For some time, we’ve been remarking on the trend toward using Contemporary art to drive interest in real estate in New York, London and Miami (as well as other places around the world.) And before that we heard a lot about art hotels around the world. Now the New York Times brings these two trends together in its story about art dealers and collectors turning Uruguay into a new cultural destination:
For much of the past century, Uruguay’s respectable but somewhat insular art scene was largely influenced by a geometric abstract style known as Constructivism, pioneered in the early 1900s by the painter Joaquín Torres García. In the new millennium, local artists became more experimental in an age of free-flowing information. “A few years ago I began to see that Uruguay started moving in a very interesting direction,” said Mr. Xippas, (xippas.com). “There’s a new generation with fresh, ironic ideas.”
He plans to relocate to a bigger space set on a 15-acre plot halfway between downtown Punta del Este and José Ignacio. “I decided to open a gallery in Punta del Este before someone like Larry Gagosian came and did it,” Mr. Xippas said, referring to one of the most famous art dealers in the world. […]
This deceptively rustic peninsula, which just a decade ago was a slumbering fishing village, is now one of the most coveted vacation spots in South America. It’s also becoming an art hub, thanks in part to Alexander Vik, a Norwegian financier and art collector who built art-focused luxury resorts, Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio (Camino Eugenio Sainz Martínez, km 8; 598-9-460-5212; estanciavikjoseignacio.com) and Playa Vik Jose Ignacio(Calle de Los Cisnes y Calle Los Horneros; 598-9-460-5212; playavik.com). Both are decorated with a collection of locally made sculptures, murals and paintings. “We get a lot of requests from guests who want to buy art and meet the artists,” Mr. Vik said. The fashion designer Jason Wu, for example, took home an ink drawing by the mixed-media artist Marcelo Legrand after seeing his work in one of Estancia Vik’s suites.
A third property, Bahia Vik (Ruta 10, kilometer 183; 598-9-460-5212; bahiavik.com), is scheduled to open in September (when many of the area’s businesses reopen after a winter break) on a quiet beach on the south side of the peninsula. Given the enthusiastic reactions to the works at his other lodgings, Mr. Vik is outfitting this 37-room hotel with an art boutique.
An Art Scene by the Sea in Uruguay (NYTimes.com)