AS ONE OF THE CULTURAL HUBS in South America, Brazil has long been known for providing the world with exciting and very talented artists in the contemporary art space. Brazil has been somewhat of a secluded, isolated country for many decades, as far as art is concerned. Only in the past 10 years has it managed to garner more interest from the modern world. Given its recent period of growth, wealthy citizens and local art collectors started traveling more to foreign art fairs. Prior to that development, collectors would look to buy their art locally, making it harder for artists to get in front of a global audience.
The great number of artists working in Miami and Fort Lauderdale makes it difficult to prevail in an international market, and many artists lack the connections and financing to propel them out. Celso Magalhães, a Brazilian-born South Florida resident, is looking to change that with his gallery, Art Scope.
Magalhães first fell in love with the arts when he worked in aviation back in the 1990s, and he was lucky enough to travel the world through his career. During his travels, he always made it a point to visit art galleries and studios, and he quickly developed an affinity for the arts. “I met so many incredible artists, especially in Brazil,” he says. “I began to build my art collection solely based on my travels. Whenever I came across a piece I loved, I’d buy it and take it home. I realized there were so many underserved artists who lacked the platform to get in front of a global audience. I wanted to find a way to promote them to my network in South Florida and knew I wanted to be the middle link. I created Art Scope Gallery to represent emerging artists from around the world and promote them in established markets, such as South Florida.”
Currently, Magalhães represents artists from Brazil, Uruguay and France, to name a few. “Though the art market is largely centered around São Paulo and Rio, the talent comes from everywhere,” he says.
The art at the gallery offers a good mix across the board—abstract, still life and surrealism. While most of the works are acrylic on canvas, there are a few oils. The works are bright and airy with pops of color, while the more realist still life works provide a traditional and classic option. The scenic works provide a soothing backdrop, with scenes from small towns in Brazil, colonial-style architecture and buzzing nightlife in France. The cubist works depict life in the favelas, showcasing the colorful and tight-knit community life they offer.
Magalhães’ eye for talent has not gone unnoticed, either. He has already brought his artists to large-scale art fairs, such as SPECTRUM, one of the satellite fairs around Miami’s famed Art Basel.
He is currently planning to open a larger gallery space this winter in Broward County to reach additional clients. “The majority of my clients are art collectors or homeowners. Most of the work is going to a residential, international clientele. It has always been word of mouth, but as we grow, it is important to have a larger space to showcase my artists’ work and have a new audience,” says Magalhães.
With new developments in the arts in Fort Lauderdale, there is even more opportunity. Fort Lauderdale’s monthly ArtWalk breathes new life into the area, and it’s an event Magalhães is looking forward to participating in this fall. “Local communities support their local artists, but it’s also important that these artists are taken abroad and inserted into a global market,” he says.
Carolina Ramirez Herrera is an art- and design-obsessed travel and lifestyle writer, who often contributes to blogs, city guides and lifestyle publications, sharing a page from her little Black Book of personal travels. Based in Miami but usually on a plane, follow her on @Lacarolinda.