At JustMad2 we were happy to walk straight into a vehicle by Pedro Reyes and up the first flight of stairs, the continuation of his 2007 project titled Anillo peripatetico in which a proposal for street signs along the famous Anillo Periférico in Mexico City is presented, that would bear quotes and literarily references from modern and classic works from around the world.

After an artist filled Sunday BBQ at his studio, where we met Anibal Catalán among others, we return to visit Alejandro Almanza Pereda and find him busy at work on his centre piece for ARCO.  We are well advanced now in a project with him, and have been finalizing details over the last few weeks.

We took some time to do a tour and get an overview of the work being presented in Mexico City this month. SOMA Mexico decided to postpone the talk by Erick Beltrán in the light of a great many simultaneous events in México City in a single evening. LABOR hosted a welcome reception for the participants of the ninth SITAC starting the next day. 52, the experimental gallery space constituting part of OMR was exhibiting ‘La Bienal del Fin’, an apocalyptical premonition represented through the works of a range of artists. El Eco offered a new exhibition by Héctor Zamora and Casa del Lago had a body of work from various artists curated by Mario Garcia Torres. Siqueiros public art space (SAPS) unveiled new works by Artemio and Tercerunquinto of which there is a review on the CONACULTA website.

The uppermost floor of the CUBE tower hosts the Curry y Poncho gallery where Francisco Borrego, Alfonso Arroyo and the charming Lorena Peña Brito do their magic. We visited their artist, Felipe Manzano, the second half of the ‘Homeless’ duo, who was kind enough to receive us in their studio space piled high with T-shirts. He talked us through past projects, and an artist participation series that they have.

Arena Mexico was opened up to us by the gentlemen weavers from the workshop that takes up most of the second floor. Although the last show closed last year, many of the pieces were still around like Sarabia’s plates and Artemio’s Bambi.

Jose Davila called, and we were promptly in his immaculate studio just a few blocks away. He sent us to Galería Jorge Martínez which is part of the university where we caught a glimpse of some of Guadalajaras ‘new kids on the block’.

Eduardo Sarabia welcomed us in his new home, where we were able to appreciate some wonderful works he has exchanged with a range of artists over the years. We chatted about his projects for this year and about working with the Fundación Magnolia.

Joaquin Segura is an artist, and the shepherd of our short visit to Guadalajara. He’s orchestrated Tony Garifalakis’ practically simultaneous shows, in Mexico city and Guadalajara. We had lunch with the galerist’s Brett Schultz from Yautepec and Francisco Borrego from Curro y Poncho and were joined by a number of local artists. Among them, Cristian Franco Martin from Homeless, Cynthia Gutierrez and Emanuel Tovar (see articles on them by our friends from TOMO magazine by clicking on their names) We spent a cheerful evening at Cynthias home, who was kind enough to host us well into the night as we informally talked through her portfolio, and discussed, and digressed…

Ana Roldan is a Mexican artist resident in Zurich. We were last in contact with her through her participation in Vglaz magazine, and now in the company of the author/film maker Thomas Haemmerli, we met in Mexico City. Her work is “inspired by cultural phenomena: Historical events, philosophical ideas, language, systems, reflections on aesthetics; theoretical concepts in general”. We look forward to working with her again in the future. For the time being- you can check out her website:

Pedro Reyes is an accomplished Mexican artist who boasts accomplishing a multiplicity of social benefits through his projects. A good example of his trans-disciplinary work is ‘palas x pistolas‘ in which he raises awareness of gun crime while simultaneously taking action to remove weapons from the streets and turning them into shovels to plant trees. He joined us to talk about his plans for 2011 and the different ways in which his baby marx project can manifest itself. We chatted late into the night about cultural diplomacy, the educational importance of fine art and our mutual interest to have his work exhibited in Russia.

Niki Nakazawa, our friend & the latest addition to the team at LABOR, met us on the hammocks at the far end of the amazing library at the gallery. Pamela Echeverria joined us, and beyond the pleasantries of holiday chat and over cookies we discussed a collaboration which is taking shape for later this year. The ball is rolling, and we will soon be revealing more! For the time being, check out their website at labor and keep your eyes open for their participation at the VIP Art Fair

Ben Tufnell in Mexico following up our talks in London in October about our partnership in Mexico for his project with Curator Nina Miall.  We discussed the trial we carried out for part of the research, and talked to people we thought of for collaborations in the realization of this exciting endeavor; visiting museums and lunch with the wonderful Ania Calderon from Pase Usted! Ben is Head of exhibitions at the Haunch of Venison, and is Chief Curator for the exhibition of Cai Guo-Qiang currently on at the MUAC in Mexico City.