Solenn gets inspiration from the streets for her latest exhibit » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

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‘I’ve always wanted to see the lives of people. Gusto kong nakikita how they live, ’yung emotions nila, kung malungkot ba sila o masaya.’

The theme of Solenn Heussaff’s second solo exhibit needs no guessing: The lives of everyday people.

  • Solenn Heussaff

  • Some of Solenn's paintings

    Some of Solenn’s paintings

  • Some of Solenn's paintings

    Some of Solenn’s paintings

  • Some of Solenn's paintings

    Some of Solenn’s paintings


The actress-painter said she met them while she was backpacking around the country, hence, the title of the exhibit, “Kalsada.”

“I’ve always wanted to see the lives of people. Gusto kong nakikita how they live, ’yung emotions nila, kung malungkot ba sila o masaya,” she told Bulletin Entertainment.

Of course, Solenn has not visited all parts of the country just yet so she got help. For instance, a friend from Sulu sent her photos of places in Mindanao then Solenn painted these.

“Kalsada” consists of 22 paintings all of which took the artist year and half to finish.

Tiny hands, gargantuan talent

Solenn’s three-year-old nephew, Kaedan, lent a hand in the paintings. He brought her art to life with more colors and gave new perspective on how children always see things in a positive way.

They consider the artworks their “playground.”

“Naging mas raw, mas naging innocent ’yung pieces ko because of my nephew. We are really proud with this because I think na-i-portray namin what’s really happening on the streets,” she maintained.

For the exhibit, Solenn said she was hands-on with everything, from the venue’s decoration up to the food.

“’Pag exhibit kasi, it has to be your style talaga, your image. Hindi pwede na magha-hire ka ng ibang tao to do that,” she noted.

She believes “Kalsada” is way more “stronger” than her previous exhibit.

“Dito kasi mas compact, mas precise ’yung theme ko. And they are all very different, they are all very personal to me,” was how she put it.

What’s her favorite among her latest artworks?

Solenn cited “The Soldiers” that’s inspired by the siege in Marawi.

“It really means a lot to me. Kasi nabisita ko din sila (Marawi soldiers) sa hospital twice. I got to interact with them and seeing ’yung tapang nila, that experience really touched my heart,” she shared.

A percentage of the sales of the paintings will be donated to a street kids’ foundation.

“I really love kids. They’re also my inspiration that’s why I want to give back to them,” she said.

“Kalsada” runs until Nov. 5 at the Provenance Art Gallery in Shangri-La at the Fort.

Her artistry

Solenn’s childhood is rooted in the arts. She started painting at three years old though she never took any formal painting lessons.

“Workshop lang paminsan-minsan,” she said.

The artist studied at Studio Berçot in Paris.

Solenn doesn’t consider painting as a professional career but as a hobby.

“Minsan sa sobrang busy ko, painting ’yung nagiging outlet ko. Importante din kasi na nabibigyan ko ng time ’yung mga maliliit na bagay tulad nito,” she maintained.

On her process, the actress revealed one painting usually takes 30 to 72 hours to finish.

She added that her eagerness to paint comes only “by feeling.”

“Minsan nga, two years akong hindi nagpe-paint so it really depends on my mood.”

Solenn continued: “With ‘Kalsada nga, it took me a year and a half kasi may mga months talaga na ayokong mag-paint. I believe naman I can’t force myself to do it kung ayaw ko naman talaga.” (With report from Stephanie Marie Bernardino)

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