Prized collections to adorn your home
We can maybe blame it on the pandemic and the lockdowns that ensued, but many have turned to retail therapy while riding out the turbulent past couple of years. And this “spendemic” doesn’t only involve revenge travel and home essentials. Collecting luxury purses, sought-after sneakers and designer toys is becoming all the rage.
If you’re in a state of investing in pieces for your home, consider art works. These not only tremendously enhance one’s living space, they also add exceptional value especially since art is known to appreciate over time. As with any investment, however, you are obliged to do your research to make sure that you are investing in a worthy piece of art.
Here are some illustrious Filipino artists you might want to consider. They have, without doubt, produced some of today’s most priceless and respected art pieces.
The Philippines’ first National Artist, painter Fernando Amorsolo is widely recognized as the most influential artist of his time. Known as the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art,” he is most well-known for his depiction of rustic Philippine countryside scenes and his trademark backlighting technique which seem to illuminate his paintings and give his subjects that sun-drenched glow.
Among his major works include “Babaeng Nagbabasa,” “Afternoon Meal of the Workers,” “The Burning of Manila,” “Dalagang Bukid,” and “Defense of a Filipina Woman’s Honor.”
According to art market data service Mutual Art (mutualart.com), realized prices of Amorsolo’s works range from “$92 to $882,251, depending on the size and medium of the artwork.” Among his auctioned works which fetched hefty prices include “Lavanderas,” “Mango Gatherers,” and “Under the Mango Tree.”
National Artist for Painting Vicente Manansala is known as one of the pioneers of the modernist art movement in the country. He developed a technique called transparent Cubism, a Cubist-inspired style but with the subjects still fully represented and the geometric planes showing a light, translucent quality.
Manansala’s works have been known to go for $293 to $961,074, according to Mutual Art. His oil-on-canvas, “Pila sa Bigas” was sold for P30.37 million while “Tiangge” was auctioned for P30.66 million.
National Artist for Visual Arts Jose Joya is an abstract artist, painter, printmaker, mixed-media artist and ceramicist. His masterpiece “Granadean Arabesque” represented the Philippines in the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1964, the first time for the country to join the longest running international cultural exhibition and the leading showplace for contemporary art.
His abstract work “Space Transfiguration” fetched a whopping P112 million when it was auctioned off at the Leon Gallery Auction in 2018, setting the record for the highest price ever paid for art in the country at auction.
More popularly known as BenCab, National Artist Benedicto Cabrera is widely hailed as a master of contemporary Philippine art. Among his easily recognizable subjects is Sabel, a real-life bag lady/mad woman/scavenger who the artist observed from his parents’ home in Bambang in the mid ’60s. One can see the artist’s muse in many of his works, in various iterations.
A painter and printmaker, BenCab’s works are among the most sought-after by collectors. His paintings have been exhibited all over the world—from Japan and Spain to the United Kingdom and the United States. One of the artist’s paintings went for a record P46.7 million at a Leon Gallery auction.
Best known for his fusion of Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism, National Artist Ang Kiukok’s works are colorful, striking and dynamic. A prominent figure in the local art scene, he has garnered numerous awards and his works have been widely exhibited both locally and internationally.
Prices of his works range from $244 to $1,319,476, according to Mutual Art. Ang’s oil on canvas “Fishermen” was auctioned for P65.4 million, breaking records for Philippine art sold in the country.
Sources: National Commission for Culture and the Arts, ncca.gov.ph; Mutualart.com; Fernando C. Amorsolo Art Foundation, fernandoamorsolo.com; Sothebys.com; Bencabmuseum.org; Ateneoartgallery.com; Inquirer Archives
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