BIZ BUZZ: Leon Gallery aims for record | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Leon Gallery aims for record

/ 02:10 AM February 14, 2023

It’s no secret that the pandemic has been a boon to some of the country’s wealthiest individuals, while being a bane to others among the well-heeled crowd, some of whom must now dispose of their most prized possessions —like artwork—in favor of those who have millions (or billions) more to spend.

Whatever the motive, this changing of hands of very important art is what is set to happen this coming weekend, Feb. 18, Saturday, at the famed Leon Gallery in Makati City, where its director, Jaime Ponce de Leon, expects some pieces to hit record prices.

The Leon Gallery boss is particularly excited about the prospects of a 1957 Anita Magsaysay-Ho oil on canvas painting named “Fruit Market” (bids start at P22 million), which he believes has the potential to beat the current record price of P84 million for a Filipino painting (for a slightly smaller painting by the same artist) set in a 2021 auction.


Also a potential record breaker, according to Ponce de Leon, is a large oil on wood panel 1979 painting by Jose Joya called “Love Rite” (bids start at P24 million), currently part of the collection of construction and real estate magnate Alice Eduardo.


There is even an eye-catching Betsy Westendorp oil on canvas painting from 1983 from the collection of the late democracy icon and Inquirer editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc called “Poppies and Daisies” (starting bid at P1.6 million).

All told, millions of pesos worth of artwork will be on auction to the highest bidders this weekend.

Of course, potential buyers have to be wine-and-dined so Leon Gallery will be hosting cocktails this Wednesday evening at their Legaspi Village location for their valued clients ahead of the actual auction at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

So will records be broken as predicted? Abangan!

— Daxim L. Lucas

The show must go on

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) may be hibernating for three years to pave the way for much-needed retrofitting and refurbishment, but it doesn’t mean that its pipeline of matinee and gala events will be scrapped.

While the iconic CCP building is under renovation, Ayala Land’s Samsung Performing Arts Theater at Circuit Makati is more than happy to pick up the slack.


Ayala Land announced it has signed an agreement with the CCP for Samsung Performing Arts to host select performance events already booked by several CCP resident companies as the Philippine landmark undergoes renovation until 2025.

Designed by US-based Theatre Projects Consultants and experts on sound design, Akustiks, in partnership with GF & Partners Architects and world-renowned architects from Callison RTKL, Samsung Performing Arts Theater is a 1,520-seater performance facility meant to showcase local and foreign talent.

Meanwhile, the CCP’s planned redevelopment will retain the iconic architecture and focus on structural improvements including upgrading its fire, drainage, electrical and environmental protection systems.

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“The building has gone through leaks, corrosion and flooding and other issues from various typhoons and earthquakes over the years. We are also looking at technological and aesthetic upgrades responsive to CCP’s future programs and activities, particularly the comfort, safety and overall experience of performers, audiences, employees and other stakeholders,” said CCP president Margie Moran-Floirendo.An initial budget of P900 million was allocated for the rehabilitation of the main building. But given the scale and ambitions for the project, the CCP has said more funds may be needed. INQ

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
TAGS: Biz Buzz, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Leon Gallery

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