Peru collective connects young artists with buyers

Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:06am EDT
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By Emily Schmall

LIMA (Reuters Life!) - A three-day fair at an upscale hotel is showcasing the work of contemporary Peruvian artists to a growing legion of middle class art collectors and enthusiasts with money to spend.

Desenfranquiciados Colectivo, curators of Peru's youthful, anti-establishment art scene, chose a luxury hotel for the event that aims to change the art market in Peru.

The show features the work of 45 Peruvian artists, including photographs, paintings, sculptures, lithographs and illustrations, each on sale for $500 or less.

"The goal of Desenfranquiciados is to make art more accessible to the public and to buyers as well as artists, particularly young artists," said Nicolas Figari, an abstract photographer and one of the collective's lead organizers.

For the past two decades Lima's art world has been controlled by a small group of family-owned galleries with little interest in contemporary art, according to Figari.

"It's run by 20 or 30 galleries and it's not easy for a young artist to get in. You have to have contacts and money. Desenfranquiciados is a really good way to get into the art market because we give everyone a shot," he said.

The collective was founded in 2004 by Figari's former teacher, Maria Elena Alvarado Boggio, a multimedia artist and instructor at the city's Centro de la Imagen.

Alvarado hosted the first Desenfranquiciados exhibition in her apartment. Since she returned in 2008 after two years in New York, Desenfranquiciados has hosted about four art shows a year.   Continued...