New Cultural Oasis Opens in Dreary CDMX Industrial Zone
By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
The dreary industrial landscape of Mexico City’s (CDMX) Colonia Atlampa, in the far north of the Mexican capital, is hardly a setting where you would expect a world-class artist to set up a gallery.
But nestled among the smoky factories and cement structures with sheet metal roofs is exactly where Italian-Mexican artist Bosco Sodi decided to open his new multipurpose art and cultural center.
Sodi, who has made a name for himself in the United States, Spain, Germany and Japan for his large-scale structures crafted from raw, natural materials and who currently resides in Barcelona, opened his third studio and exhibition space worldwide in the unlikely blue-collar neighborhood on Wednesday, April 5, inside the abandoned housing of a defunct winery warehouse.
From the outside, the new art and cultural center, which bears as its name nothing more than its street address, Sabino 336 is as nondescript as the other buildings in the area, with unpainted gray concrete walls and a massive metal door.
But inside, the wide empty spaces of the gallery transform into a airy, unobtrusive backdrop for Sodi’s bigger-than-life artwork.
Asked why he chose the location, Sodi said that the structure’s size was its main attraction.
“For years, I have been warehousing collections of my art because I had nowhere to put it,” he said.
Sodi said that the Sabino 336 space was “massive (more than 4,000 square meters), monumental and affordable,” and allowed him to finally present these previously cloistered works to the public.
Although the official inaugurations of the four-story, three-patio gallery was on Wednesday, Sodi gave residents and local art aficionados a full-month sneak peek by offering a soft opening in February.
And the old if-you-build-it-they-will-come philosophy seems to have held true with Sabino 336.
Even Sodi said that he was shocked that in the first two months since its opening, the Sabino 336 gallery has received more than 2,500 visitors.
For now, the gallery houses only works by Sodi and a temporary exhibit by Pakistani-American sculptor Human Bhabha, but in the future, he said, it will provide exhibit space for new up-and-coming Mexican artists.
Sodi is also planning to open a small café inside the premises in the near future.