Vita Sarenas (with a Jigger Cruz behind her) and one of her top favorites in the upcoming  Leon Gallery’s Asian Arts Council Auction—Kawayan de Guia's "Viva La Suerte." Profile photo courtesy of Saren

Tastemaker’s list: Finale Art File’s Vita Sarenas picks the must-gets from the coming León auction

The gallerist as influencer—that’s how we see our tastemaker.    
ANCX Staff | Feb 18 2021

Anyone can own a gallery but to be one who has the power to influence where the art scene goes, one needs to have had the kind of background, vision and savvy of a Vita Sarenas, the moving force behind Finale Art File. 

Finale is one of the most enduring art spaces in the country, having started in the early 80s, and with no less than a four-man show that featured the works of art greats Cesar Legaspi, Malang, Ang Kiukok and Romulo Olazo. Today, Finale continues to launch future stars and host some of the best in Filipino contemporary art. It is home to artists and a space collectors trust. 

That’s why we thought of asking Vita, with her cool bob and uber cool outfits, to join our circle of tastemakers for this edition of Leon Gallery’s Asian Arts Council Auction happening this February 27. We asked the gallerist and one time art teacher to name for us five of what she thinks are the best from among the plenty of offerings in the upcoming León auction—which is also presented by ANCX. 

“I look at an artwork intuitively,” she says, “beyond academic.” Her list should explain what she means.


Lot #24
"Tinapa Vendors" by Anita Magsaysay-Ho 

Signed and dated 1955 (lower right) egg tempera
20” x 16” (51 cm x 41 cm)

“I like Anita Magsaysay Ho’s Tinapa Vendors because I  can ‘smell’ the tinapa.  AM Ho has expressed it well with her lines, colors etc.” 


Lot #33
"Why I Hate Europeans" by Manuel Ocampo

Signed (verso)
Oil and paper on canvas
72” x 76 1/2” (183 cm x 194 cm)

Lot #40
"Viva La Suerte" by Kawayan de Guia 

Signed and inscribed Baguio, 2019 (lower right) mixed media
60” x 48” (152 cm x 122 cm)

“Manuel Ocampo’s Why I hate Europeans and Kawayan de Guia’s Viva la Suerte show the artists’ wit, humour, and the cheekiness on how they tell their stories.”


Lot #63
"Father and Son" by Ang Kiukok 

Signed and dated 1993 (upper left) oil on canvas
36” x 7” (91 cm x 18 cm)

“It’s heartwarming to feel the love between father and son  in Ang Kiukok’s Father and Son painting.”


Lot #56
"Untitled" by Francesca Enriquez 

Signed and dated 1986 (lower right) acrylic on panel
48” x 46” (122 cm x 117 cm)

“I like Francesca Enriquez’ untitled painting because of its spontaneity, use of color and her effortless style.”


[View the lots at]