Art, Culture, Design, México
Photography by Orlando Vega
A special thank you to The Lost Explorer Mezcal



Several records were broken this year during Mexico City’s Art Week in 2024. The Cultural Information System of Mexico reports that there are at least 269 art galleries officially registered in this city of almost 9 million inhabitants. Art sprouts up on every corner.

It is true that perhaps not all of that population is interested in art, much less contemporary art, neither in the fair circuit nor in the galleries; but it seems that Mexico City lives for art and for this week. Perhaps in its dynamics—quite performative—it simply welcomes us to its own game, one that also involves sound and a delicious particular flavor.

Has Art Week CDMX become a collective and multi-sensory happening?


Temporary exhibitions, group shows, studio visits, opening cocktails, curator talks, museum brunches, charity galas. One week (which actually feels more like a month) directs the eyes, ears, and all senses of the world into Mexico City. Perhaps with the excuse of finding some answers, MATERIA and its founder, Sarah Len, in a collaborative effort, had the honor of presenting SCULPTED to kick off this week of art and design.

Under a unified amalgamation of concepts, SCULPTED brought together works by the renowned Mexican artist Jorge Yázpik and the New York-based design studio, Known Work, within the spaces of MATERIA. The inaugural event gathered several influential names that shape the contemporary art industry in this megalopolis, all of whom witnessed a particularly noteworthy night.

A sculptural tablescape with tableware by Jorge Yázpik

II. A table, Materia, and art enthusiasts

Héctor Esrawe from Esrawe Studio; the multidisciplinary artist Sarahí Carrillo; Aleph Molinari, co-editor-in-chief of Purple Magazine; creative director Alexandra Lilias Regehr; editor and writer Anfisa Vrubel; director Oliver Castro; Patricia Guerrero (always holding the cultural and fashion reins in Mexico); Brian Thoreen artist and co-founder of MASA Gallery and art advisor Johnathan Bailey… were some of the attendees on that first Monday of Art Week. A generous but carefully selected group. 

Jorge Yázpik, along with Jeremy Levitt and Danu Kennedy of Known Work kindly welcomed everyone. Despite the bustling nature of this week, everyone arrived punctually, adorned in looks befitting a week that transforms into both a fashion runway and a lifestyle showroom. Who said disciplines do not converge, especially in Mexico? 

This collection, the first from Known Work studio, reflected a sense of tension through elegant geometries combined with soft materials. The pieces are created with meticulous attention to detail and a deep respect for craftsmanship. When asked about the creative process, it’s evident that the studio adopts an anthropological approach in each collection, exploring the connection between humans and objects. Thus, the objects (or artifacts) are imbued with a certain aesthetic familiarity that could harken back to the design of the Italian golden era and seamlessly fit into contemporary spaces in any global capital.

Not even a slight delay in the congested Mexican customs prevented Known Work from captivating Mexico as well. “There’s something special about this city; it captivates you,” remarked Kennedy, enthusiastically, before moving to the table. Alex Dilena of Known Work also commented on the parallelism between what was happening in Mexico City and other major art capitals, only that here the pace is “unstoppable.”

'Untitled' by Jorge Yázpik in the SCULPTED exhibition

“Sometimes these columns felt like additional guests; at other points of the night, it felt like they could hear everything discussed that night from where they stood.”

Menu by Chef Jodi Moreno

“The only one who always remained in the same place, right in the center of the table, untouched, subtle like wood, firm like a rock, was Yázpik.”

III. Yázpik, fix and sculpted. Tamale time

Yázpik participated in this exhibition by creating an impressive series of monumental columns, which we could describe as totems. Upon arriving at MATERIA studio –where they were displayed– they brought a ceremonial air within the white box space. The columns stood vigilant, rising among the guests, beside the large table that serves as a raft and a focal point inside MATERIA.

Sometimes these columns felt like additional guests; at other points of the night, it felt like they could hear everything discussed that night from where they stood. And there was much to talk about, with a great spirit: Art, dreams, installations, desires, curation, the best restaurants in Mexico, familiar faces, unexpected deaths, eagerness to keep seeing and living everything… The list goes on.

The imposing pieces carved in native wood and volcanic stone again combined that air of “pre hispanic art, monumental height, geometric precision, and native materials” (using words from the curatorial team). Indeed, it was difficult not to pause silently when seeing them and walking among them prior to pass à table. 

But what was the climax of this ritual or perhaps, happening? Maestro Yázpik sought out chef Jodi Moreno in the kitchen, not only to explain the menu but to thank her for being the true stage director, setting the pulse of the night with fresh ceviche, prepared elotitos, copitas of 12 years aged salmiana were passed around the table by The Lost Explorer Mezcal, and the anticipated banana leaf-wrapped tamales prepared by Tamales Madre, which the menu-artwork designed by Yázpik himself for that night, kept everyone in expectation.

The arrival of the tamales also caused another contemplative and admiring moment at the table. Once the leaves were opened, and the masa interior of the tamales disappeared, the protocol lightened; and quickly, guests moved from one side of the table to the other to discuss new topics. There were also several stops for a cigarette next to the columns, while laughs from some past anecdote in Zona Maco came to light. The most enthusiastic discussed the search for new ideas for Art Week 2025.

Will they surpass the 81,000 visitors registered this year at the Banamex Center? Only time and attendance will tell.

The only one who always remained in the same place, right in the center of the table, untouched, subtle like wood, firm like a rock, was Yázpik.

Ceramic candleholders by Known Work illuminate The Lost Explorer Mezcal
Elotitos by Chef Jodi Moreno
Ceramic candleholders by Known Work