SP-Arte, the Sao Paulo, Brazil-based event and arguably Latin America’s most important art fair, kicked off this week with a multifaceted display of art, collaborations, and new initiatives.
Though this is not the first SP-Arte since the beginning of the pandemic – they had a fair in October at a different location with only 70 galleries – this year’s edition feels like the rebirth as SP Arte settled into its traditional location at the Niemeyer-designed Fundação Bienal de São Paulo in Ibirapuera Park.
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Few sported masks, but QR codes were everywhere. NFTs, which took off and thrived during the pandemic, were found at various booths at the fair. The general sentiment: We’re back!
“Even though we had the fair in October, coming back to the Pavilion has a different flavor,” Fernanda Feistosa, the director of the fair, told ARTnews. “Everyone seemed happy to see each other again, happy with the works. SP-Arte is the first fair of the year here, so it’s like opening season, everyone brings their best work.”
While SP-Arte is certainly an important social and business event – leading Brazilian actor Cauã Reymond was in attendance – the fair includes initiatives aimed at community building.
In editions past, SP-Arte supported curatorial labs where young curators were invited to curate a booth in an award competition. This year, the focus was on uplifting emerging artists and art platforms at Radar, which is tucked at the edge of the fair, just past a newly expanded design section of 30 galleries. Radar brings together artists who do not yet have gallery representation but have shown promise, either through an award, inclusion in a group show, or through their position as an artist’s assistant.
“Three of these nine artists are already in talks with galleries at the fair,” said Feitosa. “And that was our aim, that they are introduced to Brazil’s galleries.”
One of the artists featured in Radar will be granted a residency in Rio de Janeiro. Also at Radar are art platforms, that is, non-profit galleries like 01.01 that bring together Afro-Brazilian and African artists together, or Casa Chama, which mostly represents trans artists.
Take a look at the ten best boothes this year’s edition of SP-Arte has to offer: