Artist Zhivago Duncan’s Cultural Mini-Guide to Mexico City

Casa Luis Barragán

 

 

Artist Zhivago Duncan was born in Indiana, made his name in Berlin, and eventually ended up in California, where he had a revelation whilst asking the moon for guidance. (You can read the full story in BlackBook‘s feature interview with him.) As happens, the Universe answered him, and took him to Mexico, where after four years he tells us, “I could not be happier. Life is great, my work is going great, and I am with the woman of my dreams.”

Since we can reasonably guess that we would probably find ourselves hanging out in a lot of the same places he does down there, we asked him to pick his most favored spots, so that when these soul-crushing pandemic travel restrictions are finally lifted, we’ll know exactly where to head first.

 

Museo Jumex

Jumex is my favorite museum. The new Director, Kit Hammonds, has really lined up an amazing program for next few years. Eugenio Lopez has an incredible collection, including pieces by Warhol, Damien Hirst, Gabriel Orozco, Jeff Koons, Marcel Duchamp and Andreas Gursky, and he funds his private museum to open a whole world of the arts that would normally not have access to Mexico. Current exhibition: Colección Jumex: *Savage Topology.

 

Museo Jumex

 

The National Museum of Anthropology

The National Museum of Anthropology is the shit! It is honestly one of the most impressive museums I have ever seen in my life. You need either a full day to see it, or even better, split your day in two. If you wanna feel like Indiana Jones go there. It’s a don’t miss in Mexico City. It’s worth going just to see the modernist 1964 building by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Jorge Campuzano, and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca, with exhibition halls surrounding a courtyard and pond.

Casa Luis Barragán

The former residence of famed architect Luis Barragán now operates as a museum exhibiting his work, as well as a research and study center for visiting architects. The place, which is in Mexico City’s Miguel Hidalgo District, retains all of Barragán’s original furniture, personal objects and a mostly Mexican art collection with works by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, Jesús Reyes Ferreira and Miguel Covarrubias. There’s also a Picasso or two.

 

Casa Luis Barragán

 

Top Brother Mexico

Top Brother Mexico is where I train Jujitsu and Judo. This is the spot to go and face your soul and mind in the dojo. Learn some moves and sweat.

OMR Gallery 

OMR Gallery has been around since 1983. They not only have a very interesting program, but they take risks, which is really refreshing. They converted a charming old house in La Roma into a beautiful gallery space. Their shows are stellar and their rooftop parties are epic.

 

OMR Gallery 

 

Food + Drink

For food check out La Capital, in the Cuauhtémoc District. It’s a more refined take on typical Mexican cantina food, and has the best shrimp tacos of your life.
My favorite dive bar is Diente de Oro in la Condesa. Although it’s technically a whiskey bar, they make my favorite mezcal. Go there to get your dose of ‘90s rock and booze.

San Angel

San Angel, where I live, is beautiful. Start by going to El Bazar Sabado for amazing Mexican crafts, then head to Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, an incredible functional house designed by Juan O’Gorman. Much better than the tourist trap blue Frida house. Then hop over to San Angel Inn for a tequila or mezcal in a classic Mexican hacienda. You won’t regret it.

 

Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

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