A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on
I’m pretty sure the photographer who shot this (Aaron Huey), emailed me the same, awesome photo more than 10 years ago. It’s so surreal when things resurface. Anyway, this was posted on Nat Geo’s Instagram today! So crazy.
I want to let people know who saw this photo in their feed that I wasn’t the only one on that wall; top left is ATLAS and bottom left is VOX. They were my crew mates from WGS (We Got Skills) Crew.
I had written a pretty good blog post about the first time I used “Save the Savages”, but then I deleted it. Like I said – I’m insane, I know. I realize now that I keep redoing this blog/website of mine because the past versions of myself no longer align with my present self.
The first time I used “Save the Savages” was for a painting I did back in 2007. This is a painting of the Santo Niño (Baby Jesus, Holy Child, etc) which is an iconic religious figure in the Philippines. When I lived in the Philippines, I remember as a kid that this statue was in the house. It was creepy – androgynous-looking actually, and I didn’t know why it was there.
And as I got older in my early twenties, I met some conscious friends here in the US. Friends who told me that things are not as they seem. I learned about history and oppression of indigenous peoples, including Filipinos. That the Spaniards put those religious systems into place.
And so I named this painting “Save the Savages” – because that’s what I got out of it. Throughout history, indigenous people are often perceived and treated as savages, because they don’t fit the mold of modern society. So those who have the power feel that they need to “save” or convert these people, force them to believe in a Catholic / Christian God, etc.
Oddly enough this painting sold. Regardless of your personal interpretations on the art you create, people still identify with a religious icon in their own personal way – it must’ve meant something to the buyer.
Old drawing of my right hand, scanned and modified in Photoshop. I like this one a lot, it still vibes with me. Maybe it’s the pink color, the stars, the framing device or just a combination of them all.
This was a drawing turned into a 16″x20″ 2 color screenprint created in 2008. The bunny dies a physical death and returns to its source. The guys who did this for me did a great job, the florescent pink pops. It’s bright and bold.