Magsaysay-Ho breaks own auction record with P86.4M sale 2
Anita scores big at Saturday’s Auction at Leon Gallery. Photo courtesy of Leon Gallery

Anita Magsaysay-Ho breaks own auction record, painting sold for P86.4 million

Two years after making headlines over a spectacular sale, the painter just broke her own record at auction
ANC Staff | Feb 18 2023

Anita Magsaysay-Ho, the 1950s painter famous for her canvases filled with bandana-wearing women doing everyday things, broke her own record at Saturday’s The Asian Cultural Council Auction, the first big auction of the year. 

Her “Fruit Market,” an oil-on-canvas work from 1957, depicting three women surrounded by pineapples, engrossed in the day’s baskets of bananas and mangoes, sold for Php86,432,000 (hammer price with buyer’s premium). The painting, exhibited at the pioneering art space Philippine Arts Gallery from November 30 to December 10, 1957, had a starting price of Php22 million. 

Fruit Market by Anita Magsaysay-Ho. Image courtesy of Leon Gallery
Fruit Market by Anita Magsaysay-Ho. Image courtesy of Leon Gallery

It was a “rapid machine gun fire” bidding war, said an auction watcher present at Leon Gallery, with only four or five buyers outbidding each other. This is a new record for a Magsaysay-Ho whose “Tinapa Vendors” sold for P84 million in February of 2021, also during an Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Auction. The ACC helps send promising Filipino artists to residencies abroad.

Magsaysay-Ho’s works have been performing impressively in the past two years, making her a new Philippine auction superstar. Apart from the fact that she’s a master of conjuring light, shadow, and an atmosphere of joy in her paintings, she also famously did not paint a lot during her lifetime, hence the rarity of Anitas in the art market and in private collections.