Art exhibit features Neil Doloricon’s social realism

Students look at the works of social realism artist Neil Doloricon (Photo by Daniel Asido)

‘Kamao ang Hugis ng Puso’ alludes to the essence of Doloricon’s life and work, his passion (puso) being always entangled with a cause and struggle (kamao).


MANILA – In remembrance of its former dean, the University College of Fine Arts held an exhibit featuring the works of known social realism visual artist Leonilo “Neil” Ortega Doloricon who passed away last July 16, 2021.

Dubbed the ‘Kamao ang Hugis ng Puso: Neil Doloricon Retrospective,’ the exhibit featuring the life, words, and work of Doloricon at the Arts and Design West Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City opened on Thursday, September 15.

“‘Kamao ang Hugis ng Puso’ alludes to the essence of Doloricon’s life and work, his passion (puso) being always entangled with a cause and struggle (kamao),” the Concerned Artist o the Philippines (CAP) said.

The said exhibit is also the CFA’s contribution to the 50th Anniversary of Martial Law campaign. Artworks depict the brutal rule of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. for over 20 years, and the present situation of the country. Doloricon’s body of work reflects his lifetime advocacy, “Ang sining ay para sa masa at hindi lang para sa iilan.” (Art is for the masses and not for a few.)

Who is Neil Doloricon?

Doloricon was a distinguished figure among the members of the art community as one of the pioneers of social realism in the Philippines.

He was born on December 1, 1957, in his home province of Surigao del Sur and grew up in Manila where he joined CAP and was named its chairperson emeritus before he died.

The served as dean of the CFA from 1998 to 2001 and was also the former chairman of the Committee on Arts and Humanities at the Commission on Higher Education.

While Doloricon was often associated with CFA, he had a master’s degree in Philippine Studies from the UP Asian Center with a thesis dubbed the “Ang sining protesta at ang kilusang masa: ang istorikong pagsasapalaran, 1983–1988.” in 1994.

One of his most recent works “Hugas Kamay” depicts the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in May 2020 and a tribute to frontliners.

He received many distinctions such as the Gawad para sa Sining Biswal and Thirteen Artists Award (1990), the Guillermo Tolentino Professorial Chair (2014), the Fernando Amorsolo Professorial Chair (1994 and 2011), an artist-in-residence at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium in (2015) and a representative at the Formation of ASEAN Cartoonists’ Association and the 2nd Asian Cartoon Exhibit in Tokyo (1996).

The event is sponsored by the UP Office of Initiatives for Culture and Arts. (RVO)  (

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