Beejay Esber

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Jan Calleja

Jan Calleja

Jan Calleja

Jan Calleja

Raul Jorolan

Art Talk — ReminiscinG

"Fusion Reflection" Rene Robles and Emmanuel Garibay


SOLD for PHP 370,000 (including buyer's premium) at Avant Auctions Philippines

Yes, sold. Wow!

When I first came to know about this sale, I was elated, not because of the price it achieved (though it is still a record price for a fusion work by these two artists), but simply because it was sold.

You would have asked by now, “is it so difficult to sell?” Let me explain: This work was part of a groundbreaking exhibition shown at Momentous Arts Gallery in Singapore in April 2009 (shortly after the Lehman crisis”. This painting titled “Fusion Reflection” is a fusion work by two well-known painters Rene Robles and Emmanuel Garibay, each with a distinctively unique style; asserting and transforming their iconography on a shared canvas. It is not often that artists would make works together. The media were so excited and so were we at Momentous Arts. Ms. Kanitha Angela, who came to view the exhibition, wrote: “Rene Robles’ assertionism’ and Garibay’s Realistic paintings were great when fused together, especially cause they are very different from each other.”

Yet this painting was not sold during the exhibition but gone on to achieved higher prices at the auction. Bemused, I pondered “Was it ahead of its time?” possibly. “Were collectors aren’t adventurous enough?” probably as they did not take collaboration work seriously enough. So It’s an opportunity missed.

Andy Warhol did it with Jean-Michel Basquiat and most recently in February 2018, Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh (designer of street wear brand Off-White) took their collaborative work to London Gagosian. ◆


A stronger than expected sales has elevated the attractiveness of Aboriginal art in International art markets. The debut auction at Sotheby New York in fall 2019 features the work of well known names : Emily Kane Kngwarreye, Gordon Bennett, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa. Eight new artist auction records were set with 29 out of 33 lots sold.

The surprisingly good results will propel more sales and activity in this category as collectors are eager to unearth new gems with potential gains not yet fully realized. The category remain affordable and there may be room for further price appreciation..Despite Aboriginal art unshakable position in the history of Australian art, it has never been as widely collected internationally compared to categories like Old Masters, Impressionist & Modern art, Post War & Contemporary art etc. Prospects are brighter now with the success of this sale and an earlier sale by Gagosian of Indigenous Australian painting five months earlier.  ⬩


Culturally important to the people of Japan and popular in many parts of the world, Manga is staking its position in the art world. A Paris auction has sold an original Astro Boy drawing by Osamu Tezuka for about $320,000 as reported by NHK. Only one set of drawing are created for each manga and their value are more appreciated now than before, partly due to the rise of contemporary art and the entry of street art as a genre for collecting. That many contemporary artists has appropriated celebrated characters like Astro Boy add to the allure of this much celebrated series.

Recent museums show in Japan and abroad has cast the spotlight on Manga as an art form (essentially drawings using ink and pen) and its penetrating presence in the daily lives of people. This will further enhance the appeal and value of collecting original manga drawings among niche collectors. It will be interesting to watch the growth of these two categories, Aboriginal art and Manga and whether they will be a mainstay in the art market long term. ⬩


Rene Robles Live Painting at Momentous Arts Gallery | Singapore

Miyabi Katayama
Emotional Resonance

Elegantly simple, Katayama’s art emanates an air of joyous serenity that is immediately felt on viewing. The artist approaches the landscape subject with remarkable freedom and focus, bringing to mind Matisse engagingly simple paper cut-outs. 

Rene Robles Painting Art Of Metaphysical Stillness
Art of Metaphysical Stillness


Beauty & Youth (B-Side)

Jan Calleja  •  Janos DelaCruz  •  Beejay Esber  •  Pete Jimenez  •  Raul JOROLAN  •  Marilou Solano  •  Stephen Taneo


Bold, inventive and energetic, the aesthetics of urban art brings an exciting freshness to the studio practice of artists engaged in contemporary art today. An eclectic range of paintings, sculptures and collectible art toy will deck the pop up space at Tanglin mall. Grounded with a strong urban vibe, the artworks encapsulate the creative energies that flow out of the urban studios of Manila.

The vitality of youth and euphoria of freedom (tenets of urban art) reverberated through the artworks by the artists constant editing, subverting and appropriating. Beauty & Youth (B-side), seeks to entertain, to provoke and amuse with a curated line up of fresh works.