The former journalist is a collector of indigenous artifacts, weapons and objects —and he demonstrates his taste for the unusual and rebellious in his top 5 choices for what he would bid on in the upcoming Leon Gallery Spectacular Mid Year Auction.
Since its debut in 2013, León Gallery has set record prices for Filipino Old Masters as well as modern and contemporary artists. ANCX partners with the top auction house for its Spectacular Mid Year Auction on June 20. In line with this, we’ve asked people who love art more than we do to choose their top picks from among a treasure trove of 125 items in the catalog. “The art is subversive,” says Ricky of his choices (fifth on his list is a set of lithographs from Mindanao). “In their own ways they challenge conventions of polite society.”
Here’s the list of what caught Ricky’s eyes:
High School Student by Joven Mansit
Mansit couches his commentary in what appears at first glance to be a very conventional image that appears to be aged and then inserts an element of whimsy by replacing the head of the well dressed upper crust gentleman with a giant ear.
Montinola's work is similar to Mansit in terms of first glance but his something-out-of-place element is much less whimsical and much more obvious. The shadowy figure in the dark with a severed head on a plate grabs you by your lapels and shakes you up.
Exercise series by Danilo Dalena
Dalena’s overweight people on exercise mats with their legs spread and crotches in your face can be seen as a commentary on the state of modern living, eating food that will eventually kill us and vainly trying to exercise away our excesses.
Chacas Finas by Manuel Ocampo
By the time you get to the Ocampo, all caution is thrown to the wind and you are assaulted by bright colours and vivid brush strokes with all the violence that these suggest.
The images in the lithograph illustrated by Baltazar Giraudier are beautiful science-like depictions of the Philippines in the 19th century, including scenes of a battle between Spanish would-be conquerors and the then-powerful Sultan of Sulu. To me it's really a reminder of how our identity as a nation and the face we present to the world was not formed by us but by the different empires that have conquered us; in this case Spain. Later on it was the United States and now if we aren't careful, it will be China that defines us to the world.
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View the Spectacular Mid-Year Auction 2020 catalogue as well as register to bid now at www.leon-gallery.com.