Francis Alÿs. Cuando la fe mueve montañas (When Faith Moves Mountains), Lima, Peru, April 11 th, 2002, multi-media installation
n 2002, I took a group of graduate students from the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco to Mexico City, where I was teaching at the time. The class, titled “Multiplicity,” focused on the issues and history of contemporary Latino art and Latin American-based movements. For one week, we did studio visits with artists and curators, as well as viewing current exhibitions in galleries and museums in Mexico City. We visited Museo Rufino Tamayo, the Modern Art Museum, Museo de la Cuidad and some galleries not then known, such as Kurimanzutto. After a studio visit with visual artist Miguel Caldéron, he mentioned that we should visit this new space called Colección Jumex; it was on the way to the Teotihuacán pyramids anyway. We made an appointment (as it is a boutique museum) and visited the “fresa” Colección Jumex. The first thing that hit 26
Latino Perspectives Magazine
¡ April 2013!
me when we arrived at the location was the smell of mango, tamarindo and guava, then a mix of jalapeños with spicy picked mystery veggies. It was as if I had walked into a story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez or the Food Network’s Iron Chef competition, where the secret ingredient was habañero peppers. La Colección Jumex is located inside the industrial plant that produces jugos Jumex and canned spicy products from La Costeña, both intertwining family fortunes. If you are unfamiliar with Jumex, just visit your neighborhood Safeway or Fry’s and you will spot the juices at the end of the American colas and Arizona ice teas; they are the Minute Maid of Latin America. What is the connection between fruit juice and art? The answer is Eugenio López Alonso, heir to the Jumex fortune, who started to collect art in the early 1990s, following a private passion. López decided to make this passion public in the spring of
2001 and opened the space he created inside the juice factory. The museum has existed for more than 11 years now, and the collection showcases over 2,700 artworks representing the production of more than 700 different artists. The oldest piece in the collection is a painting by Alfred Leslie dated 1953; most of the artworks in the collection were produced after 1995. Today Fundación/Colección Jumex is the largest and most important contemporary art collection in Latin America, a spectacular collection of renowned and established contemporary artists from Mexico, Latin America, the United States and Europe ranging from Gabriel Orozco to Andy Warhol. Perhaps even more important than the collection, Fundación/Colección Jumex supports the development of contemporary art in Mexico, spending more than $1 million annually in support of art and educational projects.
Courtesy of the artist and La Colección Jumex, México
By Julio César Morales