In the Gallery

Design editor Lee Steele writes about area artists and designers

Never too hot for the galleries in Merida, Mexico

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I’m an off-season kind of guy. I shop P-town galleries in January, and I’ve done it for years. Once I got a deep-discount oil-on-canvas straight from the artist who wanted cash to get to Florida. She even had her son drive me to the cash machine. And she’s a famous artist, too! So I’m embarrassed to mention her name. (Hint: Rhymes with Backard.)

So now I’m headed to Mexico this summer, where there is easier access to artists who are under-exposed north of the border. The galleries are so vibrant in Mérida, the colonial city in the  Yucatan that I wrote about before.

Mérida, a large city with a growing international population in the Yucatán. Of course, we wouldn’t have bothered going unless there was a thriving art scene.

Galería Tataya features Latin-American artists and boasts the largest collection from Cuban artists in Mérida. The United states severely limits the amount of art, and the number of galleries, that can haul back work from Cuba. No such restrictions exist in Mérida.

Of all the contemporary artists and artisans, I was particularly impressed with how local artist Gabriel Marni evoked sex  in a playful but forceful manner.

The owners, according to Yucatán Living, came from Belgium and Venezuela, respectively, by way of London, and have two galleries in the city. They opened in 2007 specializing not only in paintings but also Talavera ceramics, unique handcrafts and folk art, antiques, custom designed wrought iron pieces, drawings and photography.

I saw a half-dozen galleries in Mérida, but not all of them. There is a good summary of them here and here.

But all I really need to know about Galería Tataya is gleaned from this postcard that was sent out for their Christmas bazaar. I’m pretty sure no other Mérida galerías invoke Doris Day in their literature.

Also, there is an influx of expatriates. Here’s a blog of a couple hoping for a piece of Mérida’s charms.

Categories: General
Lee Steele

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