Cultured Magazine

Winter 2016

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290 culturedmag.com MORETHAN A MOMENT W Mexico continues to bask in the spotlight as one of the richest cultural creators of our time. Michael Slenske meets the artists, makers and machers defining the country's creative renaissance at home and abroad. e always try to grow organically with the local public," says Zélika García over mid- afternoon splits of champagne while walking the booths of her budding Zona MACO Foto and Zona MACO Salón del Anticuario fairs during Mexico City's rain-soaked Gallery Weekend in September. Over the past 12 years, that local-organic model has helped turn García's fairs—and the city itself—into a must-visit hub on the international creative calendar. At the Foto and Salón del Anticuario fairs, she adds, "We have 45 galleries, and even though we've only been open two days, we've already had 5,000 visitors. Last year in total we had just 7,000 visitors." Her best friend, Moisés Micha, co-founder of Grupo Habita, which operates a dozen hotels across Mexico—including hotspot Condesa DF, where the Gallery Weekend luncheon hosted international museum directors and curators from the New Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, the Hammer Museum and the Los Angeles Nomadic Division—couldn't agree more. "Right after Maco and Gallery Weekend we have Design Week and then the Grand Prix," says Micha, noting Guadalajara's pre-MACO weekend. "So the calendar is getting very busy." When García launched her first fair, Muestra, in Monterrey in 2002, it drew just 20 galleries and 3,000 visitors. "I was begging galleries to come," she says. But last February, the original Zona MACO contemporary art fair, which launched in 2004 at the city's World Trade Center, drew some 50,000 visitors and 160 art and design exhibitors that included Honor Fraser, Regen Projects, Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Venus Over Manhattan, Gagosian and David Zwirner, not to mention all the local powerhouses like Kurimanzutto, Galería OMR, Proyectos Monclova and Labor. Of course, it takes more than boldface galleries to make an art scene. Foundationally, it takes artists, and aside from the wealth of local talent, there's a long history of international stars coming to Mexico to live and create art. This past year, Pritzker-winning architect Toyo Ito completed his fluted white concrete Museo Internacional del Barroco in Puebla; Andrea Fraser made her museum debut in a Spanish-speaking country at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo; the Guggenheim retrospective for Peter Fischli and David Weiss traveled to Eugenio Lopez's Museo Jumex; and Candida Höfer created an entirely new body of work illuminating iconic buildings of Mexico for a Gallery Weekend show at the new Brutalist exhibition space (carved out of a former record shop) of Galería OMR, the blue-chip, family-run stalwart of the Mexican scene. "There are so many different places that attract me and that's what I like," says Höfer, who shot in five Mexican states last year and will show additional images next year at the Antiguo Colegio de San

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