I am a touch discombobulated having flown to São Paulo overnight, following a generous invitation to visit SP-Arte, the annual South American art fair. So, a new country, a new continent. So far, so good. It’s as if Los Angeles had mated with New York (the infinite extent of Los Angeles and the high-rise energy of New York).
We started with a visit to Pivô, a small experimental space in the ground floor of Oscar Niemeyer’s great curved, Corbusian Edificio Copan, designed in 1951 as apartments for singles and as a leisure complex as well:-
Steak in Figuera Rubaiyat, a local restaurant in Jardins under a tropical fig tree:-
Then to SP-Arte, which is held in the pavilion designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1957 for the Bienal de São Paulo. It is an art fair which is much more fun than its European equivalents because the art is (to me) so totally unfamiliar and because I was introduced in succession to nearly all the gallery owners who talked me through the work on display.
The biggest and most unexpected surprise was in a back room of Rafael Moraes on the top floor, where there was a display of eighteenth and nineteenth-century slave jewellery – something I had never seen or heard of before – apparently given as gifts from owners to their slaves:-