Anita Magsaysay-Ho led the charge for Girl Power at the resoundingly successful León Gallery auction last Saturday. The artist’s “Women with Baskets, Fish and Crab” became the brightest star with a whopping P52.6 million pricetag, including buyer’s premium. The Spectacular Mid-Year Auction was co-presented by ANCX.ph, the lifestyle website of ANC, the ABSCBN News Channel.
It was also the painter’s work that was Leon’s biggest moneymaker last February. A personal favorite among her market scene paintings, “Tinapa Vendors” sold for P84 million.
Two other women, Norma Belleza and Pacita Abad, also broke their own world records. Abad’s stunning hand-stitched tapestry romped off with P3.5 million while Belleza’s “Fishermen” sold for P1.5 million.
A market scene featuring two women vendors by Vicente Manansala likewise scaled the heights at P21 million, while Amorsolo’s own rendition of mango-sellers strolled off with nearly P8 million—with his highly prized ‘Tinikling’ taking in almost double.
Meanwhile, Ang Kiukok made his traditionally strong showing with an azure piece called “Fighting Figures.” This piece went for P8.8 million.
Lao Lianben achieved a brand-new world record for himself with the aptly-titled “Gestures” which features a mysterious calligraphic swirl that attracted a trend-setting P14 million. A second work called “Secrets” came close to repeating the feat at P13 million.
Regional stars Le Pho, described by Leon Gallery director Jaime Ponce de Leon as “the Amorsolo of Vietnam” for his lyrical landscapes, also turned in satisfying results. A still life of peonies and irises sold at P6 million while an untitled work depicting a woman in a pastel garden went for almost the same amount. Indonesian superstar Christine Ay Tjoe brought in P4 million for a gold, angular work.
Takashi Murakami, the man who started the revival of Japanese pop art, rang in P18.1 million for “Hollow Multi”, a field of his instantly recognizable smiling flowers.
A stately relleve from the Benito Legarda collection depicting the Presentation at the Temple went for P2 million while a Lorenzo Guerrero saint sold for P3.5 million.
Finally, Manuel Ocampo joined the fray, scoring another world record for his self-portrait which is believed to be the oldest in the market today reaching P3.5 million.
Photos courtesy of Leon Gallery