Lot #035

Mauro Malang Santos

Blue City
signed and dated 1972 (lower right)
pastel on paper
7” x 10” (18 cm x 25 cm)
Starting Bid : Php 80,000
Provenance Private Collection, Manila
The barung-barong has been associated with Mauro Malang Santos as he popularized the subject by glossing over its sociopolitical implications. Others before him had already taken up the subject in the post-war period. Vicente Manansala was a precursor of Malang in this kind of painting.
In “Blue City” from 1972, everything is recognizable yet everything is also slightly out of place or reconstructed into a new form of reality. Reality which is not in appearance alone but reality which is felt, imagined or thought of.
This depiction of the otherwise banal barung-barong takes us back to the different artistic phases and learning curves Malang went through over the course of his lengthy and productive career. This work from 1972 demonstrates the artist’s emphasis not the poverty but the ethereal aspect of barung-barongs in vivid blues and collage like juxtapositions.
Malang told Cid Reyes in 1985: “…I used to take photographs of barung-barongs. But I don’t really copy them. I ad-lib a lot. I copy the forms.”