One of the biggest misconceptions about Mexico is that we live in pueblos, have no roads, all look indigenes, are alcoholics, ride horses and eat tortillas and beans all day, every day. At least, this is the impression my Australian husband had before, well, meeting me and experiencing Mexican culture. (Don’t worry, though. I’m not offended. After all, I thought Australians kept kangaroos as pets!) But after nearly a decade surrounded by Mexicans, my husband wishes he was one of us, thought we all know even mass amounts of tequila won’t ever do that for him.
Like my husband, more and more people are starting to recognize—and appreciate—Mexico’s influence in our modern day. In the United States alone, the skyrocketing Hispanic demographic is said to be at least 33% of the country’s population within ten years. We are part of how America defines itself today, and our influence extends beyond the so-called “Spanish-speaking” mainstream segment.
This growth is allowing talented Mexican artists to slowly enter and disrupt America. My generation is full of brilliant individuals who continue to make a difference in the world of design and art. They stay true to their craft, are passionate about their dreams and never fail to shine every step of the way.
Today’s post is dedicated to these innovators. I enjoy celebrating great Mexican influencers who are making a mark in our world because, through their work, they inspire so many paisanos like me. Their exemplary passion and determination pushes me to design objects that defy industry standards. Their determination challenges me to take everyday mundane objects to a whole other creative level all the while celebrating the culture I hold so near and dear to my heart.
Here are a few of my favorite Mexican inspirations that are shaking up the scene:
Fernando Romero practiced architecture in Europe before founding FR-EE in 2000, a platform for multidisciplinary exchanges that translates contemporary culture through all fields of design, while positioning architecture as the epicenter. He has taught at Columbia University, published several books and received a number of international awards. He lives between New York City and Mexico. Below is his design of Museum Soumaya in Mexico City, just one of his many contemporary masterpieces now taking center stage throughout the world.
Enrique Olvera attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and returned to Mexico four years later to open his first restaurant, Pujol. His dishes mainly utilize native Mexican produce and ingredient, and he applies both contemporary and age-old culinary techniques in every dish he creates.
Olvera’s restaurants are some of the most renowned in the country: Moxi, a star in San Miguel de Allende; Playa del Carmen’s Maíz de Mar in Mexico’s coast; and his most recent opening Cosme in New York City.
Cynthia Gutierrez studied Visual Arts at the University of Guadalajara and has participated in exhibitions like Lagunas Parallel Project, NOW La Colección Jumex in the Cabañas Cultural Institute in Guadalajara and Crossing Boundaries in II Moscow International Biennale For Young Art "Qui Vive?" Winzavod Moscow Centre for Contemporary Art. She’s also had extraordinary solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte de Zapopan and the Museum of Arts, Guadalajara, among others. In 2009 Gutierrez was the guest artist in Laboral Centro de Arte in Gijón and is currently the co-founder of Clemente Jacques, an independently run artist laboratory that launched in 2005. Her work includes different mediums such as sculpture, video and photography, and preset patterns that affect us