Caribbean Artists Shine at a New Art Fair in Puerto Rico

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Antwaun Sargent reviews MECA International Art Fair 2017, which ends tomorrow, June 4, 2017. [See previous post Puerto Rico’s MECA International Art Fair.] Here are just a few excerpts; read this fine review at Creators.

An art fair with a social mission to stimulate public interest and “collectionism” in local Caribbean artists and galleries runs this weekend, through June 4, in Puerto Rico. The relatively small MECA International Art Fair—MECA is short for Mercado Caribeno, meaning, “Caribbean Market”—is being held at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico in San Juan, and features 15 galleries from across the Antilles and abroad, as well as established New York institutions like Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, White Columns, and the San Juan-based Galeria Agustina Ferreyra and Embajada gallery.

“Caribbean artists are often grouped in with Latin American artists but they are different,” explains Daniel Báez, who co-founded MECA with Tony Rodriguez. Caribbean artists comprise 35% of the artists represented, an impressive number considering the domineering presence of white artists at international art fairs.

“There’s a missing link between the international art world and the Caribbean. I decided because we are rarely shown or seen in places outside of the Caribbean that I would bring collectors and galleries here to the Caribbean,” says Báez, who grew up in the Dominican Republic before moving to New York and becoming the personal assistant to the art dealer Gavin Brown. “Puerto Rico is the perfect place to start MECA because of its history, strong art scene and connections to the diaspora, the ‘States and other parts of the world.” [. . .]

[Image above: Freddie Mercado in installation view: MECA International Art Fair 2017. Image courtesy of MECA 2017 (via Creators).]

For full review [previously posted by Michael O’Neal to the FB group Caribbean Studies Network], see https://creators.vice.com/en_us/article/meca-caribbean-artists-shine-at-a-new-art-fair-in-puerto-rico

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