We are almost a full week into the third month of the year, and that means one thing: Art Fair Season March Madness had begun! At the helm is the big cheese: The Armory Show with plenty of (high and “medium” priced) art to offer. Like a PLENTY. But there’s also a solid line up of other well prepared and strong art fairs this week, like Independent New York (my favorite of them all); the little sister of The Armory Show, Volta; the rebel with a certain cause and always urban favorite Scope; and the one that yells at you to not forget about it, Pulse. Followed very closely by Moving Image, Fountain Art Fair, Art on Paper, and the ADAA Art Show.
It can be pretty overwhelming to decide what to check out, so below is a handy guide to the best of the Latino/Latin-American offerings in the city this week.
The Armory Show
You want to start with the Big Papi of the fairs, and that’s obviously The Armory Show. Housing a vast range of big name galleries and also not so well known ones (unless, of course, you are really into this art thing), the fair is divided in two sections: Modern & Contemporary, on Pier 92 and Pier 94 respectively.
In their Contemporary section, the fair only features two Latin American galleries, both from Brazil (Galeria Nara Roesler and Luciana Brito Galeria). Kinda sad that number is so low, I know. With that said, you can still check some good Latino artists at the US-based galleries, like Angel Otero (Boricua de pura cepa) representing the Caribbean and the rest of Latin America at Kavi Gupta’s gallery booth. You can’t miss this beautiful piece of work.
It’s also good to highlight that this year’s Armory Focus on Pier 94 is based on artists/galleries from the Middle East, North Africa, and Mediterranean regions called MENAM (por sus siglas en Inglés). This is a great way to boost the image of the art scene there. Very needed these days.
The lack of Latino galleries on the Contemporary side of the Armory is somewhat made up for by the presence of three of them in the Modern Section (Pier 92): Brazil’s Galeria Raquel Arnaud and Galeria Bergamin; and NYC’s own Cecilia De Torres, LTD. The latter features the likes of Joaquin Torres-García, Elias Crespin, León Ferrari (four thumbs up here), Marta Chilindron, Lidya Buzo, Inés Bancalari and Gonzalo Fonseca (and this isn’t even the whole roster).
One thing that really caught my attention, was Robert Longo’s too-close-to-real charcoal drawing mounted on paper of St Louis Ram Wide Receiver Kenny Britt in the infamous “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose, in protest of the shooting of Ferguson’s Michael Brown by a police officer back in August, 2014.
This is definitely a must-see and the probably the best thing I’ve seen so far in the fair (this is located at Metro Pictures booth).
Piers 92 & 94
New York City
Independent NY may be smaller than many of the aforementioned fairs, but it packs a big punch and features plenty of Latin American galleries. Stop by these booths: LABOR (México), KuriManzutto (México), Agustina Ferreyra (Puerto Rico), Mendes Wood DM (São Paulo), GaGa (México), and NoguerasBlanchard (Spain). México is bringing the strong arm this time around.
Independent only gets better with every passing year and they will be expanding out of the USA soon. I’m just hoping they keep their essence intact – a much needed thing in this clogged world of art markets.
Also, keep in mind that Independent is the cheapest of fair of all when it comes to ticket prices ($20) and worth every single penny. NADA Art Fair (happening in May) is still the best price in town, porque es gratis!
548 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011
At Volta, a visit needs to be paid to the booth of Lynch Tham gallery, where they are displaying the work of marvelous Dominican artist Quisqueya Henriquez. I’m pretty sure you will love her pieces.
You can also swing by the booths of Santo Domingo based Lucy García Gallery (showing the works of Jorge Pineda) and Lyle O. Reitzel (with Hulda Guzmán to see). Ryan Lee will be showing artist Paul Henry Ramirez (from Texas but living in NY). This is the new wave of solid artists on the rise. Keep a close eye on them.
Swizz Beatz is arguably the Patron Saint of Scope (or something like it). This funky, full of color and pop-art fair elicits a love/hate relationship, with some art snobs deriding it the way they do popular artists like Banksy. But hey, it’s been happening in NYC for 15 years now. And that deserves some respect.
If you are into street art, hip hop, up-and-coming, and “hey I can buy this!” affordability, this is your fair for sure.
I can’t confirm 100% if they have any Latin American or Latino-focused galleries this year (last time I checked I didn’t find one) but I have a feeling that some very good Latino artists will be present. Definitely worth checking out.
639 W 46th St