CNN reports on the Latin American art fair ArteBA which brought in an amazing 130,000 visitors over five days. Many dealers are pushing the idea that Latin American art was never overvalued in the art bubble and therefore the prices are still strong. A quick look at last week’s Latin American art auction results in New York will show that assertion is more than a stretch. Nonetheless, Latin American art has great depth at good prices, as ArteBA’s success shows:
This year, 90 galleries representing 800 Latin American artists were present. Despite fears that the global financial crisis would hit business, most gallery owners said sales were brisk.
“What crisis? My sales have been incredible this week,” says Daniel Abate, a gallery owner in Buenos Aires, who was selling works at ArteBA with an average price of $5,000 dollars. […]
“If you are a collector and have $1 million dollars to spend on art, when you go to Basel, Switzerland, and with that $1 million you buy, I don’t know, three, four, five pieces of art… can you imagine in Argentina what you can do with $1 million dollars for art?,” said Abate.
Two hundred international collectors — more than double the amount that attended last year — visited galleries from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Spain and the United States at ArteBA. […]
The vast majority of the galleries present at ArteBA are from Argentina, but Brazil always has a strong presence, with five galleries selling works this year. Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo have long bickered over bragging rights for the title of ‘cultural capital of South America’ — but at least one Brazilian thinks the Argentines come out on top.
“Sao Paulo is undoubtedly the regional leader for business, but I must admit that Buenos Aires seems to have taken the lead recently in regards to its cultural and artistic offerings,” said Sergio Goncalves, owner of Almacen Galeria in Rio de Janeiro.