In your view, what were the main achievements of ARCOmadrid 08 and what influence did they exert in the conception of the 2009 edition?

The main achievement of last year’s edition was its strengthening as one of the leading international fairs and its trend of raising sales, jacking up the number of participating national and foreign collectors, and the increasingly larger presence of galleries from Asia and Latin America.

How badly has the ongoing economic crisis hit the fair in terms of participating exhibitors and countries?

In view of how things are going in the financial front, we really need to be on the lookout. I hope that culture, in the broadest sense of the word, won’t be pounded that hard by the crisis and the situation will go back on an even keel. I’m also confident of contemporary art as an excellent value-refuge because it revalorization doesn’t hinge on financial fluctuations since it’s got a dynamics of its own. Just like other tangible assets, like antiques, wines or precious gems, artworks are physical assets with a value of their own. And it’s in times of economic recession when they put on their best faces in churning out benefits. A great artwork by a renowned artist will never lose its value.

What world regions and countries have the largest representations?

Quality is the name of the game for ARCOmadrid, and that goes way beyond the nationality of participating artists or galleries. However, we are indeed reporting an ever-growing turnout of halls from emerging markets, especially out of Asia, with major art galleries from China, Korea and Japan, in addition to India as the special guest nation this time around. In the same breath, the bonds between ARCOmadrid and Hispanic America are getting stronger because one of the main goals we’ve always pursued is to make it serve as a bridge in the promotion of Latin American galleries and artists in Europe. Together with them, we have the attendance of prestigious Spanish, European and U.S. galleries that round out quite an ample sample of today’s fine arts in the world scene.

How well have the Latin American and Caribbean arts been represented in the previous editions of ARCOmadrid and what are the expectations this time up?

Latin America has always been one of our identity tokens. The presence of Brazil as a guest country last year symbolizes the effort to buttress the leading role of Hispanic America in the fair. In the wake of this, we hope this presence to go stronger with each passing year, not only of Brazilian galleries, but also from all around Hispanic America, just as we will see in this upcoming edition in which the public will find countless halls hailing from Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Peru.

What’s the role that ARCOmadrid gives to marketing effort? How have you managed to reconcile this with the cultural and artistic values that support the Fair?

ARCOmadrid is a commercial fair. Therefore, to us sales and marketing are basic and, in this sense, national and international collections are quite another strength for this fair. Making top-of-the-line collectors visit Madrid, encouraging the purchase of Spanish and international artworks, and fostering young collectors and collections are key elements in our work on a basis of top-quality cultural and artistic values that can meet the demand of collectors and art lovers alike.

PERFORMING ARCO and EXPANDED BOX will also be major sections in the 2009 edition. Why were they included? Do they help in updating the new trends of the contemporary arts?

Each and every one of these exposition spaces has a history of their own within ARCOmadrid. Expanded Box is the evolution of the program devoted to the application of cutting-edge technologies in artistic creation that was originally called The Black Box four years ago. Performing ARCO is one of the fair’s latest contributions to showcase a less frequent discipline in the commercial circles that, nonetheless, comes up with esthetic challenges and statements worth bearing in mind when it comes to these new trends.

SOLO PROJECTS is a section designed for the projects of individual artists. What principles the selection of participating artists were based on? Has a sense of representation based on trends and regions been taken into account? These artists have been handpicked by a group of prestigious international organizers: Moacir dos Anjos, Colin Chinnery, Maria Ines Rodriguez, Virginia Perez-Ratton, Susanne Neubauer, Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, David G. Torres and Alistair Hicks. Even though this selection clinches a geographical diversity that covers virtually all continents, the regional criterion has not been the main key to choosing them, but rather the artistic quality that moves far beyond borderlines and nationalities.

How do you assess the ranking position of the ARCOmadrid fair among the contemporary art events worldwide? What development perspective do you foresee for ARCOmadrid?

ARCOmadrid has managed to strengthen throughout these years as one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art shows. The challenge now is to keep up that ranking spot. Our perspectives are to make it grow further in terms of quality, to go at great lengths to continue promoting our collections, and work on a few changes in a bid to give ARCOmadrid a personality of its own.