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King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain Inaugurate the 43rd Edition of ARCO Madrid

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain Inaugurate the 43rd Edition of ARCO Madrid

Welcome to The Director’s Cut, an interactive column featuring fashion, beauty and career advice from RGNN Director and Founder, @isabelevabohrer.

“There isn’t a day when I am not looking at art,” said Raf Simons, walking along the sculpture and painting-clad hallways of the Centre Pompidou museum in Paris. It’s a scene from the 2015 documentary “Dior and I,” when Simons was still Creative Director of Dior. I couldn’t agree more – fashion and art go hand in hand.

At ARCO Madrid with Carmen Lomana – she’s on TV, she’s on the radio, she writes columns, she collects haute couture…need I say more? She’s a true Spanish icon | Photo credit:

And thus, here we are, looking at art, at the inauguration of the 43rd edition of ARCO Madrid, Spain’s biggest contemporary art fair. A total of 205 galleries from 36 countries are converting Madrid into a must-stop on the global art circuit, and the inauguration was presided, once again, by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, alongside Maribel López, Director of ARCO Madrid | Photo credit:

For all those interested in royal fashion – Queen Letizia was wearing one of her most sober looks at ARCO yet; the center piece was a black coat, underneath it an off-white Adolfo Domínguez blouse with 3D cut-out details draping down the front, paired with black skinny trousers, black kitten heels and a black leather bag by Carolina Herrera, topped off with a discrete pair of diamond earrings by one of her repeat brands, Gold & Roses. In short – lots of black and a stark contrast to the rosé colored spring midi dress she wore last year.

“Le double monde (Picabia’s serie)” (2009) by Spanish artist Fernando Sinaga; Spanish artists represent 35% of the exhibition at the fair this year | Photo credit:

To get back to the fair, the protagonist this year (apart from Spain’s royalty 😉) is the Caribbean. 19 galleries, commissioned by Carla Acevedo-Yates and Sara Hermann Morera, have dedicated themselves exclusively to the theme, “The shore, the tide, the current: an oceanic Caribbean.” There is no end to creativity with this topic – Cuban artist Quisqueya Henríquez even made real ice cream using water from the Caribbean Sea!

Real ice cream made with water from the Caribbean sea by Cuban artist Quisqueya Henríquez | Photo credit:
More food-inspired art at the fair – these are real legumes, re-crafted into cakes using polyurethane resin and acrylic paint by Rosalía Banet | Photo credit:

Two further commissioned sections, “Opening,” which is dedicated to new, young artistic talents, and “Never the same: Latinamerican art,” which reinforces the relationship of the fair with the Latinamerican market, complete the selection.

I think I need an embellished/cracked mirror like this! Mirror by Sarah Benslimane, represented by Galeria Madragoa | Photo credit:

These look like dwarfs, but they are titled “Farmer Girl,” “Farmer Boy” and “Planter” (2024) by Finnish artist Kim Simonsson | Photo credit:

In the General Program, galleries including Thaddaeus Ropac, Mai 36, Jocelyn Wolff, Chantal Crousel, Peter Kilchman, Krinzinger, Nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Giorgio Persano, Lelong, Meyer Riegger, Perrotin, Poggi, Neugerriemschneider, Carlier I Gebauer, Thomas Schulte and Dvir Gallery have continued to trust the fair with their work. New galleries joining ARCO this year include Gregor Podnar, Max Hetzler, Vera Munro, Air de Paris, Fortes D’aloia & Gabriel, Lévy Gorvy Dayan and León Tovar.

High fashion moments at ARCO – this furry ball by Sylvie Fleury, titled “Gucci Satelite” (1997), features a video loop showing a woman’s foot, driving and wearing a silver Gucci high heel, as if in a spaceship. The fake fur is a further allusion to the fashion industry, which is often present in Fleury’s works | Photo and video credit:

If you’re into art books, look no further, ArtsLibris brings together more than 80 publishing houses from over 20 countries.

VOGUE covers at Arts Libris inside ARCO Madrid 2024 | Photo credit:

It’s a melting point for collectors and friends of so many museums worldwide, including: Adiaf Association pour la diffusion internationale de l’art français, Paris; Amis du Centre Pompidou, Paris; Mamco, Geneva; MAXXI, Rome; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museo del Prado, Madrid; Malba, Buenos Aires; MALI, Lima; Museo Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona; Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago; PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V., Munich; Molaa, Long Beach; MACBA, Barcelona; Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelona; Guggenheim Bilbao; Meadows Museum, Dallas; Spirit Now, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Perez Art Museum Miami, The Bass, Miami.

“Smartphone giovane donna / 6 movimenti D 2018” by Michelangelo Pistoletto – this is not a conventional mirror, but a stainless steel “super mirror” with silkscreen on it – valued at 1.5 million Euros | Photo credit:

The fair will officially open to the general public on March 8, 2024 at 3.00 p.m.

Plan your visit

ARCO Madrid 2024

  • IFEMA fairgrounds, pavilions 7 and 9.
  • Best accesible via Puerta Norte.
  • March 6, 2024 (professional visitors only): 11.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
  • March 7, 2024 (professional visitors only): 12.00 noon to 8.00 p.m.
  • March 8, 2024 (professional visitors only): 12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.
  • March 8, 2024: (profesional and general public): 3.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
  • March 9, 2024 (professional and general public): 12.00 noon to 8.00 p.m.
  • March 10, 2024 (professional and general public): 12.00 noon to 6.00 p.m.
  • Buy tickets here.

Thank you, ARCOMadrid, for inviting us.

“Thank you” by Mel Bochner – and thank you for reading my article! | Photo credit:

Questions or comments? Follow me on IG @isabelevabohrer or TikTok and say hi! See you soon!

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