Gino Gonzales has designed award-winning sets for concerts and operas, created costumes for the stage, conjured transportive environments for art exhibitions, and even art-directed books. His taste for beauty and penchant for the unexpected visual flourish makes him one of the most sought-after creatives in town, trusted for his stellar portfolio of projects and his unerring eye.
Surely, he’d make a good addition to our circle of tastemakers for the upcoming Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Auction 2022, and we’re glad he agreed to our invitation. The country’s foremost scenographer was once a scholar of the ACC, receiving multiple grants for studies in New York from 1998 to 2001.
“I was able to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts degree in Design at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with the help of a Fulbright scholarship and an ACC grant,” Gino tells ANCX. “Looking back, I'm astonished at the amount of work that I clocked in. I was ready before 7 AM to attend classes, which normally ended in the evening. I worked on projects at the design studio until 3 to 5 AM everyday. But they were very exciting times. The classroom literally had the world in it, and it was a great opportunity to learn from each other.”
The ACC is once again raising funds to send some of our most deserving creative talents to further hone their gifts in schools and residencies abroad, and the group is doing this through Leon Gallery’s first big auction for the year happening this Saturday, March 5, starting at 2PM. More than 180 lots are on offer—from works of local masters to international art stars. So much desirable stuff that one needs a guide—like Gino, who shares with us five of his favorites from this auction’s wealth of treasures, revealing a fascination for portraits and his keen eye for Filipiniana.
Young Boy by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo
Signed (lower right), charcoal with chalk highlights on paper 14" x 9 1/2" (36 cm x 24 cm)
“I love works on paper, especially studies of human figures. Artists’ decisions are made and altered on paper before commitments are made on canvas. This drawing gives us a window into Hidalgo’s artistic process, and it shows how effortless he captures the figure of a boy with economy of line and shading.”
A Caryatid (From the Edificio Tuason
on the Escolta, originally the Edificio
Barretto de Ycaza, 1870).
Philippine hardwood (molave), the figure itself is 1.8288 meters tall/6’0” feet very heavy (requires 10 men to lift and transfer) 94" x 24" x 14" (239 cm x 61 cm x 36 cm)
“It’s a piece of history that we only see in extant photos of late 19th century Escolta. It’s one of those antiques that would look incredible in any interior, most especially contemporary spaces. Given its historical value and fine provenance, it would certainly make a remarkable addition to a museum’s Filipiniana collection.”
A Typical Filipina Beauty by Fernando Amorsolo
Signed and dated Manila, 1926 (lower left) oil on wood, 14" x 10" (36 cm x 25 cm)
“Amorsolo beautifully captured the skin tone of a young Filipina. He layered a camisa over her kayumanggicomplexion, and captured the sheer quality of the cañamazo textile in so few brush strokes. Only a seasoned impressionist is capable of such brevity.
Pair of Columns, Origin unknown
18th century, hardwood with traces of gesso a) 75 1/2" x 13 1/2" x 13 1/2"
(192 cm x 34 cm x 34 cm) b) 75" x 13" x 13"
(191 cm x 33 cm x 33 cm)
“This pair of Solomonic columns were obviously interpreted by a ‘folk’ artist, and for me that’s precisely what makes it special. A certain naivete is palpable in the way the spirals and garlands were rendered. It would look magnificent against the clean lines of a contemporary home and would certainly bring character and history to a new space.”
Portrait of Ramon Magsaysay by Vicente Manansala
Signed and dated 1954 (lower right) oil on canvas; 36" x 30" (91 cm x 76 cm)
“It’s fascinating to see how a cubist painter like Manansala interprets a real person… and a popular one at that. I am thoroughly impressed at his ability to capture the likeness of Pres. Ramon Magsaysay, and manage a certain level of stylization. The rendering style of the filigrees on his barong somehow echo the details of the chair’s backrest and the view outside the window.
Seated Woman with a Bashful Smile by Fernando Amorsolo
Signed and dated Manila, 1928 (lower right) pastel on board; 14 1/2" x 12" (37 cm x 30 cm)
“As a costume designer, I am partial to works that capture clothing beautifully. The balintawak of the sitter is beautifully rendered. Amorsolo captures fabric weights and behavior in his effortless documentation of the sheer camisa, and striped alampay and tapis.
[Visit the selections in the ongoing preview week of the Asian Cultural Council Auction 2022 at the G/F Eurovilla I, Legazpi Street corner V.A. Rufino Street, Legazpi Village, Makati. For more information on the auction, visit the Leon Gallery website. The ACC Auction 2022 is co-presented by Leon Gallery and ANCX.]
Images from Leon Gallery