The Magnificent September Auction 2019

September 14,2019 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines

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Angelito Antonio  (b.1939)

Payaso
signed and dated 2015 (lower left)
acrylic on canvas
30” x 40” (76 cm x 102 cm)


PHP 200,000

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Provenance: Private Collection, Manila

          The clown is a theme that Angelito Antonio has explored to the hilt as he made a venture  or two under the circus tent.  The clown is a difficult person to comprehend, the best loved figure in Italian Commedia dell’arte.  

          Merry, radiating the spirit of wit and comedy, his movements were as gay and capricious as  a butterfly.  Here, the clown provides for a humorous foil to the lovely woman.  The Commedia provides an opportunity to tweak a traditional subject within a modern idiom, the artifice of late Cubism well-suited themes of disguise and masquerade.  In his depiction of the timeless clown, Antonio has a lot of references in art history to look back to.

          For Chagall, as for many other artists, including his contemporaries Picasso and Georges  Rouault, the circus was a central metaphor; its clowns and acrobats hiding  a range of different meanings and emotions behind their masks.  Traditionally on the margins, playing a part or concealing sorrow, these figures embody both suffering and compassion.  Chagall said “I have always looked upon clowns, acrobats, and actors as beings with a tragic humanity.  For me they are like figures in certain religious pictures.” 

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