Does baduy art sell, and is there really an art mafia? 2
From left: Norman Crisologo, Ces Drilon, Leovino Ma. Garcia, Tina Fernandez, Toñico Manahan

Does “baduy” art sell, and is there really an art mafia? This conversation has the answers

In this latest ANCX forum, we’re asking the questions you want answered
ANCX Staff | Sep 07 2021

“I dont tell them what to do,” says Tina Fernandez, the force behind Artfinformal. The noted gallery owner had just been asked if, as movie producers dictate on directors and scriptwriters, gallery owners also try to influence their exhibiting artists. “The reason I invite them to the gallery is because I really like their work.”

But she’s heard the talk. “I heard from certain artists they’re being dictated as to what to make, follow what’s uso,” says the gallerist. “Unfortunately the artists make the same mistake. They are inspired by or copy the style of their idols.” 

Straightforward questions get equally straightforward answers from art world insiders and experts in “The ANCX Forum: Inspiration or Imitation” premiering on the ANCX Facebook page Wednesday, September 8 at 5PM. If you missed the live discussion, it’s your chance to eavesdrop into the juicy and provocative conversation, the lead up to this weekend’s The Magnificent September Auction. You can also watch the forum on YouTube below:

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Host Ces Drilon is joined by Fernandez, as well as curator and “artist whisperer” Norman Crisologo; collector and Ateneo professor Leovino Ma. Garcia, and lawyer and collector Toñico Manahan who will discuss the legal implications of imitation and appropriation. 

One of the more exciting parts of the discussion was the discussion on the concept of “baduy” in art, as brought up by Crisologo who himself was an artist in his younger days and now a mentor/advisor to artists. How much advice does he allow himself to give? “I give as much as the artist needs,” he says, giving them his personal opinion as well as “getting them to realize the intricacies of the art market.” 

And what is baduy in art? We’ll let you hear that from him, and from Fernandez as well. 

The role of mentors and the influence of collectors are also touched on in this conversation, even the subject of an “art mafia” in the country—which may or may not be just a bunch of influential men with good taste and money to spare. 

“I think the artists should be really free to create,” says Leo Ma. Garcia, foremost collector of the artworks of Lao Lianben. “Galleries should enable their artists not to imitate. Maybe the right word is mentoring, point out their good qualities, [call them out] when they become bad.”

Catch “The ANCX Forum: Inspiration or Imitation,” beginning September 8, 5PM, on the Facebook page of ANCX and the YouTube channel of ANC, the ABSCBN News Channel. It’s presented by Leon Gallery and