Artworks in Arcadja50
Some works of Benedicto CabreraExtracted between 50 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Leon Gallery -Sep 28, 2013 - MakatiLot number: 146
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146 Benedicto Cabrera 1942 Barefoot Gentleman Signed and dated 2007 (lower right) Acrylic 36" x 24" (91cm x 60cm) P 1,100,000 Bencab's skill in illustration cannot be denied, having honed his talents early on in his youth and in his employment in the publishing industry. With a penchant for capturing people -- again, a preoccupation that harks back to his youth -- this work of a gentleman seated in pose shows us his love and keen interest in people from all walks of life.
Auction: Leon Gallery -Jun 29, 2013 - MakatiLot number: 3
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Benedicto Cabrera 1942 Mother and Child Etching 10" x 8" (25cm x 20cm) Signed 1993 P 8,000 Bencab, National Artist, has always been attuned to his surroundings and its people. With a keen eye, Bencab has been able to masterfully capture ordinary characters from everyday life such as those immortalized in these two etchings on paper – Mother and Child and Laharman. His adeptness in the art of printmaking – which has been described as one of his first loves – takes front and center in these fine examples.
Auction: Christie's -Nov 25, 2012 - Hong KongLot number: 129
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BENEDICTO REYES CABRERA (BENCAB, Filipino, B. 1942) Dancing at Rock Session signed and dated 'bencab 87'(lower right) acrylic on paper 73 x 54 cm. (28 3?4 x 21 1?4 in.) Painted in 1987 Kip Yuson and Cid Reyes, Bencab, Manila, The Philippines, 2002 (illustrated, p. 222). Manila, The Philippines, Luz Gallery, 1987. Highly acclaimed artist Benedicto Cabrera - or better known as Bencab - is most acclaimed for his human figures clad in distinctive folds of draped clothing. Excelling in capturing the swirl of fabric and its natural fluid grace when cast in dynamic motion, the artist frequently depicts his subjects in varied positions so as to best explore the myriad possibilities of this expressive motif. Cid Reyes comments: "The impetus for Bencab's interest in drapery is the same as classical Greek sculptors - movement. With drapery clinging to the human body, and the propulsion induced by the body that has now been "stilled" in three-dimensional form, the viewer's eye follows the direction impelled by gesture or wind. In short, drapery becomes an instrument of energy." Dancing at Rock Session (Lot 129) is part of Bencab's group of works on individuals caught in the momentum of dance. It eloquently expresses his preoccupation with drapery and movement, but also captures a sense of impassioned zeal for life, seen through the flailing limbs and wind-tossed hair, as the dancers abandon themselves to the rhythm of the music. In particular, Dancing at Rock Session is about the energy between two people, lovers, as they immerse themselves in the dance and each other. Caught in the moment, they are youthful, graceful, and deeply sensual. Reyes also observes: "Here bodies are whipped into a frenzied swinging, whirling to the infectious delirium of disco music in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These [dance] works convey the spirit of dance in Western and Indian art, depicting a joyful dazzle of bodies in movement but arrested in two-dimension." In Dancing at Rock Session, the undulating flow of the girl's dress is representative of Bencab's style of portraying draped fabric. Face pressed to the shoulder of her partner, her eyes are closed as she intuitively reacts to the music. However even with his back facing the viewer, in the flare of the man's jeans, the airy quality of his shirt and the contours of his hips, we can also clearly observe Bencab's skill at simulating gesture within a few well-placed lines. Dancing at Rock Session is an energetic, optimistic work, conveying the emotions of being young and in love, where all things are possible. It masterfully captures the dominant aesthetic of the artist and also the unquenchable spirit and vigor of the rock and roll era.
Auction: Christie's -May 27, 2012 - Hong KongLot number: 2133
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Lot Description BENEDICTO REYES CABRERA (BENCAB, Filipino, B. 1942) Yellow Confetti signed and dated 'Cabrera 84' (lower right) ink and acrylic on paper 75 x 55 cm. (29 1/2 x 21 5/8 in.) Painted in 1984 Provenance From the Collection of Odo and Tess Lazatin, London, UK Acquired from the above by the present owner Literature Krip Yuson and Cid Reyes, Bencab, Mantes Publishing, Manila, The Philippines, 2002 (illustrated, p. 197). View Lot Notes › "[The political works] are testimonies to Bencab's visual dialectics, his pursuit of aesthetic motives in a spirit of rebellion. Reflecting on a phrase from Trotsky - 'the frenzied events of history' - Bencab portrayed the 1986 Edsa revolt in impressionistic terms, employing a collective surge of bodies and waving of flags' " - Cid Reyes Yellow Confetti (Lot 2133) is a dynamic and powerfully resonant work which describes the civil resistance in the Philipines during the early to mid 1980s. This period became known as "People Power" or "EDSA"; but was also called the Yellow Revolution due to the use of yellow flags and ribbons by the resisters. Celebrated Philippine modernist Bencab's works habitually reveal a mastery in describing the social condition, as seen through his acclaimed Sabel and Larawan series. However the politically charged impetus behind Yellow Confetti, coupled with the small existing body of EDSA works by the artist, elevates its significance as a rare masterpiece. Within Yellow Confetti, a mass of demonstrators throng at the right side of the composition. Fists upraised, arms flung out, they are caught in the grip of their protest. Their feet planted stolidly on the ground are unshod, signifying their status as the 'everyman' of Filipino society. The yellow confetti flutters animatedly across the entire pictorial surface as if buoyed by the winds of resistance. It is revealing that the figures only occupy half of the pictorial plane. Whatever they are protesting against is not clearly represented, and open to a viewer's specific interpretation. Possibly coming from different families, occupations, and interests, the crowd each have their own personal motivations for engaging in resistance. Only the swirl of yellow confetti fully represents the latent tensions between protesters and regime. The symbol of the yellow confetti has been used more than once by Bencab. A work dated from the same year as Yellow Confetti, "Two Filipinas in the Era of Multinationals" , depicts two girls clad in traditional clothing but arrayed with gadgets of our modern time - a handheld TV, earphones, a walkman - while holding a burger and with a crushed Coca Cola can at their feet. In 1986, the year that the Yellow Revolution ended, Bencab repainted this work as "The Edsa Event" ; where the central image was nearly identical to its prototype but the girls were this time festooned in a shower of yellow confetti juxtaposed against strips of red, blue, white and yellow paper. The motif of the confetti within Bencab's narrative has evolved into a symbol of the changing times and hope of a better future. Yellow Confetti captures the humanistic face of a period caught in a flux, articulating the passion, energy and desire for economic stability and social justice; as well as the underlying fabric and foundation of contemporary Philippines - an epoch of political history within the last thirty years.
Auction: Christie's -Nov 27, 2011 - Hong KongLot number: 1171
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BENEDICTO REYES CABRERA (BENCAB) (Filipino, B. 1942) The Oriental Fan (Larawan Series) signed and dated 'Cabrera 82' (lower right) acrylic and collage on paper 57 x 77 cm. (22 1/2 x 30 3/8 in.) Executed in 1982 Property from the Private Collection of Caroline Kennedy These three beautiful works from the personal collection of Caroline Kennedy give a rare glimpse into the heart of an intimate life journey, which shaped one man's influences and the story of his art. Each picture is a singular creation, giving insight to the artist known as Bencab, spanning his days in Bambang and London, and most of all, inspired by Caroline Kennedy, a young British writer who arrived in Manila in 1968 and later became the wife and companion of the artist. "While Bencab has captured with extreme verisimilitude the likeness of the figures in the photographs, the paintings are not literal transcriptions of the original photographs. Indeed, to compare the photographs with the resulting paintings is to admire the extent of skill and artistry of the artist. Out of the flat tonality of the black-and-white photograph, Bencab limned a work that is not only vividly lifelike, but also alert to the liveliness of painterly brushwork and elegant linearity. In this regard, Bencab differs from other artists who use photography not as a point of departure for painting but as a statement on the nature of the two mediums, a photograph recreated through the art of painting, but still masquerading as a photograph." Larawan Series The Oriental Fan (Larawan Series) (Lot 1171) is an elegantly lyrical masterpiece from Bencab's celebrated Larawan series. Even before the creation of Larawan, Bencab was already widely lauded for his skill in figurative painting, refined draughtsmanship, and themes of the Filipino diaspora. However it was from the birth of Larawan in 1972, and its first exhibition at Luz Gallery, that Bencab truly burst into the public imagination as the nation's artist, typifying the life and soul of Filipino history and social consciousness. Larawan was a triumph of artistic skill paired with a renaissance of thematic vision. Based on poignant images culled from vintage colonial photographs, the series, which stretched for over two decades, enacts the brilliancy, pathos, and elaborate hierarchy of the Philippines' rich chronicles. In fact the inspiration for Larawan was conceived during Bencab's early days in London with Caroline. Discovering a trove of Filipiniana material - books, postcards, old prints, photographs, and other relics of a colonial past - in the antiquarian stalls of Chelsea market, a favourite haunt of the young couple, Bencab began to explore how these evocative images could be incorporated into his art. As a foreigner living within Britain of the late 1960s and 70s; a society which could be alternately austere and free-wheeling, even schizophrenically so; it is unsurprising Bencab felt a stirring connection to these relics of his native history, now relegated to nearly forgotten memorabilia in another ex-colonial country. Bencab also had the advantage of being objectively distant from his native land while spiritually free to explore the impulses resonating from deep within his soul. This led to a renewal of his Filipino identity within an unexpected location far from home. Through this jointure of parallel and juxtaposing images, Larawan emerged - a critique of social history, a commentary on the Filipino condition. Similar to his Sabel works, Bencab retains a strong thematic interest in the undulating materiality of cloth and human attire. The outfits worn by his Larawan sitters are always of particular interest, with the folds and pat terns carefully ascribed. As Bencab investigates the traditional Filipiniana attire and attitudes of the colonial era, he lifts a veil to a time past: the arrival of Hispanic and Chinese migrants, the first indigenous plantation owners, richly garbed mestizas, starkly contrasted against other marginalised figures: the improverished, the downtrodden, the domestics. Through reforming colonial images and paying attention to the narrative quality of personal adornments and fabrics, Bencab immortalises these artefacts in a fixity of societal discourse rather than as mere documentary record-keeping; casting an introspective analysis on the colonial imposition and the disparity of social class, even as he illustrates the innate dignity of the country's founding men and women. The Oriental Fan Within The Oriental Fan, a young mestizo girl, perhaps a rich plantation owner's daughter, is lying in a hammock during her afternoon siesta hour in the hacienda. She is exceedingly beautiful, as told through her delicate features and long fall of dark hair cascading through the woven plaits of her hammock. However it is her direct gaze through finely browed eyes, and her winsome smile, which captures her innate sensuality and a deep sense of her historicity. With his strong humanistic streak and sensitivity to a finely tuned expression, we understand what must have captivated Bencab from the photographic template which he discovered in a book on Filipino history. The connection of her powerful gaze with that of the contemporary viewer is immediate and electrifying. Equally, if not more, important is the indio maidservant standing demurely in the background. Her downcast lids and devotion to the act of fanning her mistress demonstrates her station in life, as one of the silent majority who built Filipino society through long years of faithful servitude. The quintessentially Spanish habit to cool away the heat of the afternoon is carried out with an oriental fan, a relic of Chinese migranthood which is a key strand within the multiracial heritage of the Philippines. The paper collage fan within this work, and the smaller fan trimmed from Chinese parchment, create an interesting dimension to its narrative, as though the actual colonial artefact itself is tangibly attached to the picture. Cid Reyes comments that throughout the Larawan works, Bencab has used the photorealist technique as a trompe l'oeil study. In this work however, the additional use of collaged elements elevates it beyond the basic function of optical textuality and deception. The act of affixing something physically extraneous to the visual artwork transforms the fragmented souvenir into a repository of nationalistic significance. Through this act of superimposition, The Oriental Fan evolves from a nostalgic entity into a resonant historical document in its own right; an archival showcase. The true mastery of Bencab's Larawan series comes from taking ownership of one's historical images and data, repossessing them, and thereby acquisitioning one's own cultural identity. Lastly there is the third figure to consider, a woman whose body curves diagonally across the picture plane, her eyes closed, a petite earring dangling underneath her elegant cap of swept-back hair, her face in profile partially shaded by the same fan. The meticulous drapery reflects Bencab's affinity for textured folds of cloth, seen through the large fan-like sleeves of her traditional sinamay blouse. Unlike the central female figure, this woman with her small, rosebud mouth and less angular features could very well be a Chinese migrant, or a mestizo of Chinese descent. Her eyes closed, she appears to be musing over faded dreams of antiquity, even as her folding fan is being revived to decorate this work. Bencab illustrates prototypes of female migrants - the plantation owner's daughter, her maidservant, the Chinese woman and her folding fan. Apart from being a composition of outstanding aesthetic beauty, The Oriental Fan is a testament to the different sorts of women who inspired and shaped Filipino history. The Family and Portrait of Caroline The Family (Image of Sarejevo) (Lot 1172) was painted in 1994 for Caroline Kennedy who was working in Bosnia and Croatia during the Balkan War. Influenced by news footage of refugee families and Caroline's first-hand account of the political turmoil, the work is an empathic portrait of a family riven by the fatigues of war. Yet at the same time, it is also an archetypal representation of any peasant family with a swaddled infant, strong of limb and spirit, broken but not bowed in spite of catastrophic challenges. Through Bencab's social filter and penchant for depicting diasporic people, they could indeed be Filipino or any other nationality with an enduring connection to the land. Portrait of Caroline (The Artist's Wife) (Lot 1173) was a birthday gift for Caroline Kennedy in 1972, the same year that Bencab first developed the Larawan series. It exemplifies the photorealist aesthetic used within the Larawan pictures, complete with faded sepia tints, formal body posture and cleanly defined physiological lines. A comparable example is the iconic early Larawan work A Typical Mestiza, 1972. The rendition of the artist's wife as a virginal, goddess-like muse, with her tumbling locks and faraway expression, evokes a remote and almost pristine loveliness. The visage might be that of Caroline as he knew her best, but the affectionate perception behind the brush was wholly the artist's.