An Art Collector’s Unconventional Library

César Cervantes is a Mexican art collector with an unconventional story and lifestyle. An owner of a chain of taquerias with no formal education, he started seriously collecting art 12 years ago. He enjoys most of his collection  in his home, an open-plan, modernist house located in the Pedregal de San Angel neighborhood of Mexico city. The house is not the high-design house you’d expect of an art collector. (Take a virtual house tour at 01 Magazine and read their take on the experience below.) 

We love Cervantes’ comfortable library with a seating area of outdoor furniture (Reitveld crate furniture?) and the disparate collection of sagging shelves. 

Cesar Cervantes art collectors bookshelves

Anna Sulikowska/Melinda Santillan

01 described the experience of walking through the house as a wondrous blurring of everyday objects and art:

Walking through the house, it can be hard to distinguish if something is part of his collection, a household item, or as I discover opening a dishwasher to find it full of sex toys (Claire Fontaine’s “Dildo Washer“) a mix of both. Certain items can be ambiguous, like the banana peel on the floor in the living room, it could be garbage, a prank waiting to happen or “Installation (Banana Peel)“ by Adriana Lara (and yes it does have to be changed daily!). The playful chalk drawings on the driveway might be by a famous artist or in this case, César’s children Lázaro and Bruna. This is what makes this place fun. Seeing artwork outside the context of a gallery/museum, co-existing amongst everyday objects and people creates a certain playfulness and uncertainty that results in a very different experience.

We really like the way Cervantes describes how he decides what to acquire for his collection.

For me it’s not about how much something is worth, it’s just about loving it and wanting it around. I don’t know where I read or heard this but its this saying that art should match your living room, and I agree with that, maybe not in the way that the colors match your sofa but that it needs to feel comfortable to you…when its comfortable you are more motivated to learn and explore, to always keep being curious.

via 01 Magazine

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