Zona Maco 2018

 Zona Maco. Photo by Mauricio Aguilar.

Zona Maco. Photo by Mauricio Aguilar.

Just as the economy and society have seen revolutionary unification in the global digital age, Latin American art has experienced an upsurge in attention and collection over the past two decades. With an expanding collector base in Latin America, particularly in Mexico City, the Zona Maco art fair has emerged as a focal international hub showcasing the brilliance of the region and its artists.

It is no surprise that along with increasing cultural-economic globalization in recent history, the art world has adapted to reflect new modes of internationality. This is apparent in the rise of art fairs and their growing significance in the art market. Art fairs are where art buyers, directors, dealers, curators, and enthusiasts alike gather to experience some of the finest pieces held by renowned galleries that are selected by juries of experts. These fairs are integral channels not only for enjoying thousands of artworks from around the globe all in one location, but also for galleries to conduct a vital portion of their sales and for art professionals to conduct and create key client relations. The importance of art fairs has become especially apparent in the Latin American sector, with fairs such as Zona Maco drawing an enormous international crowd.

Zona Maco is Mexico’s leading platform for art and design. The 15th edition of Zona Maco kicks off February 7 and expects to host over 60,000 visitors at the Centro Citibanamex in Mexico City, the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world. Attendees have until Sunday, February 11 to relish – perhaps even purchase – some of the best works of 170 exhibitors from 27 countries. Zélika García’s founding of Zona Maco in 2003 coincided with a major shift in the art market, which at that time began to manifest a greater interest in Latin American art. Several overlapping factors contributed to this shift. As many Latin American artists went to Paris during the second half of the 20th century, they became more involved in artistic directions supported by the increasingly global market – namely, abstract art. Armed with new ideas, Latin American artists burst onto the global art scene with a freshness inspired by the vibrancy of their cultures and, often, the tumultuousness of their political climate.

 Zona Maco. Photo by Mauricio Aguilar.

Zona Maco. Photo by Mauricio Aguilar.

 Zona Maco. Photo by Mauricio Aguilar.

Zona Maco. Photo by Mauricio Aguilar.

Since then, many initiatives have been set in motion to elevate Latin American art to its rightful place in the contemporary art world. The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) supports research, education, and innovation in this field while the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) recovers, curates, and provides access to Latin American and Latino art of the 20th century. Efforts such as these to highlight Latin American art of the past and present has allowed Latin American artists today to establish themselves as major contenders in the global art world. Those taking part in Zona Maco 2018 are sure to find that these artists’ voices form a flourishing force in the contemporary market, a sort of triumph worth contemplating amidst the ancient Mesoamerican ruins just miles from the fair.  

Words by Michelle Costanza