Maestro Dobel Celebrates Mexico’s Tequila Legacy With A Calm And Bold Pop-Up Lounge For Frieze New York

There’s a little oasis on the top floor of the Shed for the current Frieze New York art fair. Simple but elegant light wood chairs and tables are surrounded by large terracotta pots filled with bright fuchsia bougainvillea and yellow roses. It’s a stark contrast to the backdrop of the ship’s structure, which looms in the window like a giant, glowing spaceship.

“We really wanted a warm feeling in the space,” said Alejandra Martinez.

In her oversized pastel pink suit, Alejandra stood out from the crowd of black-clad Frieze attendees. She was sipping a Maestro Dobel cocktail (called “Rosa Bugambilia,” which includes prickly pear syrup and lime juice).

Alejandra is the Founder of Anonimo Collective and Creative Director of Maestro Dobel’s Artpothecary, a platform to celebrate this eternal pursuit of innovation, showcasing the visionaries and cultural richness of Mexico’s contemporary creativity through a series of immersive events, from the famous tequila brand (which is also a fair trade sponsor). She was perched on a high stool among Maestro Dobel Artpothecary’s brand new installation, a proud anthem to Mexico. This year’s edition, presented for the first time at Frieze New York, is entitled “The Mexican Golden Age”.

“Mexico’s Modern Age” is an art fair oasis. Photo by Angela Pham.

“We celebrate the architects and designers of Mexico’s modernist era,” said Alejandra. The focus is on Ricardo Legorreta, the award-winning architect and designer who died in 2011 and disciple of Luis Barragán. Both are credited with having developed a new architectural language that was national, local and disconnected from European orthodoxy.

The “Mexican Golden Age” furnishings are exquisite reproductions of Legorreta’s iconic “Vallarta” collection from 1972, made for one of his landmark buildings, the Camino Real Hotel. They are made in collaboration with Mexican classics, a company that faithfully and rigorously reissues Mexican design classics under license; many of the pieces they unearth are as beautiful and forgotten as the unsold fabrics they source.

The simplicity of the “Vallarta” inspired pieces belies their minimal mastery. If you look closely, there are no bolts or hinges holding the blond pine pieces together. But this is not cold modernism; they exude non-elitist comfort and utility. Chairs and stools invite you to sit down and relax (and yes, enjoy a shot or a cocktail). But it’s not just the design of the time that resonates with Alejandra. The whole era was a happy age.

Alejandra Martinez, artistic director of Maestro Doble. Photo by Fernando Marroquin.

“The film industry and art scenes were also in their golden age,” Alejandra said. “What I love about that time in Mexico is that tequila was very organic in the way of life. Back then, tequila wasn’t exported. It wasn’t even a product national, it was regional in Jalisco. People from Mexico City used to go to Jalisco to drink tequila. It was not what it is today, it was a kind of local ritual.

Alejandra was born and raised in Jalisco, the birthplace of tequila. “I grew up thinking tequila was medicine,” she said. The medicine is served the way you like it.

Next stops for Maestro Dobel Artpothecary are DesignMiami/ then Frieze Los Angeles 2023. Setups will vary with additional pieces to accommodate different footprints at each fair. “Mexico’s Golden Age” isn’t just about amazing furniture, food, flowers, and tequila. It is a celebration of Mexican culture and identity.

A close up view of the classic Ricardo Legorreta design by Clásicos Mexicanos. Photo by Angela Pham.

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