Now in its 15th year, 2019’s ArtBo in Bogotá consisted of 55 galleries representing artists from mostly South and Central America, as well as some from across Europe and North America. One of the most important fairs in the region, ArtBo is also the largest fair to focus on contemporary art in Colombia. Since its inception, the fair has continued to grow and evolve. This year, several new galleries continued the dialogue that ArtBo has sought since day one: broadening exposure of galleries in South and Central America, while assisting in changing the global perception of Colombia. The fair focuses on not only established galleries and artists, but also has a large section called ArteCámara that presents work by artists without gallery representation. This year, the section was curated by Helena Producciones. Attending the fair is not only a great opportunity for major collectors, but also budding collectors alike as the prices of work vary widely and are more accessible than in other fairs of similar caliber. Here are a few of our favorite emerging talents seen at ArtBo—from ArteCámara and beyond.
Manuel Mendoza Sanchez
San Juan-based gallery Embajada chose to show works by artist Manuel Mendoza Sanchez at this year’s ArtBo. Exhibiting a series of framed collages and vases, the artist proves to be interested in the tropes of history and how they can be reinterpreted. In this case, Sanchez uses the image of the vase itself along with the 3D representation of a vase to communicate his present with a larger past.
Painter Hector Madera looks to memes, buzzwords, hashtags and other symbols of popular culture and translates them through his bold artworks. An installation of his square-shaped canvases filled a wall in the booth of SGR Galeria, Bogotá. Colorful and almost in the vain of comic book illustration, the paintings’ humor was a light in the context of an art fair—poking fun of the very environment it hoped to be part of.
Wilson Diaz, Sebastián Fierro, Tania Candiani
Instituto de Vision remains one of the most well-known contemporary art spaces, and its three women co-founders maintain a global presence beyond ArtBo as they participate in art fairs on an international scale. This year, with a wall installation and sculpture (2019) by Sebastián Fierro, an incredibly fresh photograph by Wilson Diaz from 1994, and two free-standing sculptures (2019) by Tania Candiani, the booth went through three revisions due to sales and was by far one of the most successful at the fair.
Jonathas de Andrade
São Paulo’s Galeria Vermelho presented powerful work by Jonathas de Andrade: a series of five photographs based on the 1952 book Race and Class in Rural Brazil that explored possible patterns of racism in Brazil. The book was not illustrated, but was based on responses people gave after looking at particular photographs. de Andrade revisited the studies, asking subjects to respond to the text for the sake of a portrait. His photographs are strong and one of the few projects delving into blackness and racism in Latin America.
Seen at ArteCámara, Juan Covelli‘s mixed media work “How to dust the surface” (2017) incorporates LED panels, video, 3D-printed sculpture, and digitally printed vinyl. With a focus on composition, Covelli arranged objects in a manner that they may appear in digital space. It’s as if he was thinking about multiple open tabs and made an environment that could be flattened, but instead can be walked through. Delving into the realm of post-internet fantasy, the multimedia installation offered an elevated scenario that was unexpected—and reminded viewers of a theatrical set begging for participation.
Hero image courtesy of ArtBo