The artist’s ‘Untitled (Two Women)’ painting sold for the highest price he has achieved in recent years.
National Artist for Visual Arts Ben Cabrera, popularly known as BenCab, had five works in “The Well-Appointed Life” of Salcedo Auctions.
His piece “Untitled (Two Women)” was the highest-selling artwork during the whole auction last March 18.
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Initially estimated at P15,000,000 to 18,000,000, the oil painting was created in 1995 as a part of BenCab’s Larawan series.
The painting features two women walking forward, with their hair and baro’t saya flowing with the wind. The scene portrays a sense of empowerment, as the figures walk with their chins held high.
It’s a stark contrast to the traditional depiction of Filipino women, who are often described as passive and demure.
The painting was originally created to celebrate the centenary of Philippine independence in 1998. It can be seen as symbolizing the progress the country has made since gaining that independence from colonial rule.
“BenCab’s painting captures the spirit of hope and optimism that accompanied the centenary celebrations, and serves as a powerful reminder of the strength and resilience of the Filipino people,” says the auction house’s website.
Other National Artists in the auction include Ang Kiukok, Arturo Luz, J. Elizalde Navarro, and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz. All of their works also inspired fierce bidding wars, according to Salcedo.
Banner image via Salcedo Auctions website.