BenCab's 'Untitled (Two Women)' sells for record P25.6 million
A painting of National Artist for Visual Arts Ben Cabrera, or more popularly known as BenCab, was sold for a record P25.6 million at an auction.
BenCab's "Untitled (Two Women)" from 1995 was the highest-selling artwork during “The Well-Appointed Life” of Salcedo Auctions in Makati last March 18. The auction house said it's the highest price that BenCab achieved for his art in recent years.
"Untitled (Two Women)" is part of his celebrated Larawan series, which is based on colonial photography and "hauntingly suggest parallel scenarios between the past and present," according to his website.
Works of BenCab's fellow National Artists also made a splash during the auction.
The artworks of Ang Kiukok, Arturo Luz, J. Elizalde Navarro, and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz sparked fierce bidding wars according to Salcedo.
Navarro's 1998 acrylic on canvas "A Summer Solstice" incurred twice its price estimate of P750,000 to P800,000.
Alcuaz's urban landscapes, two untitled oil on canvas pieces from 1954 and 1956, exceeded thrice their estimated prices of P400,000 to P450,000 each.
H.R. Ocampo's untitled ink on paper from 1972 fetched over thrice its estimated price of P18,000 to P24,000. Another untitled pen and ink from 1974 also sold for four times the estimate price of P50,000 to P55,000.
Other notable results included Lee Aguinaldo’s acrylic on marine plywood "Green Circulation #9" that sold for P4.9 million, and Emmanuel Cordova's oil on canvas "A Habitat for Birds" closed at P2.1 million.
“The Well-Appointed Life" also featured heirloom furniture, ethnographic and ecclesiastical objects.
A 19th century processional wood and ivory statue of Valecian Dominican friar San Vincent Ferrer, which featured a finger pointing outward, closed at P2.1 million, over 600% of its presale estimate of P25,000 to P30,000.
A twelve-sided narra table with intricate carvings sold at P1.4 million. Salcedo said it's formerly owned by the family of Candelaria Moldes Santos, the wife of Col. Leopoldo Santos, a Philippine army and guerilla fighter during the Japanese occupation.
Last March 18's auction marked the inaugural biannual edition of “The Well-Appointed Life," which is held in September.
The event offered over 200 choice lots from three sections: Important Philippine Art, Connoisseur Collection, and Fine Jewelry & TImepieces.