The biggest Latin American art fair, Zona Maco opened its 19th edition this week in Mexico City. It's a decidedly international affair, with galleries hailing from 29 countries. But with 51 percent of the 216 exhibitors coming from Mexico, there is an unmistakable regional flair. "You can feel that it has Latin American personality," said the fair's artistic director Juan Canela. "This is something we work for."
In contrast to some other art fairs, this one was light on bombastic kookiness, metaverse hokum, and blatant selfie bait. Instead, the assemblage was more about slow-burning standouts-paintings that kept me coming back to them repeatedly as I wandered the aisles. Here are a few of the booths and artists that caught my eye.
"I've been coming for the past four years," says Jean-David Malat, founder of London's JD Malat gallery. "The public is amazing, the collectors are educated, the culture is exciting. It's why I'm back every year." His booth, featuring new works by several of the gallery's artists, added magnetic gravitas to the mix. "There has been amazing feedback for the Turkish artist Zümrütoğlu," he noted. "We have had so many requests. He is very appreciated by Mexican and American collectors."