Bogotá might not spring to mind when exploring the international art circuit, but a decade of ArtBo—the International Art Fair of Bogotá— has driven and strengthened the contemporary art market, and what once may have looked like a risqué pit stop is now a dynamic hub for emerging creatives. Mateo Lopez, Carlos Rojas, Beatriz Gonzalez, and Elsa Zambrano are among the rising stars luring curators, collectors, and dealers from all corners of the globe.
“The art scene in Bogotá has drastically changed, thanks to our growing economy and the rapid development of our country, especially in terms of security and increasing sociopolitical stability,” says Daniela Sanchez, a leading gallerist. “And then there’s the development of the new Bogotá Art District, a marriage between the evolution of a forlorn neighbourhood and the amalgamation of galleries, institutions, private collections, and artist homes and studios.”
Visitors are spoilt for choice, with the contents of more than 60 art galleries and 58 museums to absorb, including the Valenzuela Klenner Gallery, Galeria Casas Riegner, Museo Botero, and Museo de Art Modern de Bogotá. Just walking between these venues becomes an exhibit en plein air, where a vibrant street art scene tells the story of a city emerging from the shadows of military rule and guerrilla attacks. The Gold Museum is an absolute must—part of the collection was exhibited earlier this year at the British Museum.
Never one to miss a trick, W Hotels opened a Colombian outpost in December last year, in northern Bogotá’s fashionable Usaquen District, just steps away from the neighbourhood’s hip restaurants, cafés, and shops. After a day of artistic explorations, this striking gold-infused cocoon on the outskirts of the city, which nods to the legend of El Dorado, or ‘The Lost City of Gold’, offers a haven to unwind. Contact: W Hotel, Bogotá, Colombia: tel: +571 746 7111; www.whotels.com.
Clockwise from top: An aerial view of
Bogotá; the Archbishopric Cathedral of Bogotá; an exhibit at Gold Museum; street art.