Photo shop: Brazil's SP-Arte/Foto fair provides an arcade of amazing art
Hosted in the art-laden halls of São Paulo's JK Iguatemi shopping mall, SP-Arte/Foto Brazil – the offshoot of SP-Arte – presents its 10th edition, where local focus has proven to be a winning strategy.
Founded in 2007, SP-Arte/Foto quickly established itself as the main photography fair in Brazil with an innovative programme embracing the country's sizable photographic market and community. For 2016, as every year, the cream of the country's art crop are participating.
The walls have been lined with an exciting scattering of new exhibitors (including Biographica and Luciana Caravello), as well as returning favourites (Casa Triângulo, Fass, Gávea, Luciana Brito, Millan and Vermelho) – creating a who's who of influential names in contemporary photography. Fair director Fernanda Feitosa explains, 'SP-Arte/Foto presents fundamental names in art history and Brazilian photography to a new generation and to the world.'
As well as showcasing seminal talent, the fair is keen to support new technologies and methods in photography. This year, Folio and Schoeler arrive with decadent photo books, making SP-Arte/Foto the first fair of its kind to include this format.
Whether pioneering new works, or dusting off old greats, the fair keeps things refreshingly local, with the emphasis firmly on Brazilian artists. Home-grown highlights include Massimo Vitali's uplifting summertime sandscapes from Baró Galeria, and contrastingly, Christian Cravo's haunting, choreographed close-ups of Brazilian backlands at Dan Galeria. It is this 'quality in diversity' that makes the fair such a success, Feitosa reasons.
All this pioneering work seems to be paying off, and is reflected in the growing list of acquisitions from MoMA. SP-Arte, Feitosa explains, has found its 'ideal format'. As the fair welcomes its 80,000th visitor this year, we're inclined to agree.