This Iconic Botong Francisco Is Yours For The Taking — The Starting Bid? 28 Million PHP
On the 8th of September, León Gallery once again opens its doors to art connoiseurs for their annual 'Magnificent September Auction'. At 4 feet by 6 feet, The Nose Flute (1955) by National Artist Carlos "Botong" V. Francisco is already generating much buzz. Being one of Francisco's most notable and recognisable pieces, León Gallery Curator, Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, notes that "it may be the last Botong of this size to go into the market". Known for his unapologetic depiction of Filipino iconography, Botong is widely recognised for "reviving the forgotten art of mural painting".
The painting is said to depict a courship ritual and Botong's interpretation of the equality between the Filipino and Filipina. Besides this, there is a recognition of the strength of the Northern tribes of the Philippines and their unapologetic display of their own culture, without bending to the strong influenece from the west.
Besides the iconic Botong, the auction will feature several other paintings and artifacts that encapsulate a part of the Filipino psyche and culture. Among these, Vicente Manansala's Pila sa Bigas (Queuing for Rice) and Mga Sabungero (The Cockfighters) take centrestage.
Considered as one of the rarest large-scale canvasses by abstractionist Fernando Zóbel de Montojo, his Saeta 52 (1958) is also up for grabs for collectors and fans alike. First shown at the Philippine Art Gallery, the painting has been repatriated back to the Philippines for the grand event.
Another stunning piece gracing the auction is Alfonso Ossorio's Cross-Section/ Ascension (1956-57). Having been painted for his good friend Jackson Pollock immediately after his tragic passing (Pollock got into a car accident while on his way to Ossorio's Hamptons residence), the painting is a riveting display of colour and could be seen as a dedication to the famed artist.
Other notable lots are two out of 14 Stations of the Cross by Ang Kuikok, a masterpiece by Naitonal Artist Jose Joya entitled Carnival (1964), including several pieces by BenCab, Arturo Luz, H.R. Ocampo, Nena Saguil, Cesar Legaspi, Juvenal Sanso, Romeo Tabuena, Malang Santos, Pacita Abad, and much more.
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Rare documents joing the auction are the Decalogue or Ten Commandments of the Katipunan handwritten by Andres Bonifacio, a letter from Josephine Bracken to Emilio Aguinaldo, and a letter from National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal to the scottish millionaire, Alejandro Mcleod, whom he personally thanked for giving shelter to his sisters, Lucia and Trinidad.
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This and so much more will be on preview from September 1 - 7, 2018 at the León Gallery, Eurovilla I, Legaspi St. corner Rufino St., Legazpi Village, Makati City. For more information, you can visit leon-gallery.com. Starting bids and auction lots can be seen here: The Magnificent September Auction 2018 E-catalogue.