Virtuoso Life - September/October 2017 - 230
Clockwise from left: The Museo
de Arte Moderno, the Museo de
Arte Latinoamericano, and
SlyZmud gallery's Larisa Zmud.
destination to cultural and culinary hot
spot since the fair opened there in 2002.) Although Buenos Aires is already multifaceted, with a strong heritage in literature, music, theater, and the visual arts, decades of
economic ups and downs have held it back.
Art Basel Cities' programming is scheduled to roll out in the coming months and
will reach full force in 2018 with a week of
events. For now, visitors looking to explore
the city's contemporary art scene should
head to Villa Crespo, where new galleries
and fashion-forward boutiques stand next
to old-school eateries and mechanics' shops.
SLYZMUD, ONE OF VILLA CRESPO'S FIRST
arrivals, was founded in 2011 by Larisa Zmud
and Natalia Sly, who began working with
V I RT U O S O L I F E
respected artists such as Faivovich & Goldberg (a duo known for exploring the cultural
impact of a meteorite shower that happened
4,000 years ago in northeastern Argentina)
while still in their 20s. Two years ago, Buenos
Aires' most prestigious gallery, Ruth Benzacar, made headlines by moving to the area.
"For a long time, we've wanted to generate a
contemporary art circuit, something similar
to what many of the world's big cities have,"
says Mora Bacal, Ruth Benzacar's codirector, adding that Villa Crespo now has some
20 cultural spaces. Housed in a whitewashed
industrial warehouse surrounded by graffiti, the 1965 gallery renovated its look while
sticking to its mission of promoting emerging and acclaimed Argentine artists.
Another required stop is JT, boundary-
pushing fashion designer Jessica Trosman's
boutique and textile lab. The minimalist
space features little more than two mobile
dressing rooms completely covered in mirrors. It acts as a blank canvas for Trosman's
conceptual clothes, inspired by influences
as diverse as urban theory and Chinese
martial arts. Next door, at the Brooklynstyle lunch spot Yeite Café, chef Pamela
Villar serves a frequently changing menu of
freshly baked treats (her banoffee pie and
mandarin pudding are to die for), along with
salads, soups, and light entrees.
Everyone in Villa Crespo - and elsewhere
in Buenos Aires - has high expectations for
the months ahead. Along with other galleries, Ruth Benzacar has been in talks with
Art Basel to guide the creation of high-