Thank you to Shyevin Sng and her dedicated team at Vin Gallery for their support this past week for the debut of the Prophilia series of watercolor portraits on metal at the VOLTA Art Fair in Basel. Of the 23 total portraits in the master series (including all works produced in order for Singapore, Manila and Basel), only 2 were sold in the premier exhibition at SPRMRT in January 2018, none were sold at Art Fair Philippines 2019. And then a miracle happened - we sold 14 of the exhibited 22 this week in Basel spanning six different collectors, including a museum that acquired seven!
It is a career first time I've had any sales from an art fair. For years I've always returned from art fairs with my work in hand. I recall having discussions with colleagues who speculated whether figurative art or portraiture was a commercial dead end in Asia. We tried it in Europe and for some reason, it attracted interest, at least this time. I'm so excited and to be honest, I feel a bit validated for all the years I forced myself to return to the basics of figurative work and slowly improved my own sense and style of realism (in painting and sculpture). I intend to continue this series as well as embark on a number of new projects relating to my passion for contemporary figurative work.
*In the image above, all works were sold at Volta Basel except for "Drag" and "Hoa" that were acquired in Singapore. "The Species Paintings" are not included in the Prophilia series, although they are materially similar but belong to another project/concept. - R. Streitmatter-Tran