Objects As Convergence And Art+Design: Two Reasons To Call Auction Aficionados - Arts & Culture

An auction for the ‘Next-Gen’ Collector, the final 2022 edition of Salcedo Auctions’ subsidiary Gavel&Block features more than 500 lots of fine art, furniture, decor, and valuable collectibles, just after the auction house’s recent record-breaking streak.

Two special features showcase the auction house’s passion for market-leading industry innovation–first, “Objects as Convergence” showcasing works by contemporary Filipino artists followed by a bidding part entitled “art+design meets gin+tonic.”

The online auction starts at 11 A.M. on Saturday, October 8, hosted by salcedoauctions.com with two special features that showcase the premier auction house’s passion for market-leading industry innovation. 

READ ALSO: Shattering Records: At Salcedo Auctions’ Marquee Event The Well-Appointed Life Auction Of The Year

The first is a special curated section of the sale titled “Objects as Convergence” featuring the works of leading contemporary Filipino artists Robert Langenegger, Garapata, Doktor Karayom, Marionne Contreras, and Juan Alcazaren, who were invited to respond to the sale theme. 

True to the innovative verve of Gavel&Block, a special curated auction section called ‘Objects as Convergence’ forms part of ‘art+design’. In a first for Philippine auctions, five leading contemporary Filipino artists were invited to respond to the art and design theme by creating object-based works. Robert Langenegger painted on a sofa as a personal meditation on his own spirituality. Doktor Karayom’s candle-coated shrine alludes to the ritual of forgiveness. 

Marionne Contreras manipulates fabric and yarn using techniques in rug-making, basket-weaving and 3-D imagery to create narratives of the human experience. Juan Alcazaren fashions swans out of the ubiquitous monobloc chairs that have defined our pandemic experience, dismantling the forms and associated connotations to shape new meanings. 

Dex Fernandez’s GaraCue delivers both humor and a serious commentary, the overall form referencing popular snacks which, on close examination, reveals the iconic creatures’ struggles and impending fate. 

“I will make you feel uncomfortable in heaven”

“I will make you feel uncomfortable in heaven,” Robert Langenegger, 2022 | Image courtesy of Gavel&Block

“The work, if dismantled, will leave you with a serpentine act of sloughing one’s old skin (or foreskin) in a desperate attempt to rationalise communication with the so-called higher powers. Personally, when I use religious imagery or characters it isn’t an act of blasphemy or a sophomoric attempt at generating critical thinking. I would rather think of it as a way of trying, in my own limited means as a sinner, to have a dialogue with God. I have been practicing the act of praying since a young lad and whenever I have an unanswered prayer I try to deduce where I must have gone wrong. Did I hit the proper spots when I did the sign of the cross? Did I say thank you the last time I prayed and my prayer was granted? Was my back straight and my hand perfectly aligned when I prayed? Did I talk to God in a demanding way rather than a humble way? Should I leave my eyes open when I pray? There are so many questions and no answers to the act of praying, thus I have evolved to pray in my own way which is now through painting. This work in the end is a feeble attempt on my part to try to communicate that there is still hope for humanity if we can find the perfect configuration where God will take note of what we are saying and act accordingly.” –Robert Langenegger

Birth/Unearth and Daughters of Dirt 

Soft sculpture from the Birth/Unearth series, Marionne Contreras, 2022 | Image courtesy of Gavel&Block

“Birth/Unearth” and “Daughters of Dirt” are both series of works that transcend configuration. My recent works on form are  more of movement and potential rather than static existences of shape. They are entities that could take space  in whichever way they physically can. 

Both series are done with different approaches to fabric/fiber. “Daughters of Dirt” is a yarnwork in which rug-making techniques are used as a means to paint images of texture. Birth/Unearth are sculptures produced by borrowing from basket weaving methods, rug making techniques, and 3D printing. 

I am always keen on taking inspiration from natural forms, and forms that might exist in its domain. “Daughters of Dirt” is born of nature’s lush and feminine vitality, which we are too familiar with, oftenly shelved until life becomes too urban. Then we dig it out and turn to it, less like a mother but more like our own personal concubine. 

Humanity’s power over all life exists, a protagonist in a narrative of survival. And there are as many stories as living beings. Birth/Unearth are works on form – beings seemingly petrified in a stage of growth; dug up, cleaned, and staged to tell stories for humanity’s consumption.” – Marionne Contreras

Hanggang Saan Ang Liwanag

“Hanggang Saan Ang Liwanag,” Doktor Karayom, 2022 | Image courtesy of Gavel&Block

“Walang maisip na gawin ang may-likha, kaya ikaw na lang ang ginawa 

Mula sa tinabas na retaso at punong natumba, ikaw ay tinayo …

Hindi niya alam ang ibig sabihin ng pangit 

kaya ikaw ay pinaganda …

Paalala ng apoy ang kanyang ginamit

Para malaman kung malapit na bang  dumilim ang parte ng iyong pagkatao …

Doon nya malalaman kung hanggang saan na lang ang iyong liwanag … 

At mula sa abo ng iyong pagkasunog

Ito ay mapupunta sa noo ng taong makasalanan …

Na humihingi ng kapatawaran.”

-Doktor Karayom

Monobloc Swans 

Monoblock Swan, Juan Alcazaren, 2022 | Image courtesy of Gavel&Block

“These sculptures are made out of cut up parts of plastic stacking chairs that have no metal support or skeleton, the parts joined together by plastic cable ties.

These chairs are sometimes called Monoblock (hence the title), a brand name that stuck to all generic iterations of this chair, at least in this country. Monobloc chairs  are usually rented out for gatherings of all kinds. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they got much use and became ubiquitous, defining social distancing for queues in supermarkets, banks, vaccination sites and the like – an ordinary thing that will forever show up in memories of the pandemic whenever the time comes to look back on the pandemic as part of the past.

The swan, on the other hand, is a creature of beauty, with the black swan used as a symbol of improbable events. I use the swan as a symbol of transformation – from the ugliness created by our own poor stewardship of the Earth to a less ugly, responsible nurturing of nature, and an open eye to the beauty of the improbable.” –Juan Alcazaren 


BananCue, Garapata, 2022 | Image courtesy of Gavel & Block

“Garapata’s existence is defined by by a constant action of invasion, which was a natural course for the parasitic ticks that inspired its creation. Its current iteration, however,  articulates a unique reversal of roles unlike its predecessors previously depicted in gleaming white, robust, and free. 

GaraCue appears comical at first glance, reminiscent of popular Pinoy snacks skewered on bamboo sticks, like Banana Cue, fishballs, beta max, etc. Six creatures are impaled by a massive metal pole anchored to cement, much like the barricades found in the streets. In previous times, Garapata conquered those poles, as well as the ground, public walls and other structures in the urban landscape. A closer look also reveals the creatures’ struggles in the weathered skin, before finally surrendering to their fate:  “Anim na garapata natuhog ng pagkakataon, para sama-samang kainin ng higanteng gutom na aso.” -Dex Fernandez 

The second part is a capsule event,  “art+design meets gin+tonic,” a bidding party co-hosted by premium gin brand Hendricks. Buyers are invited to come to NEX Tower on auction day so they can bid in real time on their devices while sipping cocktails, an embrace of the new normal where in-person activities are melded with innovation, to imbibe the excitement of an online sale while engaging in friendly banter with other auction aficionados. 

Catering to next gen collectors, the roomlist is filled with paintings and sculptures by modern Philippine masters, among them National Artists Arturo Luz, Jose Joya, Napoleon Abueva, and Abdulmari Imao, and established names such as Impy Pilapil, Pacita Abad, Eduardo Castrillo, and Nena Saguil, to name a few. These will be offered alongside works by leading contemporary artists, like Michael Cacnio, Kawayan de Guia, Mideo Cruz, Geraldine Javier, Lindslee, Demi Padua, Mariano Ching and Yasmin Sison.

Lot 199 – Untitled Impy Pilapil

The catalogue offers a remarkably diverse range, starting with vintage highlights that include a sleek bar cabinet by Danish design great Kai Kristiansen, and an elegant Art Deco Egyptian style bastet cat sculpture, which are best paired with any one of the crystal pieces (like Baccarat, Laligue, Daum, Cartier, Bulgari and Tiffany) or the hand-painted ceramic objects by Lladro, Hermes, and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Lot 148 – Art Deco Egyptian Style Bastet Cat | Image courtesy of Gavel&Block

Camera enthusiasts out there would not want to miss out on the rare 1957 model Rolleiflex camera 3.5T, the same camera featured with the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. on the 500 peso bill. Also up for bidding are the iconic Polaroid SX70 camera, developed during the time of famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams tenure as a consultant for the Polaroid Corp., and a Hasselblad 500 EL.  

Lot 151 – Rolleiflex 1957 3.5T | Image courtesy of Gavel&Block

Pop culture aficionados, on the other hand, will rejoice in the selection of collectible toys. These include Be@rbricks decorated with the art of Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Jackson Pollock, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Hebru Brantley’s Flyboy (which can stand guard over your Forum Hebru Brantley shoes recently dropped by Adidas). It gets even more exciting with works by international auction darlings Yoshitomo Nara and his “Drumming Girls,” and with KAWS’ now omnipresent (after appearing in the artist’s AR projects worldwide) ‘Companion’ figure. 

Lot 3 – BE@RBRICK Jean-Michel Basquiat #6 400% + 100% | Image courtesy of Gavel&Block

There’s a tight but highly covetable selection for watch collectors, who can choose from models with cult followings: The Omega ‘Speedmaster,’ which comes from a distinguished line, including the first watch worn on the moon by no less than the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and the Bulgari ‘Diagono’ which has quite an interesting Hollywood history, having been spotted being worn by Al Pacino’s ‘Lt. Hanna’ in director Michael Mann’s 1995 mega-hit ‘Heat,’ and more recently (not to mention frequently) on ‘Thor’ actor Chris Hemsworth, who considers it his favorite everyday timepiece.

Lot 155 – Bvlgari Diagono SD38S | Image courtesy of Gavel&Block

Gavel&Block “art+design” takes place at salcedoauctions.com on Saturday, 8 October, 2022  starting at 11 A.M.

Register to bid and browse the catalog at salcedoauctions.com.

Those who want to preview the lots can drop by Salcedo Auctions located at NEX Tower, 6786 Ayala Avenue, Makati City, from Monday to Saturday, 9AM – 5PM.

For inquiries, email [email protected] or phone +632 8 8230956 | +63 917 591 2191.

Follow @salcedoauctions @gavelandblock on Instagram and Facebook for updates.

Banner photo courtesy of Gavel&Block and Salcedo Auctions.

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