Time to go where the sun always shines, the weather is hot and the art is hot, too -- virtually, of course, via cyberspace visits to Artnet galleries located south of the border. With the temperature hitting 93° F. in Philadelphia and New York this past week, art lovers won't have a hard time adjusting to the Latin heat.
Brazil is the center of all things chic and beautiful. New Yorkers already know that Caiprinhas (lime cocktails), batidas (rum cocktails), the Samba and Bossa Nova have arrived here, invading everything from sushi bars to hip-hop music. São Paulo is the king of cool and the center of the Brazilian art scene. Temperatures there average 80° F this week.
Galeria Thomas Cohn is dedicated to showing contemporary art. Founded in Rio in 1983, the gallery established an international profile, showing works by artist ranging from Diane Arbus to Keith Haring and Tony Cragg. Now housed in a 6,000-square-foot two-story building in São Paulo, Galeria Cohn is a good place to look for established and new talent from Latin America. Artists with works online include Waltercio Caldas, Guillermo Kuitca, Cildo Meireles and Lygia Pape.
Galería Fortes Vilaça took over the space of Galería Camargo Vilaça recently and is run by Marcia Fortes and Alessandra Vilaça. They show works by emerging artists as well as by contemporary artists who have received a certain amount of international acclaim, such as Beatriz Milhazes and Ernesto Neto.
Galeria Luisa Strina opened in 1974, and specialized in part in bringing works by American Pop artists to Brazil. Today, Luisa Strina is the home base of several artists who are known throughout the world, including Cildo Meireles, Tunga and Cabelo. Strina also represents the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, the Australian Tracey Moffatt and New Yorker Jenny Holzer.
Since relations between the U.S. and Fidel Castro's Cuba have thawed a bit, it's not surprising to find a gallery located in picturesque Old Havana. La Casona Galeria de Arte shows contemporary Cuban art with an avant-garde sensibility. The stable includes installation artist Ernesto Leal and photographers Juan Carlos Alom and Marta María Pérez Bravo. Cuba has much to offer North American visitors, but in the meantime, its art can be sampled via cyberspace
The recent civil disturbances that have bedeviled life in Buenos Aires (which literally means "good airs") haven't yet extended to the World Wide Web, so check out some quality art institutions from the comfort of your computer screen. Mosto & Rojas Arte is an organization that sponsors art events, exhibitions and connects patrons and collectors to artists. Art consultants Menena Graces de Mosto and Teresa Rojas do it all -- digital art, installation art, painting, photography, sculpture, and even offer courses in art history.
Up in Mexico City (63° F.), the celebrated Galería Nina Menocal is known for its savvy selection of contemporary Latin American and international Modern art. One gallery artist is Carlos Amorales, a multi-talented 32-year-old who was featured in the 2000 edition of Cream and just showed his new video based on Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling, titled Fighting Evil (with Style), at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum. Also lauded in Latin Art circuits is Carlos Aguirre. His last show at the gallery consisted of surrealist wall installations of books tumbling like staircases and suspended in geometric formations by thin branches and metal rods.