Journal Omar


Artistic director of UNTITLED. His trajectory as an independent curator covers numerous exhibitions in the global context, like the Nicaraguan Biennial in March 2014, and curatorial panels at major institutions such as the MoMA PS1 and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.

Could you tell us about your experience at Swab 2023?

My experience at Swab 2023 was excellent. I discovered new up-and-coming artists and galleries. The Swab team ensured that all the VIP guests felt welcome and well taken care of. The quality of the art was very high, with prices that were quite affordable.
How does Swab serve as a space for discovering new talent? Can you talk about any galleries and artists you found in Swab who later made it to UNTITLED and other major art fairs?

Of course. One of them is Zelinski, that presented a fantastic booth at SWAB last year. It was very well received by my collector friends. There were a couple of galleries from Argentina showcasing emerging artists with works under 2,000 euros, which I thought had great potential to become significant players in the international market. I was also pleasantly surprised to see the work of Valeria Maculan, an artist I have been following for years and truly respect and admire.

Omar Zeilinsky

Guillermo García Cruz, Zeilinsky, Swab Barcelona 2023

Last year, you mentioned working with Mesoamerican artists in New York and Paris. How do you see their visibility and impact within these major metropolitan art scenes?

I must say, this is truly the moment for artists from this region. We’ve seen significant institutions such as MoMA in New York launching initiatives like Salvadoran artist Guadalupe Maravilla’s solo project. Meanwhile, Salvadoran LA-based artist Beatriz Cortez has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, and Eric Aparicio, also Salvadoran, participated in this year’s Whitney Biennial. Additionally, artists from Studio LENCA and Simón Vega were featured at the Parrish Museum. I could mention many more examples that are currently part of an ongoing international conversation.

You’ve highlighted Swab’s uniqueness in presenting Latin American emerging galleries. In which ways do you see Swab influencing artist visibility?

Many artists from Latin America have exhibited at Swab early in their careers. Many of them have since become well-known, and we now see their work at international fairs like Art Basel, Frieze, and Untitled Art.

What advice would you offer to emerging artists looking to make their mark in the current environment?

Don’t focus too much on the market. Stay committed, even when things get tough. Discover your own voice and visual language, and keep creating no matter what.

What are your aspirations for your next projects as a curator? 

My goal is to continue providing a platform where artists can flourish.
SWAB in 3 words:

1. Exciting 
2. Discovery
3. Fresh