Interview
Rossana Lerdo de Tejada

with Rossana Lerdo de Tejada

We met with the beautiful, elegant, and sophisticated art dealer and enthusiast, Rossana Lerdo de Tejada to talk galleries, new and upcoming talent, and all the goodness that Mexico has to offer.
With an exciting life full of travel and passion, Rossana gives us a glimpse of her world representing The Gagosian gallery in Mexico and loving the art world.

Rossana Lerdo de Tejada talks to BWB about art,

BWB:  You have built a great career in the art world. Today you represent Gagosian gallery in Mexico.
Tell us more about it.

Art has always been part of my life. My family traveled frequently, and our trips abroad always included museum visits and cultural events. My aunt had an eclectic collection of Latin American Art.
I studied Art History, then got my Masters at Christie’s NYC where I worked for a few years in the Latin American Department.
After that, I went to work at Gagosian Gallery in New York and now I represent the gallery in Mexico. It is an extraordinary place to work. It is a privilege to handle the segment of the market we deal in.
For instance, Gagosian works closely with the Giacometti, Chamberlain and Picasso estates, as well as a large number of both established and up and coming contemporary artists. I’m very lucky to work with very inspiring people on so many levels. I love my job. I am surrounded by the most incredible art and I am continuously learning new things.
I have met artists like the late Cy Twombly and Richard Serra. They are geniuses and have pushed forward the language of contemporary art.

I love painting and sculpture. These works give me a glimpse of the aesthetic language passing through time and touching a bit of eternity.

BWB: Are there some emerging South American artists that you have recently met?

There are lots of young and up and coming artists from Latin America. I have seen their work develop over the years.
I love painting and sculpture. These works give me a glimpse of the aesthetic language passing through time and touching a bit of eternity.

I think the work of Jose Davila, Gonzalo Lebrija, Mario Garcia Torres and Gabriel de la Mora are very interesting.
I really like Sofia Taboas paintings. There are many emerging artists in Mexico that are now part of the global esthetics.

BWB: What are some of the places that you recommend in Mexico to see art?

Mexico is an extraordinary place with a varied history.
From the pre-Colombian Ruins to colonial Spanish cities to sixties modernism, it is an wonderful mix. It is a country on the move, living its own history.

With regard to specific recommendations, it depends on how much time you have and what you are looking for.

  • Pre-Colombian

I love the Teotihuacan pyramids. It is a spectacular place, full of energy and mysticism.
The Museo Nacional de Antropologia e Historia has an outstanding Pre-Columbian collection in a beautiful building.
The fountain there is also a must see.

Near Tulum, you can find amazing pyramid sites like an ancient Mayan fortress, Coba and Chichen Itza.
It is a magical place. It has become quite fashionable recently and there are a number of chic, boutique hotels that cater to a jet set/yoga crowd.

  • For contemporary art in Mexico City

La Colección JUMEX

The Mexico City historical center is very special. You can actually see the Spanish colonial buildings and churches built on top of the Aztec Capital – the pyramids that were actually built on top of the lake since it was a network of canals and artificial islands. It testifies to the efforts of the Aztec people to build a habitat in an unfavorable environment. A lot of the more modern buildings are sinking since there is still a lot of water below.
El Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes has beautiful murals by Orozco, Rivera and Siqueiros.
The Plaza del Zocalo is absolutely breathtaking.
The new hotel, Habita Downtown is a place one should visit as a must.

  • Riviera Maya

Near Tulum, you can find amazing pyramid sites like an ancient Mayan fortress, Coba and Chichen Itza.
It is a magical place. It has become quite fashionable recently and there are a number of chic, boutique hotels that cater to a jet set/yoga crowd.

Oaxaca, rooted in an indigenous tradition and Spanish architecture, is an amazing city to visit.
I love to visit the archeological ruins of Monte Alban and the church of Santo Domingo. The market is full of color, tradition and amazing Mexican food.

BWB: Any other places that you recommend?

I am a huge fan of Mexican food. For a number of reasons, authentic Mexican food, is both different and much tastier than Mexican food outside of Mexico.
For an amazing Mexican food experience:

  • In Mexico City:

Pujol– From the chef Enrique Olvera.
Contramar – A lunch restaurant specializing in seafood. It is quite the scene on Fridays.
Punta Arena – Extraordinary seafood
San Angel Inn – A traditional Mexican restaurant in a beautiful Hacienda with beautiful gardens
El Mercado de la Roma and Dulce Patria.

  • In La Riviera Maya:

Maiz de Mar is a very sophisticated Mexican restaurant with the chef Enrique Olvera.
I also really like this tiny place off the road in Playa del Carmen called “El Faisan y El Venado”. They have wonderful southern Mexican food. I enjoy the beach in Mexico.
My favorite places are Cabo San Lucas, Punta Mita, Ixtapa and all along the Riviera Maya. You can find truly special places.

Rossana

BWB: Is there a specific beauty or wellness ritual followed by Mexican women?

In Mexico we all eat a lot of cactus (nopales) which is a low calorie green vegetable. They are rich in fiber and help reduce blood sugar levels. They are high on vitamins and minerals.
The juice extracted from these nopales has been suggested to have immune-boosters, and anti-inflammatory properties. They are very delicious.
From time to time I also like to take a Temazcal. A temazcal is a traditional Mexican steam bath, similar to the sweat lodge of the Native Americans. It takes place in in a round or domed structure made of stone or mud. It is used as part of a curative ceremony to purify the body and mind, healing the sick and improving health.
Personally I love to meditate every day. I practice Vipassana meditation and it has made my life so much better on many levels.

BWB: You travel a lot to Europe and the U.S, what products do you like to buy there?

I recently tried the lipsticks and nail polish by Tom Ford and I liked them a lot. They hydrate the lips and have wonderful nude colors.
For skin care I use brands like Caudalie and La Roche Posay.

I love NUXE oil for the skin and hair. I buy vitamin E oil with 40,000 units, which helps to hydrate my skin from being jet lagged.
I mostly buy products that have natural ingredients and are low in chemicals and fragrances.
In general, I prefer French and Spanish skin care products because they tend to be more natural.

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