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Zona MACO art fair starts in Mexico with new plan to hike attendance

MEXICO ART (ADDS VIDEO) | 06 de febrero de 2020

Zona MACO art fair starts in Mexico with new plan to hike attendance 

A view of the "Deformes y Degenerados" presentation by the Spanish painter Jose Lerma during the first day of activities at Zona Maco, the most important contemporary art fair in Latin America, in Mexico City, Mexico, 05 February 2020. EFE-EPA/ Sashenka Gutierrez

By Ines Amarelo

Mexico City, Feb 5 (efe-epa).- The Zona MACO contemporary art fair, the most important event of its kind in Latin America, got under way on Wednesday by combining for the first time all the shows made during Art Week to attract more visitors.

"For the first time we're doing the Zona MACO Photo and Salon (event), which is usually done in September, to join it with the Zona MACO Design and Contemporary Art event. In this way, we're offering visitors different options and merging the publics who would come in September and in February to make Art Week in Mexico City," Zelika Garcia, the founder of the fair, told EFE.

For five days, more than 210 national and international galleries and exhibitors will gather at the Citibanamex Center in Mexico City to promote art collecting and the culture of art at the fair founded by Garcia, a businesswoman and art expert from Monterrey.

"We hope that this change of joining together the four fairs at Zona MACO Art Week will bring more visitors and more cultural offerings to the city so that more and more people come from abroad. Already a lot are coming, but we want more to come," she said.

In general, the public at the Citibanamex Center seemed to be enthusiastic about the possibility of visiting, buying and admiring artworks in multiple disciplines, and the gallery owners expressed the same sentiment.

"I think it's interesting to see how things interact when they're joined and each section is winning by being around the others," Alma Saladin, with the guadalajara90210 gallery, which is participating in the New Proposals section, told EFE.

Displaying garments, posters, decorative objects, photographs and books, the gallery's aim "is to experiment and do things together, share a common aesthetic, ideas, etc.," she said.

Joining the events "is something positive since I believe that it allows people to see how multifaceted art and creativity can be," Denisse Ariana Perez, a photographer who presented the "Albinism, Albinism: An Exploration of Light, Nature and Albinism in East Africa" exhibition, told EFE.

The artist - of Puerto Rican origin but living in Copenhagen - said that her collection is designed to make visible things that are traditionally invisible, in this case Africans with albinism and the suffering they endure from persecution, kidnappings and even murder.

"My work, for me, is a combination of the artistic and journalistic. I think that the two worlds can meet and ... tell stories," she said.

Another of the projects at the event is to give space to people who have historically been relegated to the second tier in space provided to the Eclectic gallery, located in San Cristobal de las Cases, in Mexico's southern state of Chiapas, an exhibit consisting mainly of textiles created by Chiapas artisans.

"For us as artisans, it's very important that we've been invited to come here to show and sell our products. Also, it's important for our families. This is so that all the people in the family who work with us, supporting us, can have a lot of work, a lot of success and can be able to sell a lot of their products," artisan Oliverio Gomez Perez told EFE.

Gomez Perez has been making hand-embroidered linen blouses since he was seven years old, taught the trade by his mother.

"An inexpensive blouse takes me a month-and-a-half to make, and the finer and prettier ones take two or three months. There are people who want to pay us very little and that's not fair to us," he said.

The fair began on Feb. 4 with "performances" at the main venue and will wrap up on Feb. 9.

Also under way at present are the Material Art Fair, showcasing independent art, and the Salon ACME, an event highlighting the work of new artists and exhibits.

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