Beyond Fashion: A Trend (Luxury Life Magazine)

July 15th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink


Within their particular historical circumstances, each country combined Western art traditions with its local cultural traditions. As a result, despite their common European roots, modern Colombian art tends to be more figurative than the Venezuelan one. So how come, in spite of its historical links with European art, that Latin American art is still reserved to the happy few able to appreciate it? «Probably because of the need of physical proximity», Correia investigates. The availability of original paintings in Europe produced by Latin American artists is still very limited. This is restricting the opportunities for the collectors and trend setters in the art scene to educate themselves and learn more about the specifics of Latin American art.

Beyond fashion: a trend

The regions’ economical development contributed to the rise of Latin American fine arts. At the same time, the organization of large scale events in Europe came right on time to nurture mass curiosity. For example, it was «Brazil year» in France in 2005, and 2009 is named «Mexico year» in England. Numerous events associated with Latin American art can also be found in European museum and gallery programs nowadays.

This gradually promoted cultural acknowledgement in line with the economical expansion and Latin American art also appreciated as a source of creative value. Paradoxically, despite the economic growth of the countries of this region, local artists artworks remain affordable. This is due to the diversity of the local productions. Moreover, Brazilian or Latin American art has not yet become the subject of speculation by bankers and hedge fund managers – who maintain specialist departments dedicated to these assets – as it has already happened to European and North American art.

Diversity and opportunity for acquisitions

The best way of investing in Latin American art is probably to set up a bespoke plan, as selecting art pieces depends mainly on taste and strategy of high net worth individuals. This source of fine art can be an investment, and even a speculative tar- get, as it is in fact the case with the Venezuelan kinetic fine art. «In 2005, I exhibited a Venezuelan artist in my Regent Street gallery in London. When looking at large amounts of data available with my clients, it was clear we had a case for buying», says Correia. This year, the same artist had another exhibition in London and the prices of his work were on average 200 % higher than in 2005.

However, not all Latin American artists have been reevaluated as explained above. There are many more opportunities to be explored. Leading artists in local capitals are producing works that are slightly eccentric to the European eye in themes and visual impact yet, with a technique perfected in Europe. They are a great addition to a collection and a statement as part of the European art collections, be it public or private. This effect can already be appreciated not only in some leading private collections but also in galleries such as the Tate Modern in London. The scene is hence set for the recognition and apprecia- tion of Latin American art as an autonomous field of investment and a major contributor to the international fine art market.

Latin American fine art is quietly and constantly rising to the rank of a major source of investment and acquisition opportunities. The reason lies within its visual quality, its ability of addressing contemporary and current issues and the boom of local economies. Yet, this status has to be recognized. Time to review this historical injustice.

Is there such a thing as Latin American fine art? Or is this a mosaic of influences and local artistic artworks? «This is a very polemic question, actually», says Joao Correia. From a Brazilian family of painters and auctioneers, Correia moved to Europe in 1998 to be an art gallery director in London. He is one of the very few recognized specialists of Latin American paintings in Europe.

Geographically, there is such movement called «Latin American fine art». Culturally, there are certainly some Latin American artistic traditions. Modern artists from Latin America share a common source: Europe, and notably Paris. Latin American national art academies were founded over the course of the 19th century, hiring first European and later local directors and teachers. It was common standard, for those modern Latin American artists who could afford it, to travel to Europe to study Western classical pieces and trends directly at its source.

«After polishing their styles at European art schools, they would then train local artists», explains Correia. However, European arts themselves were also in- fluenced by Latin America: «Gauguin lived in Peru as a child and traveled around Latin America in his teenage time; he was the grandson of a Peruvian and, as a modern painter, he was deeply interested in non-Western art», Correia illustrates. This is just one of the most obvious evidences of this convergence.

Text: Cyril Demaria

Art: Miguel D’Arienzo represented by www.luriegalleries.com

Midas Magazine – The Latin Touch

July 1st, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Art and Investment with a Latin American Colour

Article published by Midas Interiors Magazine

Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesus Rafael Soto are both Venezuelan born artists renowned for leading the influential Kinetic art movement during the 1960s. Kinetic, from the Greek word Kinesis is a term applied to art that moves or appears to move due to the spatial arrangement and relationship between varying colours. In fascinating works that seem to change colour or follow the spectator’s eyes when one walks around the picture, kinetic art is as much about involvement as it is aesthetics.

Surprisingly, given the importance of these two father figures of Kinetic art, demonstrated by their presence in major international collections including Tate Modern, Guggenheim Museum and Centre Georges Pompidou, they are relatively unknown in London.

João Correia, Director of Tambo Gallery, has cited this lack of recognition as one of the main reasons why he founded London´s only gallery to deal primarily with Latin American Art, and to represent artists such as Cruz-Diez and Soto.  Born into a family of artists and auctioneers, Correia previously represented Brazil’s re-known artist Mário Gruber, and co-directed Rebecca’s Auctions, a leading auction house in São Paulo, before moving to Paris, and then London where the virtual absence of Latin American Art inspired his greatest challenge. ‘…and so I thought if the recognition doesn’t exist, I shall create it.’

Two years later, Tambo Gallery now represents Latin America’s top living artists and newest talents in a niche market that has grown dramatically since Correia first arrived in London.  Asked why he is passionate about Latin American Art, Correia mentions the drama and complexity that embodies the art, citing his assistant curator, Paula Silva- `Latin American art is a chameleon of many guises, a trickster that borrows and carnivalizes aesthetic idioms from all areas of influence.´

To Correia, Soto and Cruz Diez´s work is one such ´guise´ that is now gaining recognition.   `Their striking images have immediate appeal to the London lifestyle. They are modern, sophisticated, suitable to contemporary interior design trends and are now being appreciated increasingly. At Sotheby’s Latin American art sale last November, one of Soto’s pieces fetched almost four times its estimate, alongside a Cruz-Diez which fetched almost three times its estimate.´

Tate Modern´s exhibition of Frida Kahlo, another artist present in Correias’ books, next summer seems to confirm the increasing presence of Latin American Art in the London art scene.

João Correia is Founder and Director of Tambo Gallery, art editor of Brasilink and member of the King’Scola Latin American Art Collection Board. For more information please visit www.tambogallery.com or contact Lynn Goh on 020 7433 1810.

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