There is a long list of things I would object to, but visiting a gallery? Unlikely. Visiting La Galería? Not a chance. Before, because I wanted to see what it was like; now because I want to live the experience at least once more.
La Galería is what we call a “Galería de Autor”: a space that displays the works of a single artist. In this case, La Galería is devoted to plastic artist, designer, multifaceted editor, and Mexican academic Fabricio Vanden Broeck. His career includes his tenure as an illustrator for the newspaper Reforma from its founding until 2008, as well as director of illustrations (1999 – 2013) at Letras Libres. “Each one of Fabricio’s images carries an opinion, a metaphor, a rhetorical image,” Mónica González, director of La Galería, explained to me during the tour. As such, entering La Galería is like diving into the artist’s creative imaginarium.
Fabricio Vanden Broeck’s pieces are small and large, black and white, graphic and sculptural; the latter are, on multiple occasions, “reverberations of his graphics.” If you want, you can take your favorite art piece with you. Is your budget a little tighter? Explore the design line that has transformed Fabricio’s art into decorative and everyday-use objects. For example, serialized pieces and a beautiful bag woven by an artisan from Comitán.
The Gallery and the artists
Although Fabricio’s work is the highlight of the tour, La Galería also promotes young artists (Yucatecan and from the Peninsula) and recovers the art of the deceased. “We have a lot of their work; we want to recover the family path and tradition,” Mónica said before sharing Fabricio’s family roots: his father, André Vanden Broeck, was a renowned painter of the American abstract expressionist movement, and also linked to the beat culture.
While the young artists’ works are already on display at La Galería, the curatorship of the second group began last month with pieces by Goldian Nesbit; her exhibit is expected to open in the summer.
You might imagine that La Galería is covered in art, but it has two locations that stand out for its peculiarity and charm. Their names are self-descriptive: Over the piano and Over the desk. By the way, the piano they have – a 19th century Steinway & Sons from Luxembourg – can be played by anyone who requests it. In addition, this February they are integrating augmented reality into their catalog of spaces to appreciate art.
La Galería and its community
“La Galería needs to go outside,” Mónica told me when I asked about the installation of ribbons outside. This, along with leaving the windows open at night, is a way in which La Galería seeks an encounter with the people of Barrio de la Ermita to become a pleasant space within its streets.
You’ll also notice that La Galería is the setting for piano concerts, conferences, and book presentations. Are you visiting Mérida? Well, let me tell you that La Galería is a boutique hotel too.
As you can see…La Galería is art, it’s unique, and this February they’re celebrating their first anniversary. Congratulations!
Editorial by Olivia Camarena
Yucatecan communicologist. Your favorite Assistant Editor. Writer, blogger, and bookstagrammer in her spare time. She also experiments with TikTok.
Photography by Olivia Camarena and La Galería for its use in Yucatán Today.
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