The artists and exhibit organizers: (From left) Henri Lamy, Mark Nicdao, Jaime Ponce de Leon, Geoff de Boissieu, Derek Flores, Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, Ian Anderson, Leeroy New, Olivia d’Aboville with son Leo, and Enzo Razon.
Photos by Alex Van Hagen Powered by MAC Center
‘In The Near Distance’ draws in the power players of the auction scene
MY LIPS ARE SEALED...SOMETIMES - Maurice Arcache (The Philippine Star) - May 22, 2019 - 12:00am

The power players in the auction scene flew in from all over Asia, dahlings, for an exhibit titled “In the Near Distance,” a project of León Gallery International in alliance with the DF Art Agency.

The show was the brainchild of Jaime Ponce de Leon, naturellement; of the country’s most trusted auction house; and artist manager/art consultant Derek Flores. Fine-tuning the organization was debonair French ex-pat Geoff de Boissieu.

Curated by cultural cognoscenti and literary blue-blood personality Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, no less, the show featured six of the most thrilling Filipino (or Philippine-based) “hyper-contemporary” artists Mark Nicdao, Ian Anderson, Enzo Razon, Leeroy New, Olivia d’Aboville and Henri Lamy.

Mark Nicdao with his artwork that sold for a record P1.8 million

“The group represents the exciting dynamism of Manille’s art scene,” De Leon said.

Most intriguing was Mark Nicdao who traded in his lens as a top fashion photographer to create a stunning mural-sized artwork titled “Wormhole on My Cognitive Estrangement,” a riff on time-travel, as well as dream-like fantasy. Lisa hailed Nicdao as “the Juan Luna of photography, combining sensuousness with serious technical skills.”

Ian Anderson first made his mark creating a working maze covering six floors of an American TV network. Meanwhile Enzo Razon has been literally stopping traffic with his photographs; for the exhibition, he conceptualized a karaoke series that captured the Filipino psyche.

Works by Filipino-French textile artist Olivia d’Aboville were fascinating commentaries on the environment, while paintings by Henri Lami captured the joie de vivre of the works this Capoeira artist is famous for.

Proud parents Ricky and Lizzie Razon

Leeroy New, fresh from exhibitions in both New York and Tokyo, offered magical works using sinuous manmade materials.

“In the Near Distance,” palanggas, attracted a magnificent cross-section of art fans. Avid collectors Louie Bate and Joel Consing were seen studying the works intently. Former Cabinet officials Alberto Romulo and son Erwin Romulo were special guests of superstar mogul Ricky Razon and simpatica wife Lizzie; Greg Domingo and legal eagle Rene Puno were there; Hubert and Ara d’Aboville were proud parents amid the sea of ex-pats and diplomats, including the Italian Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino.

Under-the-radar Paris- and London-trained designer to fashionable Manila Robbie Santos was spotted in deep convo with artist Edwin Wilwayco, as well as the lovely Rosa Aboitiz, fresh from Spain with Chichos Posadas.

International collector Ken Hakuta made a special appearance with Lina Juntilla before jetting off to the United States.

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