Art for all: Salón Acme's fourth edition proves its more relevant than ever

The eponymous restaurant in Chapultepec
Although Zona Maco might be the main event, one of the more beloved events during the same week is the annual Salón Acme showcase, which is held in the eponymous restaurant in Chapultepec
(Image credit: Press)

While the focus during Zona Maco (opens in new tab) in Mexico City might be on the fairs, galleries, and museums, one of the more beloved events is the annual Salón Acme showcase, which is hosted at a Chapultepec restaurant by local hospitality maven Antonio Vilches (the man behind Leonor, La Zaranda, and Café Paraiso among other hotspots). In the Salón Acme 'eatery', which is located across the street from Kurimanzutto gallery, this year’s showcase gave a platform for emerging artists without representation and under-recognised artists with galleries, selling works for $1100 and under. 

‪'This is a totally self-sustaining operation,’ says Vilches, who notes that Mexican art stars like Jose Dávila, Mario García Torres, Gonzalo Lebrija and Stefan Brüggemann donated more expensive works (starting at $2500) to an auction held earlier to raise money for the salon. ‘All of the artists enter an open call, whether they have a gallery or not, even if they are minors or elders.’

‪What began four years ago with 300 entries — a description of the work and the work itself — has grown to 800 entries for this year's salon, which showcased more than 60 artists, which were judged by a council that included artists and curators from MUAC, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, and Museo Jumex (opens in new tab).

‪’The cool thing is that it's the council that says yes and no and why, so it gives feedback to people which they could maybe never reach the director of the most important museum in Mexico,’ says Vilches. ‘Even if you're 15-years-old or have no money, it's very democratic.’

‪This year's highlights included a wall installation of sexualised drawings by Horacio Quiroz; documentary photographs of darkly humorous installations with beds and balloons by Gabriel Monroy; obsidian rocks carved with topographical lines by Paula Cortazar; collages of bordering US state flags (Arizona, Texas, and California), made from Mexican passport papers by Christian Becerra; and a contract between a linguist and an artist, Sofia Hinojoso, who agreed to never use two words for the rest of their lives. 

‪The salon also devoted the entire upstairs gallery to artists from various states; this year the focus was Sonora in northwest Mexico. ‘The thing is not to get revenue from art,' says Vilches. ‘But to support the development of art.’

Platform for emerging artists

Remedios, by Elsa Pinto. Organised by local hospitality maven Antonio Vilches, the showcase provides a platform for emerging artists without representation and under-recognised artists with galleries, selling works for $1100 and under

(Image credit: Press)

The artists enter an open call

Caja de Knorr Suiza, by Cirse Irasema (left) and Torre de Babel, by Belsay Maza. 'All of the artists enter an open call, whether they have a gallery or not, even if they are minors or elders,’ says Vilches

(Image credit: Press)

Showcased more than 60 artists

Serie Angel Exterminador, by Dulce Chacon-Aparacion. This year's salon, which showcased more than 60 artists, was whittled down from 800 entries, judged by a council that included artists and curators from MUAC, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, and Museo Jumex

(Image credit: Press)

Showcased more than 60 artists

Aliento, by Jorge Rosano Gamboa. ’The cool thing is that it's a council that says yes and no and why, so it gives feedback to people which they could maybe never reach the director of the most important museum in Mexico,’ says Vilches

(Image credit: Press)

Tomas Contreras

Cona Montetario, by Tomas Contreras

(Image credit: Press)

INFORMATION

For more information, visit the Salón Acme website (opens in new tab)

ADDRESS

Rafael Rebollar 95
Colonia San Miguel Chapultepec 
Mexico City

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