Eminent artist Neil Doloricon dies

Leonilo “Neil” Doloricon, eminent visual artist and social realist, died early Friday morning, July 16, his daughter announced on Facebook.

Doloricon died in a hospital at past three o’clock this morning, his daughter Kat said. He was 63 years old.

“At 3:40 am we woke up from a call from my papa’s doctor that he just passed away. They tried to revive him but he didn’t make it,” the younger Doloricon announced.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Artists’ Circle describes Doloricon as a social realist painter, printmaker, social critic and educator.

At the time of his death, Doloricon was a professor at the UP College of Fine Arts which he served as Dean from 1998 to 2001.

He was also chairperson of the Committee on Arts and Humanities in the Commission on Higher Education.

A print by Neil Doloricon.

Doloricon was an awardee of Gawad para sa Sining Biswal of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and holder of the Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino Professorial Chairs at the said college.

From 2017, he served as chairperson of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines  and was named the organization’s chairperson emeritus at the end of his term in May this year.

He was a long-term editorial cartoonist of several newspapers, including The Manila Times and Malaya Business Insights. He was working at the former at the time of his death.

He also served as managing editor of alternative newspaper Pinoy Weekly.

The UP Artists’ Circle said Doloricon was one of the pillars of social realism in the Philippine art scene and was popular for his paintings, murals, and relief prints that depicted the struggles of the masses.

In one of the first tributes to the artist, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) chairperson Dr. Carol Araullo described Doloricon as a true people’s artist.

“So, so sad. Grieving from the moment I heard the news. Paint the heavens in rainbow hues, Neil Doloricon. Or better yet, redesign the heavens through your social realist and sharp political lens,” Araullo wrote.

BAYAN secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said Doloricon was a pillar of progressive visual art in the country.

Doloricon had many exhibits throughout the country and abroad, among the latest of which were in Berlin and Moscow.

Both his prints and paintings are most sought after by many collectors. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)