Solenn Heussaff gets flak for posing in slum area with her plush rug 2
Solenn invites art fans to check out her exhibit on March 26 at Modeka Art in Makati entitled "Kundiman." Photo from @solenn on Instagram
Culture

Solenn Heussaff gets flak for posing in slum area with her plush rug

The picture seems to paint a side of the influencer we’ve never seen before   
ANCX Staff | Mar 03 2021

Today, Solenn Heussaff happily shared the news that she’s having her third solo art exhibit later this month. It will showcase her paintings and her “newfound love for rug design.” She has all the reason to be in good spirits: it’s a show, she says, that took three years to make, and it’s finally here. 

But a lot of people online can’t seem to share in the influencer’s happiness after seeing her post. The picture by @jericksanchez that came with the announcement seemed just a little too disconcerting. 

The photo that accompanies the artist-actress-model-TV host’s news is of her—looking smashing as always—sitting on a wooden chair against a backdrop of a painting that depicts a tropical paradise. Meanwhile, on the floor, lies a curiously shaped rug that appears to look like an abstract painting. 

Nothing wrong with all that except the setting in which Solenn, artwork and rug chose to situate themselves in is a slum area, and therein lies the problem. People are accusing Solenn of promoting poverty porn to sell her art. 

“While the rug is fabulous, your backdrop is tone deaf. There's a difference between art and capitalizing on that aesthetic. It's called poverty porn. Please try again,” said a comment on Facebook. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Solenn Heussaff (@solenn)

“How insensitive of you. People are literally dying from hunger and homelessness, yet their natural setting is just ~aRt~ for you...“ said another. 

On Twitter, responding to a tweet that essentially enumerates how Solenn supports charities and donates to worthy causes like the Kalipay Negrense Foundatlon, a comment says, “Yes, she's using her art to donate sa mga charity at projects, and that's EXACTLY what every rich person does, hinge on charity than social justice. Exploiting them as a subject instead na mag-help in alleviating the conditions of the poor.”

On Solenn’s Instagram account, the celebrity actually replied to her followers. To a comment that said “Poverty porn? Is this how you sell your art Ms Solenn?” Solenn replies: “This is not poverty porn. If you read my caption and get to see the whole show you will understand and not be so quick to judge.”

To someone who commended her art but added that Solenn and her team could have given the idea of the background much thought, the star replied: “It’s all about not turning a blind eye to what goes on around us. Bringing people’s story to light.” 

Solenn’s March 26 show at Modeka Art in Makati is entitled Kundiman, a traditional Filipino love song usually sang as a serenade. Solenn says on her invite, “This exhibit expresses my love, appreciation and hope for our country and our people.”