This past week I had the amazing opportunity of going to ARCO as a part of the Sketchbook class. ARCO was everything I had dreamed about and more. As an art enthusiast and a bit of an artist myself, this was such a wild opportunity. Mainly because:
I completely had no clue ARCO happened in Madrid, before it was some vague art fair talked about in boring art history books, no offense.
I love Art Basel Miami, but can never go because I am always at Tufts. Though, I have come to the fair conclusion that while Art Basel is the Coachella of the art world, ARCO is more like the Woodstock. (Disclaimer: I don’t know a lot about music festivals so if I’m wrong, sorry.)
Art, while having so much range and variety, contemporary art is my favorite and at museums you aren’t exposed to it with as much variety as one would like.
Anyway, ARCO took place at iFEMA or the Feria de Madrid, it was extremely huge and a lot of people turned up at least on Friday they did. The place was pretty crowded. The art, well what can be said really, it was weird, and thought provoking. There were artist being displayed from all over the world, and you could find commentary on all sorts of topics. The images below contain some of my favorite pieces I saw there.
There were some pieces whose meaning I imagined and other where it was more clear. One of my favorites was a painting that, I think, said “there is something, something terrible about party and I don’t know what” and while I’m not sure that’s what it said, I thought, “hmmm relatable!” There was also the one with the plant pots full of concrete, and let’s be honest, soon we will be growing concrete in our backyards, because that’s definitely where the world is heading (#globalwarmingisreal). Very dystopian. And let’s not forget about the dried up platano, which I could honestly write a whole dissertation about, but won’t because this isn’t the time or place.
What I’m trying to say is that art is endless, and as long as you can imagine meaning to something it can be very fun. Sure, the artist has a lot to say, and obviously they would rather you understand it from their perspective, but who’s to say what you think it means, isn’t what it really means. Isn’t beauty (and meaning to be honest) in the eye of the beholder?
ARCO was also very nostalgic there were many latin american artist on display who’s art really appealed to me in a deeply personal way, I even think found a reference to Calle 13’s America Latina song lyric, “un pueblo sin piernas pero que camina.”
SO, why should you go to ARCO? Well, because even if you aren’t into art it’s fun. There are always going to be pieces that surprise you, and unless you’re absolutely cold-hearted you will be moved. My favorite kind of art, is one that is relatable. Which is why I loved this art fair so much, because unlike the things you see up at cold “fine art” museum walls, this is actually relatable to real people, in the present. Also it’s a hell of a place to play i-spy. So, for all those future Tufts-Skidmore Spain spring students, go to the art fair, and trust me when I say this, no, a toddler cannot have made that.
P.S. it had an AWESOME gift shop.