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.
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
2) "Buy what you really want and work within your budget." —Dr Leo Fores
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
4) "Listen to those who are in the know." —Raffy Ocampo
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
6) "Ask artist friends which fellow artists they like/respect or collect." —Migs Camacho
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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:
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.