Pinta: The new Latin American Art Fair in New York

October 2007.

On November 15th, the first Latin American Art Fair will open in New York. Pinta is an event conceived by its director, Diego Costa Peuser, who appointed Mauro Herlitzka as Institutional Director. 

Arte al Día: What is Pinta?

Diego Costa Peuser: Pinta is going to be the first Latin American Contemporary Art Fair we are holding in New York.

AAD: What is your role?

DCP: Director of the fair and one of the owners. 

AAD: How did the idea of making a fair in New York originate? 

DCP: I started in Miami with Art America’s, 5 years ago, it was my idea, this was because we started, through the magazine, to be present in the fairs in the 90’s, and now in 24 fairs. As I always specialized in Latin American art, I found that Miami was the right place to hold a fair. A new challenge was needed, which was New York and this is the moment because today there is a more important consent of Latin American art, there is much more interest. Galleries abroad are looking for Latin American artists to incorporate into their staff, I think the time is now.

AAD: Where will this fair be held?

DCP: It will be at The Metropolitan Pavilion. This is at 125 West 18th Street. Between 6th and 7th Avenue. We open on November 15, the same week as the Sotheby’s and Christie’s Latin American Art Auction.

AAD: Did you invite Mauro Herlitzka for this project? 

DCP: I started this project with Alejandro Zaia, he’s from the world of B R, who is my partner in PINTA. We got together last year and I told him what my idea was, and then we set up a company where we have investors who believed in our project. I met Mauro at the Venice Biennial, then I met him again in Caracas and called him to be the Institutional Director of the Fair.

AAD: Mauro, as Institutional Director of the Pinta Fair. What are your projects?

Mauro Herlitzka: When I heard about Pinta last year, I thought that doing a fair in New York was an important, risky and potentially successful decision. Diego proposed that I join Pinta. I thought it was a very serious proposal, very important and foundational, within a very favorable context for Latin American art, because it is done in the United States, and because there are fantastic interrelations. So this team that I have joined is working on interrelations, working on projects from the spaces of communication, the galleries, external relations. In fact, there are programs that are being put together by the fair, such as obtaining funds for certain museums, like the one in Houston, the MOMA and at the Museo del Barrio in New York, so that they can buy art at the fair. The fair is going to have museum quality because of the artworks. The type of pieces that are going to be there are concrete, abstract, contemporary because at this moment the North American market is looking for this type of work for its museums and collections. Our fair is also creating: “The Pinta Research Fund” for advanced students of Latin American Art History at New York University. Creating new situations in the United States. The fair as a place of connection with the community. Everything is a network that has to enrich itself and expand. 

AAD: To what do you attribute this enthusiasm for Argentine and Latin American Art abroad?

MH: I believe that the Latin American systems in the United States have a great interest because of the different productions, with an increase in really important exhibitions. In Argentine Art we have Malba’s activity, which works on the insertion of art in the Latin American framework. I believe that the fair will be able to do a lot for the market and for the knowledge of Latin American art, and from there a lot of projects will be generated, but from the fact that there is a fair.

AAD: Which are the galleries participating in the fair?

DCP: Some of them are Vasari, Ruth Bezacar, Rubbers, Raquel Arnaud, which is one of the most important galleries in Brazil, Nara Roesler. There is also Waltercio Caldas, as a guest artist at the fair, EDS which is a contemporary gallery from Mexico, Lyle O Reitzel from Santo Domingo. From New York we are accompanied by Cecilia Torres, Enrique Faria, Leon Tovar, Magnam, JR, Praxis Art International, Josee Bienvenu and Hosfelt Gallery. This is an invitation-only selection. There are 34 galleries. 

MH: There is an opening on November 15th in the late afternoon. For that, special invitations were made for the launching of the fair that will be presided honorably by collector Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and will have two presidents; Estrellita Brodsky and Gonzalo Parodi. 

AAD: Why should we go to New York to see Pinta?

DCP: Because there will be auctions of Latin American art the same week. The presentation of the books on Torres Garcia. A series of exhibitions, Argentina at the Americas Society, in the Museo del Barrio. The MOMA is going to present 10 years of acquisitions of Latin American art, many things at the same time. 

AAD: What collectors will be there?

DCP: Maria Angela Caputto, who deals with all the collectors in Latin America, and who is a very prestigious person from New York. Within the public programs we are counting on Ana Sokoloff and Nicolás Guagnini for assessment.