3 Brazilian collectors that top every international list

Posted on June - 14 - 2017

Pedro Barbosa. Photo courtesy: Artsy

In the 90’s Brazil’s experienced an unprecedented boom in its development, launching the country to a self-confident consumer frenzy and economic stability, never-before-experienced. Brazil, although it hosted the second oldest Biennal in the world, was isolated from the international art market, making it complicated to export the works of national artists. During this time, as malls were being built to satisfy the middle-class need to spend their new paychecks, art galleries started noticing the rise of a new group of ambitious collectors. This economic prosperity mixed with the ground-breaking art produced in Brazil during the 20th century, a new wave of talented new artists and some complications to import artworks, made the domestic art markets a dynamic and prosperous marketplace. A new era for art had begun for the awakening giant.

This new era brought new players that ignited the careers of various artists and the prosperity of many galleries and art fairs. Such was the case for the emergence of Arte Rio or SP-Arte, which were offered some exceptions from high import fee and paperwork and brought big names from the international arena such as Gagosian, David Zwirner, Marian Goodman, White Cube amount other heavy-hitters to exhibit alongside the countries best. This presented the opportunity for foreign exchange, bringing collectors, artists, and gallerist from all over the world into the Brazilian capitals. As a result, Brazilian artists from the 20th century started gaining more recognition, movements such as Neo-Concretism with artists like Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, Helio Oiticica, Mira Schendel and later artists like legendary Tunga and Cildo Meireles. Today auctions houses and galleries fight over the works of a new group of contemporary artists whose names echo through the art world. Beatriz Milhacez, Adriana Varejão, Rivane Neuenschwander, Ernesto Neto, Iran do Espíritu Santo, Os Gemeos and superstar Vik Muniz have taken the name of Brazil into the world stage, with works that soar to the thousands of dollars.

Among the lists of the most influential collectors in the world, Brazilians top the lists as Latin America’s finest. Here are 3 of the most influential Brazilians collectors whose personal collections are an asset to Brazil and involvement is substantial for the country’s cultural development.

Bernardo Paz

For anyone who has been in the state of Minas Gerais, since its founding in the Imhotim has become a hallmark of the state, a sort of the Disney for contemporary art. This garden was build and envisioned by mining magnate Bernardo Paz, whose passion for art, fuelled by his desire to contribute to Brazils identity and inheritance, manifested in a series of pavilions which host the works of national  artists such as Helio Oiticica and Adriana Varejão as well as commissioned works by international superstars Olafur Eliasson and Matthew Barney. His grand visions and ample funds make him a visionary whose contribution to culture will be felt by future generations. Not your typical collector.


Bernardo Paz. Photo courtesy: The Guardian

Pedro Barbosa

Former bond trader turned art collector and dealer, Pedro Barbosa tops the lists for his impressive collection and sharp eye for art. His passion for art based on meaning and creative processes and spotting talent make his acquisition strategy impeccable and often imitated. If a young artist appears in his collection, such as Jonathas de Andrade and Andre Komatsu, he can rest assured that it won’t go unnoticed. Not only does he collect sculptures, photographs, and paintings, but he has a keen appreciation for conceptual art, from video to sound pieces.

Fernanda Feitosa and Heitor Martin

Fernanda Feitosa as the director of SP-Arte has seen the transformation of Sao Paulo art scene in the last 20 years. She has seen how Sao Paulo became a cultural satellite, as SP-Art allure galleries and collectors from all over, where about 40% are foreign. Feitosa’s husband, Heitor Martins, a director at McKinsey & Company and president of the São Paulo Museum of Art, shares her passion for Latin American art, as their collection is one of the most impressive in South America. Their house opens its doors to collectors, curators, and artists from all over, as the season for the fair begins.

By: Gabriela Martinez de la Hoz

Heitor and Andrea Martin. Photo courtesy: Glamurama