Ocula Report: SP-Arte 2016

Jun 22, 2016 1:35PM

Originally published at Ocula Magazine by Camila Belchior

Image: Carmela Gross, Escada F, 2012. Photo: Divulgação. © Galeria Vermelho.

In amidst so much scandalous news coming out of Brazil about its deep rooted corruption, plummeting GDP, rocketing inflation and the recent Congressional vote for president Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, there is good news from SP-Arte, the country’s international modern and contemporary art fair.

Oscar Niemeyer’s Bienal pavilion in Ibirapuera Park was filled by 27,000 art and design enthusiasts from 6 to 10 April 2016—17% more visitors than the fair received last year. SP-Arte’s organisers confirmed that the event generated circa BRL180-200 million (circa USD 50 million) in sales, which albeit at a devalued local currency rate compared to 2015 is still a very impressive result during troubled times. As Fernanda Feitosa, SP-Arte’s founder and director, put it in an interview to Ocula earlier this year ‘art has two phenomenal attributes: it has a tremendous capacity to preserve its value and a unique capacity to create passion. Given that, the market for art will always exist’. 

Image: SP-Arte 2016. Photo: © Tiago Lima & Ocula.

  SP-Arte grew out of Feitosa’s vision 12 years ago that Brazil could become the home of the go-to international art fair in Latin America. Since its inauguration in 2005 it has grown consistently and organically into a multi-sector international event that in 2016 housed 147 exhibitors, of which 23 were design booths forming the fair’s new sector on the top floor of the pavilion.