After two years of pandemic postponements and a little bit of stardust, Buenos Aires welcomed back the ARTEBA art fair this week at its new Centro Costa Salguero location. Among the 400 exhibited artists was local superstar musician Charly Garcia, who debuted his creations in public for the first time at the Popa Galería de Arte exhibition space.
"The works by Charly García sold out immediately. And they attract a lot [of attraction], so the other artists are also selling", the director of the gallery, Marcelo Bosco, told the Télam state news agency. With drawings and interactive booklets, the Piano Bar composer charmed art novices and experts alike – famed local artist Marta Minujín was one of the many buyers.
"Charly's works start at 600 dollars. There were 300 but those have already been sold. A while ago Marta Minujín came and bought one of the drawings. The collectors like Charly because he has a lot to do with art – it's a fun art, it has humour, collage, it's trash," Bosco explained.
Other notable sectors included the “Main Section” for established galleries and the “Stage” for newer galleries. Keeping things fresh, the ARTEBA foundation also developed this edition’s artistic programme with the aim of displaying the diversity of contemporary production and establishing a dialogue on issues such as sustainability, our relationship with our bodies and our relationship with technology.
But while García drew in a crowd, many visitors enjoyed being able to discover smaller artists and galleries as well.
“I like that they show the classics and the important Argentine artists but also new and young artists that are doing interesting things,” said Magdalena Bengolea.
As a local of Buenos Aires, Magdalena always attends the fair. “There were many galleries from the interior of the country that I found very nice,” she told the Times.
Also in the “Utopia” sector was the Aura VTV gallery, which focused on NFT artwork, representing the new digital wave of art exhibitions. With over 70 galleries in attendance, artworks ranged from paintings to plastic art to performances. This latest sector in particular was a testament to the artistic innovation that the fair aims to develop and that many visitors come to see.
“I like that it is divided into sectors and that you can see the classics next to the more experimental parts,” Bengolea said. For many artists, especially those without a big name or more traditional pieces, the fair is an opportunity to be represented.
“I feel like it's sort of a gathering of all the artists from here in the area…,” said Mariano Ferreras, also from Buenos Aires. “It's like the most important art convention.”
The show not only introduces locals and tourists to new artists, but also teaches them about the growing art market in Argentina. Alongside exhibitions, arteba organised a series of educational seminars that reflects this investment. The three series included: “Isla de Ediciones Fundación Proa” on artistic practices and thinking, “Movado Arte y Cultura Digital: Explorando el Abismo,” on digital art production and NFTs, and “La Nación” on Argentine and Latin American art.
“It is one of the small ways that the general public can see the art that we have here in Argentina,” said Bengolea.
by Juliana Guarracino