As we enter the new year of 2024, I'm excited to share a prediction that reflects today's zeitgeist. In recent years, we've witnessed a notable surge in the global appreciation of African artists. That said, I strongly believe that the spotlight is shifting toward artists from Latin America and its diaspora. Much like the dominance of Spanish-speaking musicians like Bad Bunny and Peso Pluma on the international music scene, we are on the brink of witnessing a parallel rise of Latin American visual artists capturing the attention of art enthusiasts globally.
Join me as we navigate this transition, understanding the nuances and implications of the international art landscape. This exploration promises to shed light on a compelling trajectory that goes beyond prediction – it illuminates a significant cultural evolution.
First Latin American Curator for 2024 Venice Biennale: A Game-Changer for Global Art
This year Adriano Pedrosa (b. Brazil,1965) steps into the spotlight as the inaugural Latin American Curator of the Venice Art Biennale for its momentous 60th edition. Following the resounding success of Cecilia Alemani, Pedrosa assumes the mantle, promising an electrifying fusion of Latin American dynamism and global artistic excellence. This historic appointment not only signifies Pedrosa as the pioneering Latin American curator for the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia but also establishes him as the first director hailing from the Southern Hemisphere. Set to unfold from April 20th to November 24th, 2024 (with a pre-opening extravaganza from April 17th to 19th), this edition guarantees an unprecedented, exhilarating exploration of contemporary art under the vibrant banner of Latin American creativity. Get ready for a Biennale like never before!
Spanish-Speakers Are A Dominant Population
A 2021 study by Instituto Cervantes highlights the remarkable global impact of the Spanish language, with approximately 493 million people worldwide considering it their primary language. This positions Spanish as the second most spoken language globally, following Mandarin Chinese. Notably, the United States, hosting the world's fourth-largest population of native Spanish speakers, emerges as a significant player in this linguistic landscape, with 40 times more Spanish speakers than any other non-official Spanish-speaking country. This linguistic connection is pivotal, reflecting a cultural bridge that could contribute to Latin American artists' predicted rise in popularity on the global art scene.
Reflections from the Music Industry
Spanish-language musicians, notably Bad Bunny and Peso Pluma have triumphed in mainstream music, setting the stage for Latin America's current cultural influence. Bad Bunny, a Puerto Rican Grammy-winner and headliner at Coachella 2023, dominated Spotify as the most-streamed artist for the third consecutive year, even hosting SNL in 2023.
Meanwhile, Peso Pluma, a Mexican singer, shook the scene in 2023, becoming the top-streamed YouTube artist globally with over 8.5 billion views, outshining heavyweights like Taylor Swift and Bad Bunny. Peso Pluma's groundbreaking performance at the MTV Video Music Awards further highlighted the expanding reach of regional Mexican music.
Bad Bunny's and Peso Pluma's success not only resonates with Spanish speakers but also captures the attention of non-Spanish speakers, marking a significant acceptance of Latin American artistic expressions in mainstream media and creating avenues for various disciplines, including the visual arts.
Artistic Ecosystem for the Ascendance of Latin American Creatives
As Latin American artists ascend to global recognition, a parallel rise in Latin American art collectors is shaping an infrastructure that sustains artists both within the region and abroad. Mexico City is at the forefront of this movement, positioning itself as the capital of Latin American contemporary art. The annual ZonaMaco art fair in the city has become a crucial nexus where artists from across Latin America exhibit and connect with collectors and major dealers from art capitals like London, New York, Paris, and Los Angeles. Mexico City has effortlessly attracted the global art world with its convenient location, favorable weather, fantastic gastronomy, and with its many diverse, talented visual artists. It has become a global meeting point, fostering an international dialogue that bolsters the vibrant and diverse landscape of Latin American contemporary art.
Diversity in Visual Arts
Latin America's visual art scene is characterized by its vibrancy and diversity. The world is familiar with many 20th-century artists from Latin America, with Frida Kahlo being the most famous and her muralist husband, Diego Rivera. The couple invited many prominent artists from the Paris Surrealist Movement and dealers, such as Andre Bretton, to Mexico. We also have Colombia's Fernando Botero, Cuba's Surrealist and Cubist painter Wilfredo Lam, and Brazil's Tarsila do Amaral, to name a few. The authenticity and depth in their creations resonate globally, providing a unique lens through which to explore and understand its influence on Western art movements throughout history.
Emerging Talents to Watch
To navigate the evolving landscape of the contemporary art market in 2024, it is imperative to identify emerging Latin American artists poised for international acclaim. Two artists that come to mind whose careers I've been following since coming across their work before they gained the attention of the international art world are Jose Campos (b.1986, El Salvador), also known as Studio Lenca, and Wynnie Mynerva (b.1992, Peru). In 2021, when I first spotlighted the artists on Instagram, their art was affordable (paintings under 200 cm ranged from 2k-7K). Fast forward to today, paintings over 100 cm now exceed 10K and are reserved for esteemed collectors. Despite this, both artists are still in their early career stages, offering an intriguing outlook on their future trajectory and the evolving value of their work.
Like these two examples, many Latin American artists exhibit remarkable talent, with their art still accessible (under 10K). These prices present an opportune moment for discerning collectors to engage with these emerging talents before wider recognition elevates their work and value.
And here's the exciting part – currently, I have the privilege of showcasing artwork by a phenomenal Mexican artist, Patricia Ortiz. If you're curious, you can view her art available here. Additionally, if you're keen on exploring more about artists from Latin America, delve into some of my previously published insightful interviews with the following artists: Patrica Ortiz, Horacio Quiroz, Rocío Sáenz, Hiram Constantino, Rocio Navarro, Ana Blumenkron, Andrea Villalón, Adriana Jaros, Stefania Tejada, Tania Baca Alvarado, Alexa Torre.
For any assistance in discovering and acquiring artworks from Latin America, don't hesitate to contact me here.
Seizing Opportunities in 2024
Embrace the opportunities presented by the rising tide of Latin American art in 2024. By staying informed and proactive, you can acquire artworks that hold cultural significance and exhibit promising investment potential. I am not telling you to buy into trends; however, if you have been interested in expanding your art collection to include artists' works from this region, this is a great time to do so before the prices increase. I aim to introduce you to emerging talents and guide you in building a collection that reflects the spirit and dynamism of Latin American contemporary art.
A Latin Beat in the Art World: The Final Note
Alright, I'll confess – I'm proudly Latin American, and maybe my excitement for the rise of Latin American visual artists in the global art scene is a touch biased. But come on, the signs are as unmistakable as a bold mural in Mexico City! Western culture is fully embracing Latin American rhythms, evidenced by the takeover by Spanish-speaking artists at the Grammys, SNL, Coachella, and places where English used to rule.
Just like the wave that catapulted Spanish-speaking musicians to stardom in the USA, the time for visual artists from Latin America to get global recognition is now. Consider this your exclusive scoop from The Nomad Salon – you heard it here first!
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