ArteBA, founded in 1991, welcomed art lovers to its preview day on Wednesday, with a marching band greeting visitors at the start of its VIP opening. Inside, after filling up on empanadas and Malbec—naturally—the well heeled crowd took to the aisles, perusing the offerings of 85 international exhibitors. Here are a few of the fair-goers that caught our eye, and what they had to say about their day at ArteBA.
Kai Loebach, 53
Where are you from? Los Angeles.
Have you come to ArteBA before? This is my 15th year. I collect a lot of Latin American art. The first time a friend invited me, and now I get invited by the fair every year.
See anything you like so far? I already bought a few things. One is actually from an LA artist, Stephen Prina. It’s an outline of an actual Monet painting done with string. I bought it because it speaks to me.
I love your scarf. Who is it by? It’s made from recycled materials, by Atelier & Repairs.
Caitlin Carmody, 20, and Valentina Mendoza, 20
What do you do? Valentina: I study in Boston and she studies here.
Are you art students? Valentina: No, we are both studying international affairs. But her mom works at MAMBA, the Museo de Arte Moderno.
Have you come to the fair before? Valentina: We’ve been coming since we moved here.
Caitlin: Since we were 12 years old. It’s mostly our parents who are into art.
Do you want to collect art yourself? Caitlin: If I can work and get enough money!
What is the best work you’ve seen today? Caitlin: There are the classic Argentine artists like Julio LeParc. They’re everywhere.
Are your parents disappointed you aren’t studying art? Caitlin: No. My mom’s an art historian. She’s just happy that I like art and that I’m here today.
Bonnie Cogbill, 76
What brings to you to ArteBA? I’m here with a group visiting from the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California. We’ve been visiting art galleries and artists’ studios, and now we’re at the fair.
Are you a collector? No, I’m just an art lover.
Have you been to the fair before? Never. I’ve been to Buenos Aires before and I loved it, but a trip like this is the only way to get access to an artist’s studio and see them at work.
What artist at ArteBA are you most excited about? Mondongo. We also visited their studio yesterday and it was fabulous. They do monumental pieces with thread or nails or plasticine.
Martín Touzón, 32
Where are you from? The suburbs of Buenos Aires.
What do you do? I’m an economist-artist. I didn’t want to work as an economist anymore, so I started doing stuff with my research and it became an installation. I don’t work in a specific medium.
Are you showing work at the fair? Yes, for the first time. I’m showing Component [Destierro] [at El Mirador Arte Contemporáneo from Buenos Aires]. I made these bricks from the remnants of Anish Kapoor’s installation Destierro . It was a very important piece [from the artist’s first solo show in Argentina] until it was over and it became trash. Then nobody cared what happened [to all the dirt].
Do you normally visit ArteBA? I’m kind of new to the art circuit. I’ve visited four or five times. I like it because it’s almost in between a show and a fair. It’s not just oriented for the market.
Lucrecia Soleri, 39
Where are you from? Buenos Aires.
What brings you to ArteBA? I am representing the Lucy Mattos Museum here in Buenos Aires. I work in brand management.
Do you collect art? No, not yet—but I advise collectors!
If you could buy one thing here what would it be? Antonio Berni. He’s one of the huge Argentine artists. I’m a huge fan.
Why should people visit ArteBA? I travel to see art all over there world, and I’m very proud of my country. I think it’s the best, better than Art Basel and Hong Kong.
Fernando Guevara, 68; Angeles Holmberg, 33, and Apollo Guevara, 8 months
Where are you from? Angeles: Buenos Aires.
What brings you to the fair? Angeles: He invited us. He wanted to take his grandson to his first fair.
What does Apollo think? Angeles: He’s enjoying it!
Have you come to the fair before? Fernando: I’ve come every year since the first one. I have a small collection; I buy the art I like.
And do you collect as well? Angeles: I collect in a very small way.
Fernando: She and her husband are just starting their collection.
Andrea Frigerio, 56
Where are you from? Buenos Aires.
What do you do? I’m an artist and an actress. I have two films on Netflix. El Ciudadano Ilustre [The Distinguished Citizen] and The Sierras.
Why do you come to the fair? Because it’s art and I love art and artists.
Do you collect? Yes, but my collection is a little one—cheap.
Have you bought anything today? I think I will buy this one [Maruki Nowacki’s Imagine at Buenos Aires’s UV, priced at $1,400]. I like it because of the colors, and my husband likes it too. I think I will put it in my daughter’s room.
ArteBA is on view at La Rural, Avenue Sarmiento 2704, Buenos Aires, May 24–27, 2018.
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