What NCCA Visual Arts Committee head Dindin Araneta would recommend to a young collector from the Leon Gallery Spectacular Midyear Auction—a work by Lee Aguinaldo. Photos courtesy of Leon Gallery

5 pieces from the Leon auction a young collector must bid on, according to Dindin Araneta

We asked the arts academician to do what we presume comes naturally to her: dispense guidance on Filipino art   
ANCX Staff | Jun 02 2021

“It's usually a very intuitive process for me, combined with years of seeing and studying artworks and talking to artists and curators about ideas,” says Dindin Araneta on what draws her to particular art pieces. “Or sometimes I like a piece because it stands out from among an artist's body of work.” 

Having co-founded the two biggest art events in the country—the eight-year old Art Fair Philippines and the 16-year old Art in the Park—and having worked with the Museum Foundation many years back, this art scene mover and shaker has seen her share of both Filipino contemporary art and products of Filipino masters. The exposure has doubtless sharpened her eye, and knowing some of the artists behind the artworks has afforded her a more intimate perspective of Filipino artmaking. 

So it was just natural we invited Dindin to be one of our tastemakers for the upcoming Leon Gallery Spectacular Midyear Auction happening this Saturday, the 5th of June, co-presented by ANCX. We asked her: What 5 pieces from the Leon auction would you recommend to a young collector seeking your advice? 

Dindin is currently busy heading the Visual Arts Committee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, as well as being Academic Adviser of the Arts Management Program of Benilde's School of Design and Arts—so, yeah, dispensing guidance about art isn’t far from her current roles. 

Below are her picks from the Leon Gallery Spectacular Midyear Auction. 


"Vista de los Orillas del Rio de Napindan (View of Napindan Channel in Old Taguig)" by Felix Martinez


Felix Martinez (1859 - 1907)

Vista de los Orillas del Rio de Napindan (View of Napindan Channel in Old Taguig)

Signed and dated 1886 (lower right)
Oil on canvas
22” x 31” (56 cm x 79 cm)

Why she likes it: “I like the mood and quiet evoked by the landscape through the colors and composition. I’m curious to see what stands in this part of Taguig today. I read that there was a lighthouse built in the 17th century located at the mouth of Napindan Channel where the Pasig River crosses with Laguna Lake.”


A “Palitera”/”Palilera (Toothpick Holder)


A “Palitera”/”Palilera (Toothpick Holder)

2nd quarter of the 19th century (1825-1850) solid silver (80%) from Mexican silver coins 552.6 grams

Pampanga, Bulacan

Base: 2 ¼” x 4 “

Pedestal” 3” x 2”

Pineapple: H 5 ¼”, D: 5 ¼”

Total size: 10 ½”

Why she likes it: “It’s an interesting looking object that is both sculptural and functional. I also like the material used—silver. I find the idea of a toothpick holder whimsical. This is a conversation piece.”


"Untitled" by lee Aguinaldo


Lee Aguinaldo (1933-2007), Untitled

Signed and dated (verso)

Oil on Board

16” x 20”

Why she likes it: “I like the bold application of color as well as the dark and bright patches. The painting evokes a sombre mood. I also like abstract paintings especially Lee Aguinaldo’s.”


Arturo Luz


Arturo Luz (1926-2021)

Ca. 1978

Oil on burlap, collage

46” x 108”

Why I like it: “I’m drawn to abstract works. In this case, I like the starkness of the work as well as the layer of texture and perhaps meaning added by the burlap material.”


"How to View a Landscape" by Buen Calubayan


Buen Calubayan (b. 1989), How to View a Landscape?

Pastel on canvas

48” x 48” (122 cm x 122 cm)

Why I like it: “I like how Buen deconstructs looking at a landscape painting and creates a diagram. While it’s conceptual, the colors are aesthetically pleasing.” 


[The León Gallery Spectacular Mid-Year Auction on June 5 is co-presented by ANCX.ph, the urban man’s guide to culture and style, and the lifestyle website of the ABS-CBN News Channel. A preview will be held at León Gallery from May 29 to June 4, Saturday to Friday, from 9 AM to 7 PM. For additional information, email info@leon-gallery.com or contact +632 8856 2781. To browse The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction catalog, visit www.leon-gallery.com.]


Photos courtesy of Leon Gallery