By Bob Alvarado
Although happy as heck to be back in the saddle again with this current issue, and to be bringing to you all the newest and greatest scoops from this neck-o-the-woods, I'm sadly obliged to also comment on the economic and political hell and high water our country is currently experiencing. As the purchasing power of the hard working middle class diminishes and runaway-inflation continues unabated, we find it ever more crucial to expand our international horizons to increases exports. Soooooo.... friends and readers... "Come onnnnnnnn down!"
El antiQuario, at the fore-front of the industry, has achieved a newfound respect with its numerous colleagues and advertisers, many of whom have come to ask for advise and leadership. From blacksmiths, woodworkers and stone carvers, to antique dealers and artists-- all yearn to introduce their crafts to an international marketplace. Perhaps more than ever, the opportunity to enter a thriving import business is now. The current free trade agreement has made it so easy, and benefits for both you, the buyer, as well as your Mexican counterpart, are numerous. From the outset of this publication our emphasis has been to maintain a pulse on the industry, to illustrate the extraordinary impact Mexican design has throughout the world. Classic rustic tables, using old doors, are going to Saudi Arabia; huge ceramic polychromed pots from Tonala, to hotels in Atlanta, Georgia; shipments of equipales to Japan-- for a more detailed list, for the diffidently inclined, drop us an e-mail.
On the other side of the spectrum, for the discerning collector of fine antiquities, the "purist" as some refer it to, are the new antique trade shows that are steadily emerging throughout Mexico. Saltillo, Coahuila, just 60 miles south of Monterrey, recently celebrated it's fourth yearly event with all the "great expectations" it was touted to bring. Exhibitors more than doubled, and the attendance was overwhelming.
More auspicious than ever before was the assortment of better informed, more educated antiques dealers-- perhaps a selection of "the best of the best" Mexico has to offer. What's more, price tags are becoming the norm and dealers are not afraid to sell. With so much inventory coming into the market, these brash new antiquarians were there to unload. The floor was reminiscent to the chatter and thrashing of any New York stock exchange. It was a buyers market.
Next on the agenda is Monterrey's contribution to the Mexican show circuit, in the form of FINARTE 1999, FERIA INTERNACIONAL DE ARTE (International Arts Fair). This second edition (January 14-17, 1999) promises to be the best yet, as more and more dealers enter the arena. The emphasis of this show covers all three of our favorite categories. There will be one showroom with emphasis only on antiques, traditional folk art, religious art, charreria and fine pottery (collectors will not be disappointed!). Contemporary Mexican art will occupy a second section; and a third will be devoted exclusively to the exciting new trends in Mexican designer interiors. Hand forged iron tables and chairs, pine hutches and sideboards, unique new styles in equipales, textiles and tapestries, accessories and so much more that will surely please the most discerning tastes. Don't you dare miss it.
If this installment of "From The Editor's Desk" sounds like a sales pitch, you are absolutely right! Like our dear old pal G.A., from Virginee would say, given all the "ruthers" to choose from, "this is what I'd ruther be doing, dag-gumit!"