solenn believes that art is subjective, she admitted that the backlash was “a learning experience for me” and that it made her “more sensitive to different perspectives on my choice of setting”.
She stressed that it wasn’t her intention to hurt or offend anyone.
“It was my hope that I could lend my voice and my art to show the reality of Filipinos. This is the heart and inspiration of all my paintings, both old and new. I did not want to romanticize the poverty of the everyday Pinoy or the resiliency that we naturally have. I really hoped to honor our people by being truthful about the kind of life a lot of Filipinos live today and to show that Filipinos deserve better.”
Solenn ended her statement by acknowledging the controversy as an “eye-opener”.
“Thank you for letting this be an eye-opener for me as well. And to those that I have offended, I am sorry,” she ended her post.
Solenn earlier responded to the negative reactions by saying that “people are quick to judge.”
Her month-long exhibit titled Kundiman is still pushing through from March 26 to April 24, 2021 at the Modeka art gallery in Makati City.