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While Latin America has long conjured up the image of artistic escapes to the tropics, the global contemporary art market has only recently woken up to its potential, as much as a source for emerging artists as for a new breed of collectors with money to burn.  While London, New York, Basel and Miami still hold pole position for art dealing destinations, the Latin America art market is riding the wave of a boom that has seen the opening of countless new galleries and launching of art fairs.  This is driven in part by increased economic prosperity in the countries themselves, which has in turn, given rise to a new social class with a thirst for luxury goods and a desire to invest in contemporary art. May is the month of jet-setting art types in Latin America, and as the market heats up like a sultry samba, Dehouche give you the low down on where to go and what not to miss.

Buenos Aires– Long a city of artists, writers and dreamers, Buenos Aires has a vibrant art culture, driven by a vigorous program of free cultural events sponsored by the government and a high level of artistic involvement in a society where you are more likely to find a taxi driver listening to poetry than the football.  Art BA, which takes place in May and is now in its 21st year, attracts over 120,000 visitors during the 5 days.  Being Buenos Aires, the galleries know how to throw a good party, often replete with free-flowing wine to get the creative and analytical juices flowing. Look out for Barrio –Joven Chandon, where you will find not only bubbly, but Latin America’s most interesting emerging artists.

Sao Paulo– If Buenos Aires is the European capital of old, its belle-epoque mansions conjuring up the Paris of the 19th Century, then it is Sao Paulo that shakes to the beat of  21st  London, with a large hand of high roller New York thrown in.  May is a big month for culture in Sao Paulo: while trendsetters straight out of Shoreditch flocked to Sonar’s first Brazilian edition by night, the city also hosted its 8th edition of SP Arte at the Nieyemer designed biennale.  One of 28 international galleries involved in the fair, White Cube’s director  Tim Marlow stated that taking part in this year’s fair was ‘a must’- illustrating the growing importance of the Brazilian market where  national galleries have recorded a 44% increase in profits in the last year, making it one of the most prosperous markets in the world. Along with traditional galleries, the Paulista art market has seen the flourishing of artists collectives in private houses, where visitors can go to view the artists at work and discuss their projects, thus opening up the art culture to the average citizen in a completely new, and increasingly democratic, way. Dehouche organize art experiences, including meeting some of the key curators in Sao Paulo and most important emerging artists- as featured in the New York Times .

Lima– Do Limeno chefs ever sleep? As Lima’s culinary scene prepares to invade the rest of the world, the home turf is equally booming with two new openings from Gaston Acurio and .. booked in for May- just in time for the International art crowd. Taking place in May (you may have noticed a theme here) Lima’s Semana del Arte draws galleries and collectors from around the world looking for Peru’s Next Big Thing.  The gallery to look out for is Lucia de La Puente, run by the enigmatic and formidable Lucia, who has been pushing the boundaries since 1995 and this year was the first Peruvian gallery to take part in Miami Basel with Peruvian artist Cesar Cornjeo.  For an insider’s experience into Peru’s art culture, Dehouche work with Peruvian photographer and art expert Marcos Testino, who takes art lovers and investors on a magical mystery tour into the studios of Peruvian Greats, through Lima’s hippest emerging galleries, and for pisco sours in the homes of the country’s top private collectors.  For photo aficionados Lima Photo, which takes place in August, attracts cutting-edge galleries from across the continent, warranting a series of seriously hip parties.

Rio de Janeiro– The new kid on the block, Rio’s International Art Fair ArtRio, is held and in September and now in its second year, demonstrating the city’s evolving cultural scene as it attempts to pull its socks up and compete with the international big hitters while developing its image beyond the age-old stereo-types.  One that is hard to avoid however is Rio’s predisposal towards marvellous visuals and ArtRio, held on the water in Rio’s industrial and historic centre, is no exception.

Always linked in with the latest gallery openings and events across the continent, contact Dehouche to arrange an art trip that will have you name dropping the next big things on the art scene long after your tan fades.

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