NYC: Stolen Graffiti, Taxidermied Birds and More Can't Miss Art at PINTA Art Show 2013

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Photo: “El Arte ha Muerto, viva el arte” by Margarita Paksa

Twitter: @labarbaraaa

To all Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese art lovers: get excited because the annual PINTA Art Show in NYC is here. The PINTA Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art Show opens to an invited audience tonight at 82MERCER, and we’ll get to see all that’s poppin’ on the international art world scene. The art fair will open to the public Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and will cost $10 for students and $25 general admission. Not too bad for a multinational conglomerate of artwork from more than 50 collectors and galleries.

The show will feature Modern and Contemporary galleries and will be curated in such a way as to highlight video art, art from Central America, emerging art, and young galleries. Sculptures, paintings, installations and an amalgam of artistic mediums spill onto two expansive floors with niches dedicated to specific art organizations from Central America, South America, the U.S., and Europe (Spain and Portugal.)

With so much to look at, it can be hard to know where to start. Here’s our guide to the can’t miss works:

Salon 94 & Cristina Grajales, New York

These two distinct galleries exhibiting work by Carlos Rolon (Dzine) and Sebastian Errazuriz, are art organizations based in New York. Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolon has a piece ‘Untitled’ (Black Mirror Crest) that seems sorcerous by nature. Fractured black glass with a mosaic quality –  possibly referencing the mystical obsidian mirrors used during the time of the Aztecs  (also called smoking mirrors) – is an enchanting work.

Also being shown from Salon 94 and Cristina Grajales is an interesting hybrid of furniture design and appliqué shown as a chandelier affixed with taxidermied birds and crystals created by Sebastian Errazuriz. If you like what you see, you can always visit the four spaces the two galleries have across town.

D21 Proyectos de Arte, Santiago, Chile

Here we have a gallery out of Santiago, Chile showing work by Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis, a duo of two artists Pedro Lemebel and Francisco Casas. The work is potently political with photographic images referring to homosexuality, violence and the AIDS epidemic. One of the pieces is a digital rendition of Frida Kahlo’s ‘Los Dos Fridas’ where they transform the two Fridas into bare-chested men in muslin skirts, externally connected hearts bulging from their chests.

Revolver Galeria, Lima, Peru

Revolver is a gallery providing a platform for contemporary art in Lima, Peru. Their exhibiting artist in PINTA is José Carlos Martinat who does quite controversial pieces. The work I found very interesting and which created inquiries into the idea of what art is etc. is the ‘Record of Appropriation of Political Graffiti,’ for which Martinat went around with several assistants lifting graffiti that was not his from walls across the city using a special resin. He then re-used the stolen graffiti in his own work, offering the pieces for sale. I’d say that was a pretty polemical idea, one that might incite rage from street artists and the like.

The art themes at PINTA run the gamut, especially since PINTA attempts to represent the gargantuan mass of nations that is “Latin America.” To reiterate, there are over 50 art galleries and collectors at the fair with each organization showing work from 1 to 4 artists, so you’re destined to see work that piques your interest. To get a better idea of the breadth of the festival, you can browse the catalogue here. The fair will be an imaginative and thought-provoking addition to any plans you have this weekend, so support Latin-American art and help bridge the gap for Latin American representation in art institutions.