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Fernando Mesta on House of Gaga / Mexico City

Fernando Mesta founded House of Gaga in 2008 with José Rojas. Since then, the gallery has built a valuable outlet for a community of artists who emerged in the 2000s.

Before Gaga, you founded the project space Perros Negros in Mexico City. What was it exactly?

We defined ourselves as an office for projects. Adriana Lara was in Paris, doing a residency at the Palais. In 2003 I visited her and we decided to start a project in Mexico to work with the artists we both loved. Then Agustina Ferreira joined us.

You envisioned an innovative way of funding and producing exhibitions and projects with international artists. It was a new approach in Mexico back then, even if today it wouldn’t surprise anyone.

We were twenty-three. We decided to invite artists to spend a month in Mexico and produce a show in collaboration. My task was to collect funds while Adriana e-mailed the artists. Agustina was a sort of producer. Many people disliked the shows, but we proved something like this could be done in Mexico.

How did you go from Perros Negros to Gaga?

I was tired of searching for patrons. And I realized everything we did then ended up in a gallery. That’s when I decided to leave Perros Negros and start Gaga with Pepe Rojas, my partner. Our first show was in January 2008 and featured the work of Claire Fontaine. And then the program was gradually built out of curiosity and our relationships with artists dear to us.

You are now going to open a new space in Los Angeles.

We decided to open a space along with Reena Spaulings. We’ll make shows in turn: Reena Spaulings, then Gaga, and so on. I think it will allow us to have stronger contact with Latin America. The Mexican art scene is pretty much oriented to the US and Europe, and Los Angeles can help us enlarge our perspective.

by Claudio Iglesias