Snapshot of the Brazilian art scene

If you like art, this is the time to go to Brazil. Here is a short guide of how to do it in three days.

Day 1: Visit the Sao Paolo Bienal (   This is the 30th edition of the Bienal, and in sixty years many think that it’s the best one yet.  Curated by Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas, MoMA’s Latin American Curator, this Bienal showcases contemporary art from around the world.

Trigésima Bienal

Titled The Imminence of Poetics, many have said that the triumph of this curatorial endeavor is due to the fact that Pérez Oramas set out to create an intimate and intellectual experience. In order to fully appreciate the art, Pérez Oramas created a space in which the viewer must go beyond a simple glance, and actually think about what they are seeing in order to experience the “wow!”  factor. The main event takes place inside the pavilion designed by Oscar Niemeyer  in 1957, but every cultural center in the city has complimentary programs going on. Not to miss are the Adriana Verajao show at the MAM,  the Willis de Castro, Cruz Diez and  Alejandro Otero shows at the Pinacoteca and Hans Ulrich’s  project at Lina Bo Bardi’s Glass House by Gilbert & George.

Day 2: Put your sneakers on, head to the airport and take the quick trip to Inhotim. It’s a one hour flight, plus a one hour drive on a dirt road to get there, but the hassle is worth the experience ten times over.  Owned and conceived by Bernardo Paz, Inhotim is an art and architecture park in the middle of the country side. Mr. Paz has created a series of buildings and pavilions (20 so far) to showcase the most important works of art by contemporary artists. He pairs an architect and an artist and creates an experience that is truly magnificent.  The artists include Mathew Barney, Doug Aitken, Doris Salcedo, Christina Iglesias, Cildo Mereiles and Tunga, just to name a few. Inhotim is arguably the most important art project of the century and a true must-visit.

Day 3:  A visit to Porto Alegre. Brazil’s largest industrial city, Puerto Alegre is a cultural surprise. The cultural hub is the Ibere Camargo Museum currently showing a Waltercio Caldas retrospective. The show was curated by our very own Gabriel Pérez Barreiro and Ursula Davilla, and is a must for those interested in Brazilian art.  Also worth a visit is the Miguel Rio Branco show Ponto Cego, at the Espaço Santander Cultural curated by Pablo Herkenhoff. Rio Branco is considered by many to be the father of contemporary photography in Brazil and is one of my favorite photographers.   Next year Puerto Alegre will host the 9th edition of the Mercosur Bienal, this time curated by Sofia Hernandez Chung Cuy.

Unicef Campain in Brazil

I stopped by the Havaianas shop in SP and loved the campaign that they are doing to raise money for Unicef. Havainas is 50 years old, and to celebrate this milestone they designed 50,000 flipflops in Unicef’s colors. All of the profits go toward Unicef’s programs in Brazil.