Fusion Reflection: SOLD for PHP370,000 (including buyers 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. ◆

“Fusion Reflection”
Rene Robles and Emmanuel Garibay
Acrylic on canvas
150cm x 80cm