Art Could be Sustainable Luxury, but it Has a Long Way to Go.
Artist Betsabeé Romero honored at LuxuryLab 2022
Exhibition at Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico on view until end of August
(text edited by Delphine Schrank)
As I walked through Cuando el tiempo se rompió (When Time Broke), the latest exhibition by Mexican artist Betsabeé Romero at the Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico, I was struck by the juxtaposition of her most recent works. It suddenly made sense. It was all coming together. The artistic interpretation of movement, migrants, and mirrors. The artist was there, it was a Monday in June, and the museum was closed to the public.
I have marveled at Betsabeé’s work so often in the past. The first time was eight years ago, wandering the streets of the Condesa district. Betsabeé had transformed a car into a playful permanent installation, a human-size toy, really, and planted it on the doorsteps of the hotel Condesa DF. To the left of the white and burgundy car, passersby will find a large silver key. Turn it, and the car will suddenly play a rendering of Agustin Lara‘s Veracruz song.
At Your Home Without Me: The Artistic Mankind of Betsabeé Romero
“Art needs to express itself to safeguard humanity.” These are the words of Betsabeé Romero, a Mexican fixture, sculptor, and a generous, greedy painter who is exhibited around the world. She is a poet and activist too. This humanity—a damaged, confused and self-reflecting humanity—was not prepared to face the brutal consequences of the Covid19 pandemic.
Betsabeé Romero is now listening to the suddenly silent streets of Mexico City, North America’s largest city.
From her little street house in the Villa de Cortés district, the artist is on the lookout for the sadness that invades the world faster than the disease. The absence of funerals. the hidden violence against the women and children in her country. And of course, her own personal fight fight for female artists.
Confined, she writes, draws, and reads, mostly philosophy at the moment. She is thinking about art installations to illustrate the staggered mourning that many people will experience. Incidentally, she has been invited to create and speak on this topic at the Frieze in London this Fall, as well as in Sydney and Rome.
At Your Home Without Me with Vanessa Serrano
Confined Bodies, but Free Souls. At Last
‘When I bared my soul it seems you did not hear‘
Joe Jackson | Body and Soul
Singer and songwriter Erykah Badu recently posted on Instagram a drawing of a person seated in a lotus position. “If you can’t go outside,” the caption read, “go inside.”
“A sound advice,” wrote Diane Von Furstenberg who shared the post @therealdvf.
‘If you can’t go outside, go inside’ is exactly what Mexican author and entrepreneur Vanessa Serrano—who has developed her professional work as a path to search for her own purpose—invites people to focus on.
“I believe we should take today’s opportunity to observe our minds,” Vanessa told me in a phone interview.
To ease people’s confinement, Serrano has created a series of free online sessions in Spanish called Healing Detox and Spiritual Awakening.
Tres Abejas for a Nectar Named Happiness: The new Café in Mexico’s Colonia Roma
Just like his brother Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, the former and first ever Mexican minister of Culture who wanted his country to shine through ideas, music, dance and visual arts, the late Guillermo Tovar de Teresa was a man of letters and knowledge.
Until his death in 2013, Guillermo spent his life in various homes of la Colonia Roma in Mexico City, chronicling from his wooden office the life of a city he was enamored with. His latest address of more than two decades was on 52 Valladolid, steps away from Parque Mexico. The writer’s two bedrooms—one for the winter; another one for the summer—have remained as they were at the end of his life, and tucked behind his office, a courtyard still hides a marbled angel. The 119-year old house, filled with Tovar’s collection of more than 10,000 books, paintings and furniture from the 19th century, porcelain from France and a Victorian lush garden, is now part of the Soumaya Museum.
Somewhere inside 52 Valladolid, there are tiny purple-pale blue flowers with a yellow pistil alongside a green ivy. They could be hidden on a painting or an object.
Try to find them or venture past the tall, heavy door, next to the villa’s entrance on Valladolid. Separating the home in two, a long narrow-path has morphed into a contemporary European-style bar: a place for people to reflect, think, exchange ideas, and perhaps even love.
Its name is Tres Abejas (three bees).