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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Art’

Art plus money is a spectator sport

September 16, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Monsters, Movies No Comments →

We had gone to the auction last Saturday expecting something out of North by Northwest.

Given recent news of fraud in the art market—a Luna being sold for Php55 million appears to be in a French auction catalogue for much, much less, only it’s by someone else—we were hoping for someone to yell “Fake!” and start bidding downwards. (Not that we’re suggesting that anything at that auction was less than real. The contested Luna was not part of it.)

Instead, the auction looked like a cockfight, with people in T-shirts and jeans raising numbers on sticks. The paintings were crammed onto the walls, and every plastic chair was taken. “Stay for the Magsaysay-Ho, I bet it goes for Php20M,” said my collector friend, who might as well have been at a basketball championship. (There’s probably a bookie with odds on what the hammer prices will be.)

A small piece listed at Php800,000 went for Php6.9M. It’s enough to make dead artists come back to life and paint some more. In fact they do, except that the actual painting is done by someone else. In a market like this, the genuine-ness of a piece is directly proportional to the price it might fetch: to raise questions of authenticity seems almost rude. You’re killing everyone’s buzz.

We didn’t stay long because the place was packed and we have a horror of crowds. Our friend reports that the Magsaysay-Ho listed at Php2.2M went for Php21M, but the biggest seller that day was the Ronald Ventura painting that went for Php22M.

Watch Vincent and Theo by Robert Altman, which opens with a painting by Van Gogh fetching jillions at an auction in the 1980s, then goes back to Van Gogh’s lifetime when he didn’t sell squat (and his brother Theo was a well-known art dealer).

Ricky Villabona’s Head Space at Univers

September 11, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Art No Comments →

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Head Space, a series of collages by Ricky Villabona, is now on view at Univers.

We imagine that entering Ricky’s head space would be like going to a disco theme park designed by David Lynch. Ricky talks about his installation here.

Univers d’Homme et Femme is on the ground floor of East Tower One at Rockwell, Makati. It is open from 11-8 on Sundays, 11-9 Mondays to Thursdays, and 11-10 Fridays and Saturdays.

Coloring books for clever kids or adults who need therapy

August 29, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books, Childhood, Sponsored 2 Comments →

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Crayons, 96 colors, Php409 at National Bookstores

Your crayon coloring technique says a lot about you. As a kid we would press the crayon heavily onto the page, leaving a thick layer of color, and then we would scrape off the layers so the color would look light. Why didn’t we just color lightly, then? We don’t know.

We went through several boxes of crayons that way. You know those 48-color sets that came in a box with a built-in sharpener? We kept sharpening the crayons till nothing was left.

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Why didn’t we have these coloring books when we were kids?

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Coloring books, Php295 at National Bookstores

Geraldine Javier made us a pair of earrings.

August 27, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Clothing, Design 3 Comments →

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Nyahahahaa!!! Assortment of unattractive gloating noises!

You can’t buy them in galleries. You can’t buy them at auction. You can buy a Geraldine Javier artwork for a million bucks but these earrings are priceless.

We don’t have space in our apartment for artworks (Unlike our friend the BLB who rents apartments for his collections), so we ask artists to make earrings for us. So far we’ve got a Leo Abaya, some James Reyeses, and now this Geraldine Javier. Which reminds us of her pieces from a couple of years ago.

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Scenes from the history of medicine

July 18, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books, History No Comments →

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The Wellcome Library, London has made a thousand years of historical images relating to the history of medicine available free to the public.

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Images from Wellcome Library, London

For news on works of art, music and literature in the public domain, visit The Public Domain Review.

Famous First Words

May 16, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books, Design 7 Comments →

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We’ve asked Antiquary Anne to render some of the best-known first lines in literature in calligraphy. Coming up are the usual suspects: Moby Dick, Anna Karenina, The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit. Do you have any requests?

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Not a first line, but a passage from the first page of The Age of Innocence, commissioned for Noel.