Turmoil and cultural response

March 9th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Article published as part of the debate organized by Charlotte Burns on the Cisneros Collection platform.

On 9 December 2015, the Brazilian newspaper “Folha de São Paulo” reproduced a report by the Federal Police which detailed deviations in public funds amounting to a total of R$39,5 billion (which is around US$10 billion). This is part of a crisis that goes beyond political, economic, or social aspects, something that leading local journalists and commentators are calling a ‘moral crisis’.

The impacts of the crisis are resonating throughout different social classes and segments. But there are signs that culture is playing its part in bringing about positive change, and that the behavior of art world professionals and enthusiasts is starting to adapt.

For example, local collectors seem more interested in supporting activist or socially engaged art than in searching for art investment deals—as was the case in the recent past. The PARTE art fair last November (2015) promoted a roundtable discussion about pixo, a radical art form present in the streets of São Paulo that has historically called for a wide-scale reassessment of social values. This once neglected social movement was represented for the first time in an art fair and warmly welcomed by the avid participation of a large public. The event helped strengthen understanding of the values of a different, socially-minded group.

Meanwhile, artists and other creative people are beginning to express their indignity at the situation in Brazil, and to collaborate however they can. A group of professionals and donors, including myself, got together last October, 2015, to launch a project aimed at facilitating political art responses to the abuses of the government through an activist art award scheduled to be launched in February.

One of the organizations behind the massive demonstrations that brought up to a million people to the streets in March 2015 realized that culture could amplify the impact of their message and help the population express its frustration in innovative ways. So they staged a talk about art activism at their national conference in November. The event was well-received and inspired actions and further collaboration between the art specialist and the politically active group.

In times of crisis, culture has a specific value. Indeed, if the heads of both chambers of congress along with one of the country’s leading bankers can commit crimes of major consequence but remain free and continue to exercise power, the message given to the population is one of inverted moral values. The confusion is such that even strategizing a response is difficult—how can a parliament fragmented into 35 political parties coordinate a response?

The answer may be in looking for a common denominator, capable of connecting across the different spheres, to help reinstate moral values and judgment. The British playwright Tom Stoppard once said, in reference to the challenges his country faced after the 2008 credit crisis, that art “provides the moral matrix from which we draw our values.” Similarly, the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman says that culture was initially conceived as “a navigation tool to guide social evolution towards a universal human condition.” Today, could culture be the antidote to Brazil’s moral crisis, providing the basis through which the country could work towards moral enlightenment? If so, then the recent economic turmoil leaves the cultural sphere with a strong sense of responsibility and a lot of work to do.

As much as economics has its role in the art world, the market is not at the heart of art. Deep contradictions and frustrations are some of the real fuels of creativity, and there is plenty of both in Brazil today. A new generation has a good opportunity to arise, and maintain the country’s cultural momentum as a way of strengthening the muscle required to lever historical change—as it has done in the past.

Joao Correia

men don’t protect you anymore

August 25th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Men don't protect you anymore

Jenny Holzer: ‘Os homens não te protegem mais’.

Making wise art buying decisions is increasingly complex.

January 28th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink



Here you will find information about talks, advice and articles with one goal:
Develop confident art collectors.



January 21st, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

The concept of this site is i joao com(unicate)

1. Time is merciless. Consequences tend to be forgotten as only causes have a place in history. In art this means that only 6/7 artists in each generation tend to be remembered.

2. There are 210 000 artists on records, the biggest artistic output ever, yet critics are more ignored than ever. Our generation may be the least discerning so far.

3. Critic is often thought to be politically incorrect. Performance, graffiti and video, once mediums of protest, are now desired commodities.

4. Experts claim art investments return up to 260% per month while evidences show that even 9% per year is hardly achievable.

5. Museums plan their exhibitions to meet audience targets. Career planning among artists and art professionals are as strategic as those in the corporate world. Yet, all hold discourses on the purety of art.

6. Fire the debate about these and other paradoxes in the art market is the objetive of this website.

7. Your contribution is urgent.

A Question of Choice

November 12th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Creating, Conforming or Breaking Through
London, Summer 2005

There was just no escaping it.

After all, I witnessed and even participated in the creative processes of several prominent artists in Brazil at the same time as I was learning how to read and write. For me, as well as for the rest of my family, it would have been very simple to see and understand the reasons behind me choosing to follow a career as an artist.

But, being a non – conformist as I was, I didn’t feel an inclination towards being one more artist in a household already crowded by them: grandfather, uncle, father, brother… it was time for someone to show initiative and be different. This idea of following a heterodox path was always present in my head but I had no desire to deny and not put to good use the understanding of the arts I had.

A Good Idea Takes Shape

I quickly realised that the path that bridges the world of imagination and the world of money could be alluring. Bridging local talent with international market and institutions was desperately needed. These ideas triggered the life changing insight of a suitable career: become an art impresario, aim to be one of those with capital letters, with a good eye, a trained intuition and artistic entrepreneurship capabilities.

Consolidating what was already there and still volatile in the eyes of history and making it reach out to the Global scene – seemed innovative in its own right. It was a good use of my “background” with the opportunity of adding my personal mark. It was a way to craft a career that, under such choice, would allow me to make professional use of experiences I had been accumulating since the age of four.

Names such as Leo Castelli, Sergei Diaghilev and Heinz Berggruen fit wings into my imagination every time they flashed in the air. Comments about such legends were always accompanied by enthusiasm and admiration on their pivotal roles in the marketing of the arts. The chameleonic life style and ability to reinvent oneself in such a myriad of situations an art impresario has to wear to succeed, seemed nothing less than artistic in its own right. Even bordering the line of dramaturgy on the lines of some of the biographies I read or, actual events, on the perception of my romantic thoughts.

Being at the high hours in studios and early mornings at corporate meetings? Too much fun for an individual always intrigued by personal development and ongoing bridges of his own comfort zones, hungry for experiences.

A Path Across the Atlantic

That path that begun with me helping my grandfather in his studio, selling to the biggest banks in Brazil, negotiating sponsorship contracts, managing my grand mother’s auction house and its incredible schedule of up to 5 auctions per night, led me first to Paris.

There I was fortunate enough to friend Catherine Hubschman and meet her ex husband Jean Leymarie. He had been the director of the Musee National d’Art Moderne de Paris (1968/1973), and personal friends with the likes of Picasso, Giacometti, Balthus and so forth. He introduced me to Henri Cartier Bresson and I began in Paris to weave a great network, that not only enriched my life but taught me many a great lesson, now to mention how instrumental networking it became on future projects.

A Path Across the Channel

Paris was however a too tamed society for someone with wild ambitious. London felt like a more suitable home. There I discovered a welcoming culture and a deep appreciation of youth entrepreneurial spirit the Anglo Saxon world is so known for.

There was also a noticeable void as vast as the Atlantic ocean I had crossed. The encounter of virtually no fine art from Latin American in London, given where I came from and what I grew up seeing, felt like an insult. And I turned that personal involuntary offence into a mission.

This void I’am aiming to fill drop by drop, with the set up of Sartorial in Notting Hill (later moved to Kings Cross), Tambo in Regent Street, the Scola project in Strand, as well as other so far unnoticeable projects that will soon produce fruits. I enjoy every day what I do.

Where Am I?

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