Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trading places - or paintings

A friend who came to dinner recently
wore a beautiful dress that matched my painting.
I just had to post this.

"How would you like to look at some art tonight?" My art collector friend texted late this afternoon. It had been a long day and I still had a dinner to go to; but I knew I'd be home by 1030 PM and I figured it would be refreshing to look at some beautiful paintings after staring at nothing else but the computer all day. We're finishing up Travelife Magazine's June-July issue, you see, and so I've been practically chained to my desk all day.

"1030 pm will work, but pls don't be late as I'm really tired," I texted back. It was a heavy day and I just wanted a short diversion towards the lighter side of life before hitting the sack.


Well, he arrived on time bringing a couple of Alcuaz paintings from the 1970s and 1980s -- and he carried these pretty pricey works ever so casually as a delivery boy would carry a pizza. Then he spread them around my living room for me to admire. They were all beautiful and powerful, but they failed to tug at my heart -- although I'm sure lots of other people would fall all over themselves to get one of those.

While I was looking at his Alcuaz paintings, he walked around my living room inspecting my rather eclectic collection and commenting on them. I was quite impressed at how he paid attention to minute details -- perhaps that's why he's an art collector -- and also at how he judged art.

"I look at technique, first and foremost," he explained. "That's where I observe the discipline and consistency of the artist."


Fortunately, he liked all my paintings -- although I'm not sure if he was just trying to be polite. He also showed me dozens of works from his collection, which he'd catalogued on his iPhone; although a lot were too avant garde for my taste, I had to admit they were all terribly interesting and thought-provoking. They're also incredibly in high demand (these hot young artists), especially compared to works by old masters.

It was lots of fun to talk to him about art and to discuss what kind of paintings should go where on the walls of my house. My house is pretty filled with art as it is, but everything he said made sense and somehow he'd convinced me to try and move things around sometime, to make space for some very different kind of art.

"A very powerful and large piece would go beautifully over there," he said, pointing to the wall of my dining area. But I already had a pretty large modernist piece on it. When I protested, he suggested I move my modernist piece to the left, shift the vibrant abstract mural currently on it to a hallway, and move a large grey painting there to elsewhere. I didn't like the grey painting much -- which is why it was now hanging in a hallway even I don't pass everyday -- but I'd just gotten the vibrant abstract mural two weeks ago; so I just couldn't think of putting this mural in the equivalent of storage. But since I disliked my grey painting, I decided to ask him for his opinion on this.


"What do you think of it?" I asked him, of the grey painting in the hallway. By then we'd done a walkabout of my house to see the paintings hanging in different places. He replied: "It looks too sad. The children look oppressed."

I'd never thought of this painting this way before; but after his explanation, I had to admit that it made sense. And I certainly didn't want to hang paintings of oppressed children in my house. I suggested to him:"Why don't you take that painting off me then?"

I was half-joking, but he seemed serious. "We can do a trade if you wish," he said. "But see what I have first, and if you like something, we can talk about a trade next time." After setting another evening for a rendezvous with art sometime soon, my art collector friend left, still carrying his valuable paintings like a stack of pizza boxes.

Travelife's Special Summer Issue
with Angel Aquino in Boracay
Angel Aquino in Bora
for Travelife Magazine's April-May 2011 issue


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