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Muni-muni sa Museo 3: Art and the Market

The relationship between art and the market has always been tricky. There is a pressure to meet the demands of the market and the artistic freedom of the artists. To shed light on the current issues in the art scene, organizers of the Muni-muni sa Museo invited a renowned visual artist, a lawyer and art collector, and a gallery owner.

The finale of Muni-muni sa Museo Art Talk series was held at Luis Aguado Viewing Room in De La Salle University-Dasmarinas on March 13, 2018. The attendees of the third Muni-muni sa Museo was composed of not only De La Salle University-Dasmarinas students but also students from different universities as well as local artists in Cavite. The art talk series aimed to deepen the artists’ awareness about the multi-faceted significance of art in society, history, culture and contemporary life.

The guest speakers for the event were award-winning artist Mark Justiniani, art collector and copyright lawyer Atty. Joel Butuyan, and Head of NCCA Art Galleries Committee Delan Robillos.

Mark Justiniani Art Talk

Since 1987, Mark Justiniani has participated in several group exhibitions, most of which involves large-scale works and murals. And In 1994, he received the Thirteen Artists Award by the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Before the start of the discussion about art and the market, Mr. Justiniani shared his experience as a visual artist for 30 years. In his presentation, he showed his early works that he submitted in the MADE (Metrobank Art and Design Excellence) Competition, in which he won First Prize Award in 1990.

Later in his works, Mr. Justiniani explored the concepts of space and time. In his Infinity series, which started in 2010 and still ongoing as of this writing, he put up mesmerizing installations in different parts of the country and in international art festivals. During his lecture, he said his installation works made him realize that the direction of his work is public art.

Protecting Copyrights

Many artists do not know their rights as creators. For copyrights expert Atty. Joel Butuyan, it is important to explain this legal matter to them. According to the law, copyright grants the artist of an original work to have exclusive rights for its use and distribution. Atty. Butuyan emphasized that art collectors and galleries do not own this right.

Aside from copyright, Atty. Butuyan explained the royalty right of artists. Artists have a right to have 5% share of every sale of their painting. But unfortunately, many collectors and buyers do not comply with the Intellectual Property Rights of the artists.

As a conclusion, Atty. Butuyan’s advice for artists is to read carefully the contracts that they sign as some arrangements may diminish their rights protected by the constitution.

Buy with Eyes First

Mr. Delan Robillos of the NCCA touched the topic of artwork buying. From the perspective of a gallery owner, Mr. Robillos told the audience to buy with their eyes first. He emphasized that they should buy an artwork because they like it, not because the artist is popular or it is from a respectable gallery.

At the end of his speech, he expressed his goal to establish art fairs in the regions. He admitted that the art market is Manila-centric, forcing artists to go to the capital to establish their name in the scene. By putting up art fairs in different parts of the country, the art market will decentralize from Metro Manila, he said.

Muni-muni sa Museo is a series of art talks and workshops on art, history, and society presented by Artletics, Inc. and Museo De La Salle. This lecture and dialogue series aims to initiate a necessary conversation on the role of art in cultural formation and societal movements.​ This project is supported by National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Metrobank Foundation.

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