signed and dated 2001 (lower left)
oil on canvas
48" x 60" (122 cm x 152 cm)
The driver of what looks like a jeep looks back to accept the bayad or payment amid the grit of the vehicle’s crowded interiors. A passenger at the back area reads the sordid news of the day while another iconic image for the masses, the mother and child, becomes a requisite fixture also at the back of the jeep.
Garibay’s subject here is the fundamental paradox of modern city life; the loneliness of people in a crowd; there is a depth of suppressed compassion in these images that makes us think of the works of Courbet.
Throughout his career, Garibay sought out the masses in the streets, in the jeepneys and buses—even in their basketball games. According to him, whenever people go to school, to work, or to places of leisure, they all travel toward a destination, possibly a new life ahead, the realization of one’s self, the attainment of salvation or the failure to do so.
Documenting the people in his life, Garibay creates social scenarios that are as gritty as they are compelling. It is of particular interest that the artist, while holding a theological degree and who formerly practiced pastoral duties, takes off from the Theology of Liberation and its particular Filipino version—the Theology of Struggle—and pushes its logic to the limit in a radicalized interpretation in terms of Filipino social realities.