This year's Art in the Park will showcase 56 exhibitors representing galleries, art collectives, independent art spaces, and student groups.
Culture Art

Collectors share their prized buys from Art in the Park, and give tips on how to score a find

This should be enough to prepare you for the artsravaganza happening at Velasquez Park next weekend.
Ces Oreña-Drilon | Mar 06 2020

It’s that time of the year again when art collectors, artists and artisans, students and teachers, and even just the mere curious congregate for Art in the Park, considered the country’s most anticipated affordable art fair. 

It’s now on its 14th year, with 56 exhibitors representing galleries, art collectives, independent art spaces, and student groups. This simply means a sheer assault on the senses and an unbelievable variety of artworks that will appeal to a broad array of tastes and styles. 

Collectors make a mad dash for their choice art works as soon as gates open for Art in the Park 2019.

There will definitely be an art piece for everyone’s budget as well. Prices of artworks have a ceiling of PHP 50,000. Through the years, many art lovers have scored coveted pieces for far less and whose values have multiplied several times over. But many a collector will tell you it’s not about the appreciation of the art work’s value nor the acquisition of a named artist that drives them, but rather the joy of the chase and the thrill of the hunt.

We asked a few Art in the Park habitues to share their best buys with ANCX and to give some tips for the neophyte collector.

1) "IF YOU LIKE IT, GET IT! Take your time to look around, the minute something strikes you, says something to you, get it!" —Bledes Fores-Legarda

Artwork by Erwin Leaño from Art Informal
Rommel Sampana's 'Study of Hand VI' from Galerie Artes

2) "Buy what you really want and work within your budget." —Dr Leo Fores 

Japs Antido's 'Watchful Eyes, 2014' from Boston Gallery
Pete Jimenez's 'Bench'.

3) "Never buy any artwork because popular personalities have collected the 'artist to have.' Always choose the artwork, not the artist, that visually provokes and intellectually stimulates you." —Prim Paypon

Artwork by Martin Honasan from Ysobel Art Gallery
Artist: Kiko Capil
Gallery: Ysobel Gallery
Artist: Mark Maac
Gallery: Ysobel Gallery
Artist: Kiko Urquiola
Gallery: Ysobel Art Gallery

4) "Listen to those who are in the know." —Raffy Ocampo​ 

Artwork by Zean Cabangis

5) "For contemporary art, it’s like I’m in school. I visit as many show openings and exhibits as I can to familiarize myself with the artists and their styles. I do my research. I try to personally get to know the artists. then it becomes easy to tell which works are for me and which ones aren’t." —Sandy Uy

Mark Justiniani's 'Trajectory' 2013, oil on canvas, PHP 30,000.
Kim Oliveros's 'Origami: Crane II' 2015, oil on canvas, PHP 36,000 from Finale Art File.
Keb Cerda's 'Survivor', 2016, oil on canvas, p15,000

6) "Ask artist friends which fellow artists they like/respect or collect." —Migs Camacho 

Louie Cordero, 5,000 from AITP 2013 from Blanc Gallery.

7) "Just go buy what you like. Don’t think about the artists’ name, the reputation of the gallery or even what your friends are telling you. Don’t think about resale value (I haven’t parted with any of my acquisitions yet). If the painting “speaks” to you and you walk away from the stall and can’t keep the painting off your mind, then that painting is for you." —Rob Papa 

Artwork by Grets balajadia from Cevio: “One of my favourite pieces to this date is one of the earliest paintings I got a few years back.”

8) "Art for me is all about mood and feel. Good art is supposed to elicit a certain feeling. When surrounded by so much art, I usually do one quick round to see what’s out there. If that feeling is still there after going around, that means that piece is meant for me. It also helps when you engage with the gallery owners and sometimes the artists themselves." —Carry Dizon-Gorriceta

Artwork by Dino Gabito (upper work) and early Richard Quebral Works (bought at under P3k each) from Metro Gallery.

9) "I love AITP because it allows you to spot diamonds in the rough. It has many unexpected pieces that you hardly find at big shows." —Chinkee Tan

Artwork by Garibay from Art Verite.

10) "Buy with your heart and your eyes. Get the piece because it appeals to you; not because it’s a famous artist." —Anthony Ancheta​ 

Artwork by Martin Honasan from Boston Gallery. "I saw this from afar. It got my attention. Didn’t even know it was by Martin Honasan." —Anthony Ancheta

 11) "AITP, I think, has raised the taste of the Filipino art-going public, and has lowered the "brow" of art somehow, to let everyone know that good art is for everybody; and that it must be shared." —Raffy Cedro 

Artwork by Abi Dionisio from Finale Art File: “First off, it's very hard to get an Abi from shows. Second, this is exactly the series that I like. She hasn't made these sleeping women in a while. She's been focused on then threadlike works. Last year, I was so sad I lost out on an Ayka Go from Finale Art File. This Abi Dionisio more than made up for it though." —Jeff Dayrit
JC Jacinto's Collapse of Decadence 1-5 from Art Informal: "I looked thru JC's FB page a few weeks earlier but these were the first I had seen 'in the flesh'. It was hard to choose just one so I decided to get the set. Besides, i could pay with my BPI card at zero% interest x 6 months installment. I like to think that this set is unique as I havent seen any other similar works from him. Parang transition from his early figuratives to his present style." —Hazel Gazmen
Artwork by Arturo Luz from Silverlens: "Been going for the past 6 years since 2014, It's an Arturo Luz at an affordable price. What can I say." —Duncan Yu 
Artwork by Aleah Angeles from Big and Small Gallery: "My prized find! Aleah Angeles 18x24 which I got for PHP 40,000. Initially the gallery said it was sold already but it eventually ended up with me because the original owner wanted a bigger one. So this was really meant for me." —Dr.Steve Lim

Back in 2018, Jheidon Florentino serendipitously bought an unsigned Manny Garibay for only PHP 16,000 from Canvas Gallery. It went unsold for a full 7 hours before being spotted by Florentino.

Artwork by Manny Garibay from Canvas: "This unsigned work was bought at a bargain of PHP 16,000 The buyer Jheidon Florentino, serendipitously bought the piece and even paid for it in gives."

Also in the same year, an AITP visitor unknowingly bought a work by National Artist Bencab. Gigo Alampay of Canvas says it was priced to seem like a student’s work.

Artwork by BenCab from Canvas: "This unsigned work was priced way below the PHP 50,000 ceiling and sold for the price of a student’s work and was bought by someone who did not know he was buying the work of a National Artist."

Canvas won’t be doing a repeat of their social experiment this year, meant to see if buyers would buy for the art itself and not for the name. But who knows, you may just spot a work by a future National Artist.

Here are three more collectors who shared their Art in the Park gets:

Charlie Co's 'Crucified Christ'. “What struck me about it was the way Christ was portrayed, bleeding, a little gruesome, almost scary- a very different take on Jesus Christ. I purchased this back in 2014 and got it for a song at only P20,000” - Raffy Cedro. Unfortunately his wife didn’t like the gruesome portrayal of Christ and he has since sold the work. And fortunately for him, it was at three times the price.​
Argee Dacuyan's 'When I Meet a Friend', 2018, Oil on Canvas, 24’’ x 24’’ from J Studio: “I saw this piece from afar and I knew I had to get it. I am always drawn to works that make me think and reflect. This particular work is very meditative and mysterious for me. Until now, it never fails to bring me to a quiet space.” —Oscar Mejia III
Artwork by Ferdinand Montemayor. Collector: Tim Yap
Artwork by Alan Balisi. Collector: Tim Yap

A fundraising event, Art in the Park donates a portion of all sales to the Museum Foundation of the Philippines in support of their projects and programs for the National Museum of the Philippines and its network. Entrance to the fair is free of charge.

Art in the Park will be held March 15, Sunday, at the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village, Makati City, from 10am to 10pm.

For more information, please visit www.artinthepark.ph and follow www.facebook/artinthepark and @artintheparkph on Instagram.