Into its 10th annual edition this year, SP-Arte seems to just grow and grow. Having started out in 2005 with 41 galleries in attendance, this year the four-day show features 136 galleries. In contrast with the Bienal, São Paulo’s other major art event, which is coming up in September, SP-Arte is all about selling art, and it draws galleries hoping to do so from all over the world – 58 foreign galleries take part this year, from Latin America, Europe and beyond.
A visit to the fair makes for a highly eclectic experience: just dive in and wander the stands, soaking up the art and the atmosphere, observing the buzz around the galleries whose stars are in the ascendant, and the chin-up despair of the less fortunate gallerists, condemned to a four-day vigil as tumbleweeds whisper across the floors of their stands.
Make no mistake though: there’s plenty going on behind closed doors here, including hundreds of sales, some into the very high thousands, not to mention cocktail parties, brunches and private visits galore for the fair’s monied VIP guests.
Unlike the similarly commercial but more exclusive São Paulo Fashion Week, though, which takes place during the same period (ffw.com.br/spfw), there’s tons to do and see at SP-Arte even if you’re not in the art loop, and even if you don’t have pots of money to spend, beyond the rather stiff R$40 entry fee. Check out the programme of debates, book launches and presentations at the event’s website, also in English.
Completing the arty extravaganza, a burst of parallel exhibitions will be opening at the same time in galleries SP-wide, including a brand new gallery space for the formerly closed-door gallery ArtEEdições, and a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the gallery Casa Triângulo, in the form of a one-off exhibition inside Pivô.