Arts and Culture

Filipino artists mark new record-breaking auction results, exhibitions

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Filipino artists mark new record-breaking auction results, exhibitions
From top left, clockwise: Ronald Ventura's "Blind Mechanism," Jose John Santos III's "Checkmate," Fernando Amorsolo's "Evening Meal on a Raft House," and Danilo Dalena's "Quiapo."
Leon Gallery

MANILA, Philippines — A recent auction hosted by Leon Art Gallery saw several record bids and a Philippine milestone for artists like Ronald Ventura, Ramon Orlina, and Danilo Dalena.

Leon Art Gallery hosted over the weekend the year-end Kingly Treasures Auction 2022 where over 150 artworks went under the hammer.

Ventura's 7 feet by 10 feet "Blind Mechanism" was sold for over P57 million, nearly triple its starting price, while Orlina's sculpture “Mt. Makiling II” was sold for a price close to P16 million — a new record for Filipino sculptures.

Seven other sculptures by Orlina sold for a combined total of around P21 million, while another Ventura piece "Mask" sold for P4.67 million.

Dalena's "Quiapo," one of the social realist artist's biggest ever works, sold for past P18.5 million, while Emmanuel Garibay’s personal piece “Kasama” was sold close to PHP 6.5 million.

Other artists that saw huge sales were contemporary artist Bernardo Pacquing for “Angel” (P3.5 million) and mid-century modernist Venancio Igarta for "Bamboo" (P1.635 million) which came from the collection of the late former Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani.

Igarta had three abstract paintings that sold for a combined total of over P1.6 million, while two Pacquing works, one called "Pink Painting III" and the other untitled, sold for P934,000 and P759,000, respectively.

Works by legendary artists also went up for sale such as Fernando Zobel’s “Luminosa II” (P18.69 million, double its starting price), Jose Joya's “Man’s Life Cycle” (P18.1 million), and Mauro Malang Santos' Christmas 1979 work "Carroza" (P12.85 million).

Other valuable works that went under the hammer were Joya's "The Cloisters" (P9 million), the late Arturo Luz's "Cyclist" (P11 million), Jose John Santos III's "Checkmate" (P14 million), and Fernando Amorsolo's "Evening Meal on a Raft House" (almost P25.7 million) from the collection of Don Antonio R. Roxas.

Melissa Yeung-Yap marks 10 years of creativity in ArtistSpace

Clockwise: 'Sunrise Blooms' (hand-embroidered pin?a silk and Yakan weave, acrylic on canvas); 'Pentapus' (hand-painted resin sculpture with T'Boli spiral brass rings); 'Bintana - Day & Night' (acrylic on Capiz and T'nalak, acrylic on canvas).
Art Lounge Manila/Released

"10 10 10" features Melissa Yeung-Yap’s showcase of works that contemplate the past, the present, and the future, woven together by her engagement with some of the most enduring products of Philippine culture. The title-as-a-number-series signifies her 10th anniversary in the art world, her 10th solo exhibition, as well as her informed collaboration with over 10 Philippine indigenous and artisan communities as an artist, a field researcher, and a social entrepreneur.
Organized by Art Lounge Manila and curated by Ricky Francisco, the exhibition generously presents paintings, NFTs (non-fungible tokens), sculptures, and interactive digital works, all of which bearing the artist’s intuitive style as well as her animated commitment in bringing vernacular motifs to a more contemporary visual language. Her tapestry-like works, in particular, vibrate with the artist’s eloquent, painterly strokes that recall the luxuriant colors and textures of flowers in conversation with the patterns of our homegrown fabrics.
As an artist whose vision is predicated on the sustainability of our tangible heritage, Yeung-Yap reaches out to communities from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, sourcing materials as well as carving out markets for their products—from the filigree-work and tambourine jewelry of Vigan to the T’nalak fabric of the T’boli. She sees her incorporation of these handwoven treasures in her works as a way to honor our rich tradition,energize the imagination of audiences, and trace the contours of the Filipino identity in its multitude of complex and compelling expressions.

"10 10 10" will run until December 7. ArtistSpace is located in the ground level of Ayala Museum Annex, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City. For queries on the exhibit, contact Precy at +639355511305 or [email protected]

Ram Mallari, Omi Reyes champion 'Steampunk' genre

From left: Ram Mallari's 'Super Mario' mixed media sculpture;  Omi Reyes' 'Progressive Fortress' mixed media painting.
Art Lounge Manila/Released

Curated by Ian Belleza, “Synergy” is a two-man show between great friends, Ram Mallari and Omi Reyes. Both artists are fascinated by Steampunk Art and their works for this exhibition showcase their talents for said genre. While Mallari wields his magic on metal, Reyes is a wizard at crafting wood. Together, these artists are the perfect definition of what synergy is like.

“Synergy” is the first time for Mallari and Reyes to work together, but you would think otherwise after seeing their Steampunk-inspired works. Their collaboration shows the respect and trust these artists have for each other. 

Steampunk, being a subgenre of science fiction that features retrofuturistic technology and inspired by industrial steam-powered machinery, viewers can expect a fusion of metal and wood works that are undoubtedly Mallari and Reyes creations.

Some of the featured works for "Synergy" include characters inspired from Greek literature, Japanese Edo period, Marvel & DC Comics, as well as a galaxy far, far away.

According to Mallari, the concept behind their two-man show is “elevating more of how we imagine the world would be driven, structured and magnified by the Industrial Revolution. How metal and wood compensates from the works of Omi Reyes, and to what I can express with these special series.”

Reyes also shared that, “In most of the artworks, I become the accompaniment of an unfinished song, other times, I become an aggregation or even an augmentation of the existing craft that is Ram's.”

For more information, visit the Art Lounge Manila website www.artloungemanila.com. You may also check their social media pages FB: @artloungemanila, IG: @artloungemanila for more details.

Melissa Villaseñor's 'Bougainvillea At Iba Pa' 

Clockwise: "Folds & Creases" Series 8 and 7;  "Psalm 16: 7 (I will praise the Lord, who councels me even at night my heart instructs me) " - oil on canvas
Art Lounge Manila/Released

It is often said that life imitates art. But in the case of Melissa Villaseñor, art most definitely imitates life. As one steps into her Antipolo home one is immediately transported to an a dreamlike idyll where a carpet of dried Bougainvillea’s greet you on your path. And the view from the homes wide windows are framed by lush bougainvillea’s of every color and variety.

Because of this, it is no surprise that the artist is so inspired by these beautiful flora. Melissa Villaseñor captures the dreamlike and ephemeral qualities of these fleeting blooms in her primary body of work which is distinguished by such lightness and softness, almost as if no hard lines are drawn and there are just colors and light and shadow blending into each other in a light and airy chiaroscuro.

For this exhibition, however, the mimesis does not end there, yet another aspect of the artist's immediate environment is revealed in her newly birthed abstract works which are a sharp antithesis to her floral paintings. In contrast to the softness of her florals in oil, her abstracts done in acrylic are highly gestural and contrasting, she also uses bolder colors in her abstract work revealing yet another aspect of the artists surroundings. Less known to most is that her home is also the base of operations for her family’s garment business where machinery bulks of fabric have become the inspiration for her latest foray into the abstract. The effect is a dichotomy of form and style at play in this latest exhibition "Bougainvillea At Iba Pa." For more information, visit @ArtLoungeManila on Facebook and Instagram or www.artloungemanila.com.

Carlo Magno's 'Formal Parallels'

"Formal Parallels" (left); "Blue Mountain" (top, right); "Rejoice"
Art Lounge Manila/Released

Carlo Magno creates mixed media artworks on canvas and sculptures. By rejecting an objective truth and global cultural narratives, he creates work in which a fascination with the clarity of content and an uncompromising attitude towards conceptual and minimal art can be found. The work is aloof and systematic and a cool and neutral imagery is used. His art practice provides a useful set of allegorical tools for maneuvering with a pseudo-minimalist approach in the world of mixed media art.

These meticulously planned artworks executed in an almost spontaneous manner are borne out of years of refinement from his time as a hyper realist where the use of light and shadow, proper composition, creating visual interest were much more straightforward. But in abstraction, the very same principles are still at work but are more indirect yet nonetheless integral to the narrative and aesthetic success of an artwork. Though his work does not often reference recognizable forms, the intention of form and narrative are there, coinciding in an almost formal parallel to the aesthetic and emotional dynamic of the work. Though the correlation between the two are not easily seen, it is his job as the artist to create, maintain and perpetuate the balance between those elements.

Magno's works are based on formal associations or parallels to the human condition which may or may not necessarily be narrated in a precise and formal manner. This in turn opens a unique poetic vein in the narratives and expositions of each artwork. Multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned, the fleeting moments of unbridled joy celebrated, and the resilience of the human spirit become celebrated triumphs. By applying abstraction, he tries to develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based only on subjective associations and formal parallels, which incite the viewer at each instance to make new personal associations and correlations to their own existential nature. Though the artist has veered away from formal representational work, his time as a hyper realist focusing primarily on portraiture and architecture have become the foundational cornerstones of his abstract and mixed media practice today.

To deconstruct an idea or an image to its many different components, one must first begin from a fully formed whole. To fully be able to appreciate the various elements, one must also begin with an understanding of the whole. Indeed it is impossible to create abstraction from nothing. One must learn the rules before you can break them, it is how one earns their due to be able to delve into abstract work. And that is how Carlo Magno finds, reconfigures and redefines the formal parallels between the real and the abstract. For more information on the "Formal Parallels" exhibition series, visit www.artloungemanila.com or @ArtLoungeManila on Facebook.

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