Finale Art File
33 Auction, Singapore, 2018


Celebrated contemporary artist Annie Cabigting is widely known for her conceptually rigorous and groundbreaking practices and projects. Thus, it is no surprise that her series of paintings depicting museum and gallery-goers admiring major works of art are sought after not only for Cabigting’s technical skill but for their unique take on the relationship between art and the way we encounter and experience them. This particular piece titled A Paris Avec Une Amie Polonaise Et Un Italien features a woman gazing at a work by the 20th century Italian-Jewish painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani titled Young Man (Student). Much like Cabigting, Modigliani was revered as a pioneer in his field. Most notably, he modernized two of the enduring themes in art; the portrait and the nude. Modigliani’s works are often characterized by their exaggerated and highly stylized proportions such as elongated necks and relatively bottle-like torsos. His pieces managed to capture both the hidden peculiarities of his chosen subjects by focusing on a specific trait; and the general allure of his uniform style. It is this synthesis of both the particular and the universal that Cabigting also shares with Modigliani. The overall mise en scène of Cabigting’s work is one that is wholeheartedly familiar to even the most casual of museum-goers. From its plain and neutral walls to the unmistakable effect of the hall’s spotlight, the atmosphere of the scene presented is one that can be found in museums, galleries, and exhibits across the globe. This sense of familiarity is also heightened by the fact that the scene itself can be found in the real world, allowing the viewer to entertain the idea that they themselves could be viewing the work in the same way as Cabigting’s figure. Yet, what makes this work particular as well as universal is its existence itself. The work is not merely a documentation or reproduction of an actual scene, but one that was executed with intent. Whether it was the visual frankness of the work, the slender of proportions of Modigliani’s style, or even just the way the work itself is position within its space, Cabigting’s conscious decision to present us with this particular work is one that intends to communicate a message and experience that can only be formulated through the language of her unique artistic practice. As we gaze at an onlooker that is themself observed by a pair of unwavering eyes, we begin to understand that the act of seeing is not merely a one-sided affair. Cabigting graduated with a degree in painting from the University of the Philippines – Diliman and has exhibited in various solo and group shows in the country and abroad. Her work was included in the Prague Biennale in Czechoslovakia. Cabigting was also a finalist of the 2005 Ateneo Art Awards.