ARTBO: THE BEST HIDDEN SECRET
By Valentina Tintori
Once again ArtBo stood out as one of the best art fairs in Latin America. 57 international galleries participated in the fair, with 33 representing ten Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.
Leon Tovar Gallery from New York and Durban Segnini from Miami presented impeccable works by renowned Latin American masters of the abstract geometric tradition, including Argentinean Julio Le Parc and Leon Ferrari; Venezuelan artists Carlos Cruz Diez and Jesús Soto, and Colombians Edgard Negret and Ramirez Villamizar.
The most prominent established figures were undoubtedly Brazilian artist Vik Muniz and Guillermo Kuitca from Argentina, who were both represented by Colombian Galeria La Cometa. The gallery exhibited a beautiful work from Muniz’s Rebus series and one of Kuitca’s famous mattresses.
Federico Uribe presented a work made from pencils, books, which was the most impressive work in the entire art fair, and which garnered most attention from the public. Priscilla Monge presented a number of works from her blackboard series with the Paris gallery Mor – Champeteir. Gaston Ugalde also presented one of the most impressive works in the fair; his conceptualist work was made with coca leaves, which he used to create the Coca Cola symbol. Ugalde, Bolivia’s most prominent conceptual artist, also presented a series of amazing photographs about Bolivian culture.
Miguel Ángel Rojas from Colombia also presented an important artwork made using coca leaves. Oscar Muñoz presented works dealing with memories; Carlos Garaicoa, who is represented by Elba Benitez (Madrid), also showed amazing works dealing with memory, in which he reconstructed aspects of Havana, Cuba, while Alexander Apóstol presented his series Modernidad Tropical. Liliana Porter, represented by Galeria Ruth Benzacar, showed her caricature works that depict common human activities in ironic scenarios. Gabriel de la Mora, represented by Siccardi Gallery, showed an amazing work made using synthetic hair, as well as a work composed of photo memories, shown by Parisian gallery Mor–Charpentier.
Magdalena Fernández presented a geometrical abstract piece of video art, which was one of the works that received most interest from curators and art collectors. Antonio Caro, one of the early latin americans conceptual artists from the 70s who is best known as the Visual Guerrilla Colombia, showed his work Colombia (written in the style of Coca Cola’s branding), which offers a visual explanation of his country’s submissive attitude to capitalism. Among the most noteworthy young and emerging artists was Julieta Aranda from Mexico, who makes installations that deal with the concept of the time, alluding to the present and future. The works available for sale are photographs that record these installations and performances.
Juan Pablo Garza and Rafael Serrano (both Venezuelan) gave an interesting twist to photography through their attention to detail and environmental research that uses art as its vehicle and medium. Other outstanding artists were Miler Lagos (Colombia), Daniel Santiago Salguero (Chile), Adriana Salazar (Colombia), Sonia Falcon (Bolivia) who showed an amazing video art installation that enraptured the public with a mystic view of the world that revealed a divine pulse that remains forever hidden from profane eyes.