Sans a trip to South America, PINTA New York—branded as the only art fair devoted to Latin American art outside of Latin America—offers collectors access to modern and contemporary art from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, all in one centralized location. Since 2007, the fair has shared mid-November with Latin American art auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, making early-Autumn NYC a destination for collectors, museums, and curators. This year, the bill is even better yet. Artsy spoke with PINTA’s New York Director, Ian Cofre, about the 2013 revamp of the fair—including the new light-flooded venue in SoHo, the layout designed by “artist’s architect” Warren James—and the brand new, fully curated format. Like Cofre, we’re counting the days ‘til the vernissage.
Artsy: PINTA is branded as the only fair dedicated exclusively to Latin American art outside of Latin America. What perspective does this bring to the art and artists?
Ian Cofre: PINTA New York helps to translate the activities of many Latin American galleries and nonprofits to a centralized location, and it’s our hope that the view is as broad and exciting as possible. This year, three factors will help most to enhance the experience of the art and for the artists: the new venue (82Mercer), the fair layout designed by Warren James, and the specific selection of artists and galleries for each sector by its corresponding curator.
Artsy: Can you tell us about PINTA’s shift to a fully curated fair, and some of the highlights of the new sections?
IC: The shift to a fully curated fair and selection of curators is based on the premise of a networked, international art world. The curators are active in several locations at a very high level, which feeds into the work they conduct and brings distinct voices to this exchange.
Among others, I’m excited to see galleries Revolver (Lima), Casa Triangulo (Sao Paulo), and 80m2 (Lima) exhibiting in PINTA Emerge, the solo projects presentation. PINTA Next is a new sector dedicated to exhibition spaces open under five years, whose selection was made by the full curatorial committee, which adds great variety. PINTA Centro is also new, the first in a series of region-specific presentations, which this year brings emerging and alternative spaces from Central America.
Artsy: How did you decide which galleries to include in this year’s program?
IC: Rather than a strict top-down structure of galleries choosing other galleries, or a singular curatorial vision, PINTA serves as the umbrella for connected, yet separate, exhibitions by the curators Jose Roca (PINTA Emerge), Cecilia Fajardo-Hill (PINTA Galleries – Modern), Omar Lopez-Chahoud (PINTA Centro), and Octavio Zaya (PINTA Video). Their selections have to do with the research they did and the artists they’re looking at right now.
Artsy: Overall, how do you see the market for Latin American art growing, and what role does PINTA play?
IC: The Latin American art market has been growing consistently at the higher levels in modern and contemporary art, and in a lot of ways it’s maturing at a more reasonable rate, which allows for broader access to great art. PINTA effectively helps to open up that market beyond institutional collectors.
Artsy: What trends are you seeing in Latin American art this year, and which artists should we be watching?
IC: I think there’s an interesting discourse between the younger generations of artists and Modernism, a distinct formalism that folds into material play and a return to craft. There are also several locales with vibrant, emerging art scenes that PINTA will examine.
I’m looking forward to the presentations by artists Ivan Contreras Brunet (Isabel Aninat) and Margarita Paksa (Document Art Gallery) in the Modern section, Dzine (Salon 94), Rafael Vega (Walter Otero Contemporary), and Irvin Morazan (Y Gallery) in the Contemporary section, José Luis Martinat (Lucia de la Puente) and Richard Garet (Julian Navarro Projects) in PINTA Video, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia (CB1) in PINTA Next, and Simon Vega and Diana de Solares in PINTA Centro.
Artsy: PINTA coincides with several Latin American art auctions in New York. Can you explain the reasoning in coordinating the fair’s schedule with these events, and any concurrent events that are not to be missed?
IC: Initially, when PINTA was founded in 2007, it made sense to have a presence in New York at the same time that major Latin American art collectors would visit the auctions. Over several years, PINTA has established itself as a destination, and goes to great lengths to coordinate as much of the cultural offerings in the City for its VIPs and the public. I would start at PINTA Forum, our lecture series helmed by Gabriela Rangel and Miguel Lopez, which offers insight into the continuum of Latin American art’s intellectual contributions, and definitely visit The Queens Museum reopening this fall with Pedro Reyes: The People’s United Nations (pUN).
Artsy: What would you tell a new collector interested in Latin American art. Where should they begin?
IC: The same I tell all new collectors: It’s important to take a moment and see how it feels to interact with an artwork—to digest it and see how the experience of the artwork unfolds. Our hope is that Warren’s inviting layout and the curating of booths allows the work to look its best so the audience can take that extra time.
Portrait by Peter Hoang