PINTA is the Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art Fair that takes place annually in New York and, recently, London. Its mission is to promote Latin American art in an international level and to expand it through private and institutional collections. Last year (2010) was the fourth consecutive year for PINTA NYC (the show took place on Pier 92 from November 11th to 14th 2010) and the first for PINTA London (it took place on the Earls Court Exhibition Centre). PINTA included fifty of the most reputable galleries in the United States, Latin America and Europe that exhibited work from artists from Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela (PINTA). To best illustrate my findings in this art fair I will refer to a couple of galleries and projects that I found intriguing.
On Saturday November 13th 2010 I attended PINTA NYC. From the entrance I could feel the excitement of discovering new ideas. PINTA was organized in three sections: The Galleries, the Solo Exhibitions and the Selected Projects space, which was curated by Pablo Leon de la Barra. Throughout my expedition around the galleries I found some artists that caught my attention. An example is Hugo Lugo represented by Ginocchio Gallery; in particular I found his work to be refreshing and original.
The Leon Tovar Gallery, New York had some interesting works by Fernando Botero and Rufino Tamayo.
South American Artist Frank Bowling presented beautiful highly colored, textural and large-scale paintings referencing the landscapes that influenced his art.
In regards to the selected projects, the curator was Pablo Leon de la Barra who is also an artist. He was born in Mexico City but worked in London since 1997. Through his creations as an artist and curatorial projects he has become a link between different cultural contexts, especially Latin America and Europe.
Specifically, I found some of the Solo Projects interesting for example an installation by Mexican artist Artemio Rodriguez of a Mexican Coat of Arms made out of 28,000 bullet caps which represent the number of innocent people who have died in the Drug Conflict.
This politically charged work was presented jointly with a Versacé logo wearing a Zapatista mask. I have to say that as a Mexican this installation had a very strong impact on me as it reflects my country as one of the most violent places in the world. Another interesting installation was by Rafael Gomez Barros in which he presented a photograph of the installation with which he took the congress of Colombia, his country, this past February. He fabricated thousands of ant sculptures, which were also installed in the gallery as an ant invasion, formed by two craniums, which cover the congress building like a plague. “Casa Tomada”, this is the title of this work, represents the compelling displacement that exists in this country as a result of violence.
Works by Fernando Botero, Wifredo Lam, León Ferrari, Lolo Soldevilla, Sergio Camargo, and by contemporary artists Pablo Vargas Lugo, Danilo Dueñas, Artemio, Manuela Viera-Gallo, David Lamelas, Eduardo Costa, Darío Escobar, Angela Bonadies y Juan José Olavarría were some of the highlights for collectors that closed good deals at PINTA (Taxi art magazine).
As part of it institutional expansion strategy, PINTA created The PINTA Museums Acquisitions Program through which they make contributions to major museums committed to Latin American Art. Invited museums then match the contributions made through PINTA to acquire the art exhibited in the participating galleries. The institutions that participated in this program this year were: the Museo del Barrio of New York, Harvard Art Museums, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts (artdaily). The Tate (London); Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid) were among the intitutions in Europe that acquired works from PINTA London for their collections.
Here is a video of Tanya Barson (TATE Modern, Curator International Art), commenting on PINTA London