Collecting art is a dynamic way to express one’s personality. While some collectors stick to a definite style or particular artist, some collect a diverse range of artwork from various artists to convey different sides of their personalities. Although every collectors’ art-buying techniques are disparate, most, if not all, want to live with their art and let it seep into the soul of their well-curated homes.


Dennis Robles, entrepreneur, @authentecitemanila

art collector Denis Robles
Landscape Paint Number 2 by Luis Lorenzana

Why is this particular artwork special to you?

This piece is special to me as it’s the first time Luis Lorenzana has painted a “landscape.” I believe this is significant to the artist, as well as this was the painting they used for the invite/cover photo of the show at Secret Fresh Gallery. Having had a couple of artist’s pieces in my collection, mainly from the clown/portraits series, I would say this is uniquely avant-garde with the neon enamel spray paint detail on the frame.

What is your advice to people starting an art collection?

To those starting their art collection, follow your heart and buy whatever catches your attention. Don’t be too conscious about the artist’s name and its appreciation value; it will come later as your collection grows.


Atty. Regie Tongol, lawyer

Eternal by Renee Avila

Why is this particular artwork special to you?

It is an appropriation of another favorite masterpiece of mine by Bernini entitled “The Ecstacy of St. Teresa.” The piece juxtaposes the sensual with the religious, softness with hardness and masculinity and femininity. Not to mention its grandness. It also sends a message of surrender to the divine. Looking at it sparks a conversation into these things.

What is your advice to people starting an art collection?

Don’t collect just because you like it; collect with the purpose of the thing you are collecting in mind. Art should awaken the soul and should speak to our humanity. It can only do so if it is allowed to be displayed and be seen.


Michelle Hui Lao, fashion consultant and owner of @lightitupsolano

Argyle: After Amorsolo’s Maiden with Fruits (1930) by Lyra Garcellano

This is part of Lyra Garcellano’s series of paintings that aims to dissect, alter and recompose Amorsolo’s iconic images as a way to reconsider/question his troublesome optics.

Why is this particular artwork special to you?

I view Lyra’s body of work as an invitation to inquiry. This was a commissioned piece and I gave her carte blanche to complete the project; where her artistry and genius intersected with how she perceived me to arrive at the whole is what intrigues me the most about this piece. When you ask me why I think this is special to me, I can tell you that the why is nothing grand or reverential, really. Aside from the fact that her works are hard to come by, Ligaya, as I fondly call her, is just that — whether I’m looking to start or bookend my day she warms my heart, gives me comfort, and makes me smile. Is there more to life (and art-collecting) than that?

What is your advice to people starting an art collection?

Expose yourself to different types of art/artists by visiting museums, art fairs, galleries or browsing online. By observing art up close you develop a keen sense of what you like (subject, medium, style). You will without a doubt have that one friend (or two) who will share your explorations into this beautiful realm. Whether that friend is a few steps ahead or you’re both at the starting line spend time together — get insights, draw from your friend’s experiences, ask questions (lots of them) and listen closely to the answers without losing your own voice. Go ahead and START. You will never ever be truly completely ready, and your taste may/will evolve through time; that’s perfectly fine. Do not let these thoughts hinder you from taking that supremely important first step. AND this is the key that will unlock all of those —  HAVE FUN!! 

Immersing oneself in the world of art is a good exercise for the mind and soul, as every artwork tells its own story. The more a person explores through research, attending art fairs,  auctions, gallery visits, and online browsing, the more insight will be gained into history, purpose, culture, and traditions by appreciating one artwork. Indeed, the road to art-collecting is integrated with the knowledge that expands your horizon beyond your walls.

Notes about the Contributor

Daniel Lampa

Art enthusiast and into Fashion, French Culture, Mid-century modern design and spends a lot of his time curating his home in Manila and LA. He lives with his 3 dogs, Coco, Yohji and Junya.

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