Detail shots of, from left: MM Yu's Subject/Object, Neal Oshima's portrait of Joan Bitagcol, and Patricia Eustaquio's textile work.

Where the Marina Cruz is hanging—and 11 actually useful tips for your Art Fair weekend

Tips for the emerging art patron—and those who just want to hang while perusing the Santi Bose they can’t buy.
Jerome Gomez | Feb 22 2019


The Marina Cruz is hanging at the Mind Set Art Center booth. If you’re only reading this now, it’s too late. It already sold for $15,000.

Also at Silverlens: a scarf by Pio Abad depicting aerobics-era Jane Fonda, with the word Pampangueña written on top. Photo from the artist's Facebook page.


There will be a couple of Geraldine Javiers at the Silverlens booth. But on the first day, the piece de resistance was a painted textile of Patricia Eustaquio displayed like a portrait backdrop. The space also has a rare Santi Bose—although, come to think of it, all Santi Boses are rare—but it’s not for sale. It’s a preview, if you will, for a big solo show to be curated by Patrick Flores in September. Then and there, the paintings will be for sale.

The Santi Bose at Silverlens.


Expect Cristina "Ling" Quisumbing Ramilo’s found wood extravaganza to be Instagram central. It looks like a library—a place selfie addicts rarely get to see and visit. 



Follow @totosalgado on Instagram. The good doctor and antiques dealer appears to have done studio visits with every artist showing a work at the fair, even fresh new names that only with-it collectors like Dok Toto will give the time of day. 



Befriend—but ever so subtly—the gatekeepers of the gallery. Sol of West. Kath of Silverlens. They will inform you of rehangs and, in the case of Kath, she might just be the person you need to get you a place on the list for a Nicole Coson. 



The bigger David Medalla work, of course is, “Stitch in Time,” where audiences are encouraged to sew personal artifacts into yards of piña suspended in the middle of Level 5. But don’t miss the portraits starring David Medalla himself, in various setups all shot while he lays in bed—festooned with flowers, violated by pearls, covered in tulle and other such fantastic whimsies. These portraits, taken by his partner Adam Nankervis, are courageous and morbid almost—but also they say that fabulous, like David, is forever. 

One of David Medalla’s exuberant portraits by his partner Adam Nankervis.


If you’re a nostalgia freak: check out Mark Salvatus’s assemblage of images at 1335 Mabini. They are photographs by the sexy Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida. Also a photojournalist, she was commissioned by the Marcoses in the 70s to shoot images that depict their New Society. Each picture is juxtaposed with a snap of Ms. Lollobrigida’s life as a movie star. 

Gina Lollobrigida and the New Society at 1335 Mabini.


Go swing by the Arc booth. They don’t sell art; they serve great gin cocktails. Gin pomelo hasn’t been this exquisitely fancy in years. 


If you missed out on all the things you liked, head over to the merch booth on the 4th floor and get yourself a Raffy Napay shirt for P599. 

Merch! Shirts from Doktor Karayom, Everywhereweshoot, Raffy Napay, Luis Santos and Ryan Villamael at the 4th Floor.


If you’re the type who rarely make the trip to Blanc Gallery because it’s way out in Katipunan, this is your chance to visit Jay Amante’s enclave: his selections this year, from @microserf13 to @paolo_icasas, is a testament to Amante’s unfailing eye for discovering important talent. 

Great works from Jonathan Ching and Paolo Icasas at Blanc Gallery.


Speaking of Jay, I asked what his advice would be to beginning collectors trying to navigate the Art Fair. “I think the best thing to do is to really look at the works and absorb them. Don’t just pass by and give it a glance. Sometimes you get overwhelmed with the images that you see in the works, but really miss out on them.”



Speaking of advice, here’s one from Norman Crisologo, collector, art dealer, the guy manning the booth of artist Ian Fabro. He’s showing but one work in the booth—a terribly dark pen-on-paper-mounted-on-canvas triptych, maybe a foot taller than CATS Motors’ Felix Ang who was led to the work by his friend, the collector Paulino Que. It was hard deciphering their conversation because not only were they almost whispering, they were whispering in Chinese. Better we quote Norman, which was the point of this entry anyway. His advice for the beginning collector who doesn’t want to go home luhaan from the fair—but with dignity intact: “As always, buy first the art that turns you on, the Art you just can’t stop thinking about. That way, you are already enriched from day one. Don’t buy a name or a couch matcher.”

Norman Crisologo


Art Fair Philippines runs until Sunday at The Link in Ayala Center, Makati. For more information, visit


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