One doesn’t need to step into the home of Tessa Prieto Valdes to get a clue into what tickles her fancy when it comes to art—her bold, colorful outfits are practically teasers to what one might see at the Venetian-inspired Sea Princess Palace.
Hence, we thought the interior designer and woman about town might be a great respondent in our ongoing series of tastemakers drawing their wishlists from the upcoming León Gallery Magnificent September Auction—which is co-presented by ANCX. We thought these tastemakers’ picks can lead your eye into some of the best lots on offer.
So if money were no object and Sea Princess can choose anything she wants, what will she bid on? From the catalogue, Tessa, who also loves to paint—it’s been one of her sanity-saving activities during this long quarantine—picked some rather eccentric images with daring approaches to color combinations. You can almost imagine them taking pride of place in choice corners of her home. She picks only what speaks to her—as can be gleaned from her answers to the question: Why did you choose this painting?
Here are Tessa’s choices:
José John Santos III (b. 1970)
Through the Peep Hole
Signed and dated 2005 (lower left) mixed media, 36” x 48” (91 cm x 122 cm)
“Most interesting and unique composition. Most appealing because of its unusual subject of a couple that seems to be between time zones—between the past and present (notably present with the face mask as a sign of the times we live in). This artwork caught my eye most because this is the way I would like my hubby to look at me, or through me, to know how I am feeling or what I want to buy next. Signed 2005, this is also a special year since this is the year our youngest daughter Athena was born.”
Mark Justiniani (b.1966)
Untitled (Balancing Act)
Signed and dated 1997 (lower right) oil on canvas, 48” x 34” (122 cm x 86 cm)
“The symmetry and asymmetry of this colorful painting create a wonderful harmonious tension while viewing the work. The longer the viewing, the more details pop up, and the attention to the elements of time is intriguing. This sums up my busy day and night schedule too with equal number of activities during the day and night so this really appeals to me. As an interior designer, this painting could easily blend with any contemporary design setting.”
Charlie Co (b. 1960)
Arrogance of Power
Signed and dated 2002 (lower right) oil on canvas, 60” x 48” (152 cm x 122 cm)
“Charlie is one of my favorite artists because he sees the world in the same vivid spectrum as my colorful perspective. His whimsical yet profound subject makes you think about his thought process and the details of the artwork. There is always so much going on in his paintings and yet, they all compliment each other. Even if I see the arrogance of the subject, I still need to ask Charlie about the rest of the details and what those mean to him.”
Ronald Ventura (b. 1973)
Signed and dated 2013 (lower left) oil on canvas, 36” x 24” (91 cm x 61 cm)
“I love Africa and I love color with equal intensity. This artwork combines my passions in a truly explosive way. I am also into Feng Shui so I feel this is a very lucky painting with all balls and circles. With Ronald being one of the most renowned contemporary Filipino artists today, this artwork will surely be a stunning example of his artistic genius in the years to come.”
Jose Joya (1931 - 1995)
Signed and dated 1991 (lower right) oil on canvas, 36” x 72” (92 cm x 183 cm)
“I live in color!!! So this is my world in art.”
Lydia Velasco (b. 1942)
Signee and dated 1995 (verso) oil on canvas, 36” x 60” (91 cm x 152 cm)
“In these crazy times, we all realise family is all that matters. The focal point of this painting is the baby—just like my life right now with our new grandson! He is our true joy and the best blessing during this pandemic!”
The León Gallery Magnificent September Auction 2020 is happening this September 19 at 2PM. It is the second major alliance between León Gallery, the country’s most trusted auction house and ANCX.ph, the urban man’s guide to style and culture, the online lifestyle site of ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel.