Marcantonio Vilaça, Brazilian art collector. Photography © Marcantonio Vilaça National Industry Award

Marcantonio Vilaça (Recife, 1962-2000) was a Brazilian art collector, a galerist and a sort of a prophet of his generation, he was called “the prophet of colors”. He fought for the visibility of contemporary Brazilian art in the world: he carried the works under his arms, handling packages and packages of art works, packing and unpacking them, assembling and disassembling exhibitions. He managed to be part of several artistic sectors. He articulated in famous museums with directors and important collectors; in specialized magazines with editors; he also worked in international fair organizations, in the art market and publishing market.

Vilaça has also invested in exhibitions of foreign artists in Brazil, guaranteeing Brazilian public access to contemporary world production. For authors and art critics, he is considered to be the most significant Brazilian gallery owner in the 20th century. He faced the crises of a yet restricted and amateur market when compared to the international art market and invested in the contemporary art circuit, fairs and foreign collectors, meeting the ambitions of revealing artists and gallery owners between the 1980s and 1990s.

In the 1980s, he directed the art magazine Galeria and in 1992, he opened his the Camargo Vilaça Gallery in the city of São Paulo. Vilaça loved art all his life, and for this reason this article is titled “The size of a dream”: it’s a homage to the opening text of the gallery in 2003, written by the father of the art collector, minister and member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, Marcos Vilaça.