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Thursday, December 14, 2006

ONLY FOR ART LOVERS: DID ART BASEL DISCRIMINATE AGAINST LATIN AMERICAN ART?

Sorry to go against the conventional wisdom, but I was disappointed that the Art Basel exhibit in Miami Beach last week -- billed as one of the world's most impressive art shows -- had such scant representation of Latin American art. Of the 200 galleries at the exhibit, I could only count five that specialized on Latin American artists, which amounts to 2.5 percent of the total.
The Swiss-organized fair may have gone a bit too far in keeping Latin America's vibrant art scene at arm's length. What do YOU think?

25 Comments:

Anonymous Filomeno said...

Maybe the Latin American artists were dancing bachata, or drinking beear and dancing lambada at the beach. Or maybe the Art Basel simply showed what they had or wanted to show and didn't go by any Affirmative Action Rules, or Political Correctness. About time.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Moldycarrots said...

Whatever the reasons for low representation(and there might be some good ones), it is a shame latin american art is under represented. In my experience, Latin America is teeming with artistic talent. The world should be blessed by exposure to this bounteous resource.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

Andres:

Amen again!

The truth be said though, this tendency is not new. This has been going on for quite some time now.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

I see the opposite. I see Latin artists being on high demand, appearing more and more on TV. I see Latin high couture persons who are very very famous. I see Latin American actors and actresses making it on American TV and even movies and theater. I don't see those ever convenient race cards of racial profiling, stereotyping, and affirmative action needs, and one gets tired of them. Funny how different the world can appear to optimists and to pessimists, which is another way of saying that some like to complain and others do something about the problem.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous eduardo said...

Following Morgan's comment, I agree.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

Morgan and Eduardo:

This has nothing to do with stereotypes and/or affirmative action; it has to do with art. Art is a business and not a social and/or civil liberties endeavor.

It is a business though, that profits from culture and hence Mr. Oppenheimer's comment about the fact that it is a pity that Latin American art was under-represented at the Art Basel exhibit is perfectly valid.

He is not endorsing the idea that Latin American artists should be assigned a quota because they are Latin Americans but because while Europe and certainly the US are going through a creative slump Latin America and, to a certain degree, Africa are definitely producing some of the most fascinating and creative work ever.

His comment only highlights the fact that from a cultural standpoint the quality of the exhibition was, at best, "fair" because it lacked suitable representation of some of the best art being produced today. I also visited the exhibit and therefore have to agree with his comment.

My comment on the other hand goes a little further and stresses the fact that this lack of artistic quality in art exhibits is indeed a tendency. The business of art today seems content and further inclined to favor good marketing rather than artistic integrity.
This is happening even at some of the most prestigious exhibits in New York. It is sort of a movement to promote a new class of art; “marketable art”.

The MOMA’s fixation with “Dadaism” and the “Armony Show” (The international fair of fine art) in New York are clear examples of this.

2:45 AM  
Anonymous morgan said...

Competition through marketability and other tools, rather than subjective merit because some "sophisticated people" think that African or Latin American immediately mean better art. That's baloney.

6:33 PM  
Blogger roberto e said...

I agree Andres our art was under represented, but not at the Annual Arte Americas held in Miami every year.
I invite you all to attend

It makes up for the UBS/Credit Suisse exclusionary premise

They are always exclusionary
(except when they want your private banking dollars for overexpensive, underpreforming,
and arrogant services

By the way , Discrimination is mostly a work place or public tax dollar (schools,voting,civil rights) issue

Neither applies here
(if MIami Beach did not grant them breaks with Tax Money)
If they did ,it does then apply!!

However the Public dollars spent
in the City and County for Art programs until the new Culture Center always went for non Latin art because the boards were controlled by older types originally from NY and NJ that only liked Roy Lichenstein or Pollack,or Warhol . and still flock to see a Woody Allen movie with religious zeal
and of course only their charities benefited as well
all at tax payer expense
(What a raquet!)

That is starting to change and Latin Exibits are starting to be seen more and more.

After all not only are we 65 % of the population in the County but also we are 75 % of the tax dollars collected as most bought more expensive properties in the last 10-25 years at a higher valuation than those different demografics that bought properties 20-40 years ago

Regards

7:28 PM  
Blogger roberto e said...

I agree Andres our art was under represented, but not at the Annual Arte Americas held in Miami every year.
I invite you all to attend

It makes up for the UBS/Credit Suisse exclusionary premise

They are always exclusionary
(except when they want your private banking dollars for overexpensive, underpreforming,
and arrogant services

By the way , Discrimination is mostly a work place or public tax dollar (schools,voting,civil rights) issue

Neither applies here
(if MIami Beach did not grant them breaks with Tax Money)
If they did ,it does then apply!!

However the Public dollars spent
in the City and County for Art programs until the new Culture Center always went for non Latin art because the boards were controlled by older types originally from NY and NJ that only liked Roy Lichenstein or Pollack,or Warhol . and still flock to see a Woody Allen movie with religious zeal
and of course only their charities benefited as well
all at tax payer expense
(What a raquet!)

That is starting to change and Latin Exibits are starting to be seen more and more.

After all not only are we 65 % of the population in the County but also we are 75 % of the tax dollars collected as most bought more expensive properties in the last 10-25 years at a higher valuation than those different demografics that bought properties 20-40 years ago

Regards

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

Morgan:

Wrong again!

Competition and marketability has nothing to do with culture.
I hope you are able to understand that there is a huge difference between Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30” and Britney Spears “Baby One More Time” or Mozart’s “Requiem Mass in D minor” and Eminem’s “Loose yourself”. This, even though both Spears and Eminem have sold more records in one week than both of the “maestros” ever.

There is also a major difference between a combine from Rauschenberg and the “smiley face” even though the ‘smiley’ face has generated far more revenue than any Rauschenberg work.

Further; we are not saying that African and Latin American art is better “per se”. Artistic expressions from every region and/or country in the world have peaks and valleys. It just happens that, after many, many years, African and Latin American art are both enjoying a peak. It might not happen again for a long time but, today, they are indeed producing extraordinary art.

By the way, you do not have to be “sophisticated people” to appreciate art and culture. Take it from me; a certified 100% prime “simpleton”. It just happens that I was lucky to realize at a young age that you do not become an ignorant by fate but indeed by choice.

11:07 PM  
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Blogger as seen through my eyes said...

Perhaps Latino artists are under represented in the large art shows like ArtBasel Miami. But in this day and age there are so many other venues to display your art. I prefer to do something about it and harness the power of the internet. Artists of all nationalities are using the internet to bring exposure to their work and some have been very successful. I started collecting works by latina artists and found that not too many had gallery representation but their works deserved exposure. I started this Latina Artists site a year ago with only about 6 artists and it has grown to list nearly 70 and continues to grow on a daily basis. I hope that it grows into a new modern latina artists movement.

www.artbylatinaartists.com

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

En el México del 2007, he observado que cada quién hace lo que se le antoja en arte. Me parece que está muy bien porque de esa manera el artista se puede expresar librementesin que tenga imposiciones estéticas del gobierno.

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H new contemporary art fair is scheduled for San Diego at the end of Sept.08 which will primarily forcus on art practices and artists from California and Mexico. The event is called Beyond the Border Contemporary Art Fair, San Diego. The website is:
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