Latin Madrid, by Llucià Homs

Story twists often make us smile. The ARCOmadrid fair has cemented the complicity with local gallery owners very well and with more than 40 editions behind it, it has helped to structure the entire art sector in Spain, being key to its internationalization. In his day, under the direction of Lourdes Fernández, he let go of the train to open a second fair in Latin America, a thriving market that for historical reasons was his natural one, and in this impasse, Art Basel, which reigned at the European level, He was skilful and landed in Miami, managing not only to establish a foothold in the United States, but also to gain relevance in the entire Latin American market. The story is well known and Arco, disoriented, had to wait more than ten years to end up opening a small fair in Lisbon.

The ARCOmadrid fair has historically pampered both collectors and Latin American galleries


However, today Madrid has positioned itself as a great art capital. Beyond having museums of international reference, such as El Prado or the Reina Sofía, it has seen how foundations and private collections open to the public flourished, flooding the city with top-level artistic proposals. At the same time, he has seen wealthy citizens from countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Brazil or Mexico arrive, who settle in the city or who, as a result of their investments, decide to have a residence.

The conditions they find, both living and fiscal, are unbeatable and the language and the open style of the city make them feel at home. And many of them are collectors! The figures provided by the Community of Madrid on investments in the last four years from the aforementioned areas are around 12,000 million. As a consequence of all this, the gallery owners of the city and the fair itself have benefited. Its current director, Maribel López, told us that Arco is the place where you can best see Latin American art in Europe, and not in vain, a third of the more than 200 participating galleries come from that area.

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An article from The New York Times last year claimed that Madrid was already rivaling Miami in attracting wealthy South Americans to settle in the city. To which I would add, on an artistic level, isn’t Madrid becoming the European Miami, with the capacity to be that bridge between the two continents that almost two decades ago could have been articulated? He let a train pass but it seems that today that train passes through his station.


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