The Magnificent September Auctions 2018

September 8,2018 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines

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Jose Tence Ruiz  (b.1956)

Madonna Bellumbella
signed and dated 2009 (lower left)
oil on canvas
72” x 48” (182 cm x 122 cm)


PHP 180,000

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In this powerful allegorical portrait, Madonna Bellumbella, Jose Tence Ruiz visualizes the muse of war as a heavily stylized figure (“bellum,” after all, is Latin for “war”). Her metallic, hollow dress is made up of concatenation of Bs, with one proudly emblazoned on her chest, which recalls Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter. Striding against a dystrophic sky, she effortlessly carries the hulking detritus of the machinery of destruction — at once evidence of what has come to pass and a dire warning for the future. This work, which belongs to a continuing series of Tence Ruiz’s depiction of women as harbingers of history, revivifies painting’s role of providing symbolic representation to the large and sweeping movements of the human saga across the ages.

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