In 2011, the Brazilian financier Waldick Jatobá quit his job working with foreign investment banks—he had developed a love of collecting art and design objects, and aimed to work in the arts industry exclusively. So he teamed up with event producer Katia d'Avillez and set about establishing a new fair in São Paulo called Mercado+Arte+Design (M.A.DE), which debuted during last month's Design Week.
Now, with the opening of ArtRio on Thursday, Jatobá can enjoy a little browsing of his own. The collector spoke to Artspace about the rapidly rising Brazilian art scene, and what he's in the market for these days.
The Brazilian art market has experienced a dramatic surge in the last few years, with ArtRio already attracting the world's top galleries and collectors in its third year in business. Has the design market undergone similar changes?
The market and the collectors have become more mature and more demanding in terms of quality. At the same time, there's more information and more exposure to the international market, which has served as a new alternative for collecting. I believe there is a new, and growing, market in Brazil. Design used to be seen as functional, but now it is much more closely associated with art, and we have this new denomination of "design art." It is a new market here in Brazil—and even Design Miami isn't ten years old!—so I believe it has strong potential. And we are very luck to have the designers Fernando and Humberto Campana as our ambassadors.
What kind of art do you personally collect? I understand that you have acquired a number of smaller-scale works and multiples.
Yes, I love small sizes! And I have a little of everything: photos, films, paintings, and some objects. I love photos, so when I started my collection, I began by buying contemporary photography.
Where do you go now to discover artists and buy new work?
International and national fairs are good places to find new names, but you have to keep in mind that some of the major galleries don't always bring their best works to the fairs. Nowadays I tend to go to galleries that I trust and that I know work with talented young artists. So, in São Paulo, I love going to Baró
Gallery and Emma Thomas Gallery. Of course Luisa Strina
is a must-see. In Rio, Luciana Caravello Gallery is the one for me. Lately I have been focusing on young artists and South Americans, like Daniel Lanes, Miler Lagos, Sandra Gamarra, and Carlos Garaicoa.
If you could own any one artwork, what would it be?
I would love to have any sculpture by Louise Bourgeois
Do you remember the first artwork you bought?
Of course. It was a Vik Muniz
photo from his wire series. This specific work was especially meaningful for me as its title is A Rose Is Not a Rose Is Not a Rose
, based on the poem by Gertrude Stein, who is one of my favorites.
What will you be looking for at ArtRio?
I always like to see the new and young artists. I look for fresh production, but with good quality. I'll be paying attention to painter Daniel Lannes, Bruno Miguel, and Lucas Arrudas, among others.
What is your vision for the future of your own fair, M.A.DE?
The fair aims to cover everything from contemporary to vintage design. Of course, it is my obligation as the co-founder to democratize the information through seminars, round tables, conferences, and exhibitions. There is a huge education program behind the whole project with dialogues that intersect the fields of architecture, and urban design.
At right, browse Waldick Jatoba's favorite works on Artspace.