With the participation of 54 Brazilian galleries from all over the country, today Latitude Art Fair, the first fair signed by the Latitude project, which has existed since 2007 and aims to promote the internationalization of Brazilian art. The digital fair, which runs until Sunday (27), is a partnership between the Brazilian Association of Contemporary Art (Abact) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). It happens in a turbulent period because of the pandemic of the new coronavirus, but not for that reason discouraging for the market, according to the president of Abact, gallery owner Luciana Brito. “So much so that none of the gallery closed in the period,” he argues.
The quarantine, she says, even helped to strengthen the ties between the galleries and to promote solidarity actions – such as the auctions that were held to help the needy population (one of them reverted to the benefit of Paraisópolis). Proof that the Brazilian art market did not suffer as much from the effects of the financial crisis was the first day (Monday, 21) of the auction of the bankruptcy of Banco Santos by auctioneer James Lisboa, which yielded no less than R $ 16 million. One of the artists whose works were at the auction, a pioneer of modern photography in Brazil, Geraldo de Barros (1923-1998), is represented by Luciana Brito – his photos reached between R $ 35,000 and R $ 38,000.
Like international fairs that opted for digital editing during the quarantine (Art Basel, Frieze), Latitude will have a ‘viewing rooms’ format, including actions with augmented reality, providing total immersion of the visitor in the gallery environment. The business will be carried out directly with the gallerists, but Abact and Apex guide the galleries (especially the new ones) and provide support not only for marketing during the Latitude fair but also for the entry of these galleries in international fairs.
“With these events being canceled because of the pandemic, we realized the urgency to create a project like the Latitude Art Fair together with our associates, so that the works of Brazilian artists continue to be seen and that contact with the public is not lost ”.
Brazilian art exports, according to data from the Latitude project, have grown a lot in recent years, which has motivated some Brazilian galleries to install art offices and even branches in foreign countries – Nara Roesler in New York, Kogan Amaro in Zurich and Jacqueline Martins in Brussels.
In order to have an idea of this growth, in 2007 Brazilian art exports reached US $ 6 million. The last sectoral survey developed by Latitude registered a growth ten times higher than this value (US $ 65 million) in 2017. Galleries linked to Latitude were responsible for 42% of the total volume of exports in the sector in the year. In the digital fair that starts today, at least 100 artists will be represented by the participating galleries.
Luciana Brito highlights the important role that the actions developed by the Latitude project with the support of Apex-Brasil have played in this result, bringing to Brazil, since 2011, when the agreement was signed, 250 international guests, including curators, collectors and market professionals , in 23 editions of Art Immersion Trips, whose objective is the diffusion of Brazilian art through contact with gallery owners and artists.