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gavel&block focuses on aesthetics as an agent of change

Above: BenCab’s “BINIBINI,” which also appears on the cover of Gina Apostol’s novel, “Insurrecto.”

Digitally signed (lower right) and undated
Offset lithographic print
28 x 20 cm (11 x 8 in)

‘art+design’, the quarterly online auction of Salcedo Auctions’ subsidiary, opens the year with a sharpened focus on aesthetics.

By definition, “aesthetics” refers to a set of principles of beauty and artistic taste. In contemporary speech, the term has transformed to describe the overall style of someone or something, or anything that looks beautiful.

It’s amiss to say that the term has “lost” its original definition, as language and beauty standards continue to evolve through time anyway. However, there is a case to be made for understanding its “original” meaning and how it has evolved through time and space, if only to create a more nuanced understanding and sense of what “aesthetics” are and can be. 

And what’s better than a classic auction of classic, modern, and contemporary Philippine and international art to foster that sensibility?

Roger San Miguel
Signed and undated
Oil on canvas
79 x 79 cm (31 x 31 in) 
Photo from Salcedo Auctions

Salcedo Auctions’ subsidiary gavel&block opens the auction year with a diverse lineup for its hallmark ‘art+design.’ Focusing on the value of aesthetics, this online auction comprises over 400 lots of décor, furniture, fine prints, crystal, porcelain, silver, jewelry, watches, designer accessories and valuable maps and books.

Held quarterly, ‘art+design’ gives collectors the freedom to explore and experiment. What piece does the emerging collector like to jumpstart their hobby? What would the established art connoisseur consider acquiring to strengthen their trove? What can the casual art lover pick up to enliven their room? 

The intention here isn’t to define or gatekeep what good aesthetics are; rather, there’s an opportunity to broaden one’s understanding of what we can consider “beautiful.” In a sense, there is a transformation not only of one’s views on art, but possibly on life. 

But  aesthetics also goes beyond one’s own worldview—from antiquity to contemporary times, we have seen how art and beauty have the power to inspire a movement. 

As Salcedo Auctions’ Richie Lerma puts it: “[There are] works [that] give pleasure because [we see] how [they] have that power to transform and create change.”

The Scrapboards symbolize Siargao’s resilience and unbreakable spirit of adventure—with each board inspired by an iconic location on the island. Photo from Salcedo Auctions.

Such is the guiding principle for gavel&block’s support for Project Re-Dew by BBDO Guerrero, a fundraising initiative supported by Mountain Dew Philippines and in collaboration with RISE Siargao & ReMaker Space. 

Project Re-Dew upcycled used PET plastic soda bottles into a luminous green resin that binds wooden debris left in the typhoon’s wake, crafting them into decorative, full-sized surfboards called ‘Scrapboards.’ 

Conceptualized, designed, and crafted by BBDO Guerrero’s Creative Directors, Andi Olbés and Nikki Sunga, the Scrapboards symbolize Siargao’s resilience and unbreakable spirit of adventure—with each board inspired by an iconic location on the island. 

The project intends to aid in Siargao Island’s continued recovery after the devastation wrought by Super Typhoon Rai (Odette) in December 2021. RISE Siargao is an NGO that helps victims of the typhoon to rebuild their homes, while ReMaker Space is a facility that uses upcycling machines on recovered plastic waste to create sustainable solutions. 

100% of the proceeds from the sale of each Scrapboard will go to RISE Siargao and ReMaker Space, which will be used to fund the rebuilding of community boats critical to local livelihood and tourism. 


gavel&block is committed to delivering the best and the finest in art and design to an ever-growing and diversely expanding art community, both locally and globally. 

The gavel&block ‘art+design’ online auction will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 11AM. The online catalogue can be viewed via this link. For inquiries, email or phone +632 8 8230956 | +63 917 591 2191.