Sunday, March 11, 2012

An Alcuaz painting for 90,000 pesos

Lots of people who regularly read this blog have been asking me why I've recently been writing so much about the past instead of the present. Have I run out of interesting things to write about on a daily basis, they want to know.

Actually, my life hasn't changed much. Since the year began, it's still been endless travels and then endless events in the few days I am in town. However, I have to admit that I've been conscientiously trying to pare down my schedule so that I don't go out to some event (or events) every night, but instead every other night.


But the real reason I've been writing about the past is the fact that I've been organizing my photos on my computer, and I've been seeing so many photos with great stories to tell by themselves -- like the day I had the world's most expensive sandwich, or the night I went to the sumo tournament.

But today, I'm finally going to write about today again.

I'd woken up with my mind made up to buy some art, you see, just because I felt I needed some new visual stimulation at home. It wasn't going to be major art, but just something that I would like.

Then this morning I'd posted it on Twitter that I was going to buy some art today -- just because I'd made up my mind to post more stuff on Twitter, and this would be different from what Travelife posts on this blog and on Facebook. My friend S had convinced me to get more into it, and since then I've been conscientiously trying to be more Twitter-friendly.


So after so publicly proclaiming my future art purchase, the next problem was where to go for my art. Fortunately, my friend Jonathan Sy, who runs several art galleries all over Manila, was holding a sale of works by young artists at one of his Ortigas galleries. In fact it's still going on until March 15 so do visit if you want young art on a budget.

But today, as it was a Sunday, I thought I'd go, as I could easily zip to Ortigas in about 15 minutes sans traffic. And young artists -- as long as they're not the hot young artists already selling in Sotheby's Hong Kong or something -- are still pretty reasonably priced.

That's the 3D detail on my new artwork

This 3-D artwork made by a young artist of a jeepney caught my eye, and in ten minutes, I was going home with it. I knew nothing of the artist or his future, but I just liked what I saw. That's usually how I buy my art.

By the way, Jon has a Federico Aguilar Alcuaz painting that was originally selling for PhP 300,000, that's now on sale for PhP 90,000. It has excellent provenance and documentation -- and Jon, by the way, is one of the few people in the art business who can tell an authentic Alcuaz from a fake in a minute.

I still remember how I once brought him some Alcuaz paintings that had been offered to me and that really seemed to be in his style; and very quickly he said to me: "Fake. The overall effect is random genius, but if you study it closely, you'll see the strokes are methodical rather than spontaneous."

Anyway, back to this Alcuaz yesterday. It personally didn't tug at my heartstrings -- but if you've always wanted to own an Alcuaz, here's your chance to get an Alcuaz for a real bargain.

Inquire care of Gallery Big
Tel 895-4516


Meanwhile, tonight I hosted my first dinner party that was more social than work in a very long time. I actually like hosting dinners, but they do take a lot of time and I've been so very busy lately so there's not been much opportunity. I've also been hosting a lot of work-related dinners this year; so on my off time, I usually don't feel like doing more hosting.

But yesterday, I'd decided to do so on the spur-of-the-moment, and I'd invited a couple of good friends including S and also an ambassador couple who I thought would be happy to join us even on a spur-of-the-moment. I texted everyone yesterday and, happily, they said yes. So after buying my art this morning, the rest of the afternoon was devoted to planning for dinner. I'd said casual, but I still wanted it to be very nice casual for my good friends.


When S arrived, she saw the artwork on my front door as that's where I'd hung it. I'd looked around at my wall space and there really was no other place in the public areas of my home. But it was perfect on the front door as long as no one unhooked it and walked home with it.

"I love this," S said to me, when she arrived.

I asked her: "Do you really? I just bought it."

She then asked: "Is this what you tweeted about this morning?"

It most certainly was. At least now you know I really mean my tweets -- just like I mean my blog entries.


Then the ambassador and his wife arrived. They're really lovely and so everyone just talked all night and we had great fun exchanging amazing stories of our travel lives. The ambassador also came up with a couple of really good one-liners that we all started repeating for fun. Then S looked at me with a wink and said: "I'll bet that's going to be on your blog tomorrow."

Actually, it's on the blog tonight -- but not the one-liners, as I'm saving that for another time. Meanwhile, tomorrow, over 400 of Travelife Magazine's readers and friends are joining us for a free Czech opera evening at the Dusit Thani Manila, organized together with the Embassy of the Czech Republic.

Now that I hope will be worth blogging about -- and not just by us at Travelife. We're the Philippines' leading travel & lifestyle publication, as well as the only one to truly, truly bring travel to our readers in every possible way. You just can't fake passion, dedication and real travel experiences. And that's why we're number one.



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