BY PEDRO BENITEZ-CRESPO
The Yandi Monardo Gallery was born in 2011 as a dynamic space for creation and contemporary thought in all its manifestations and to promote the cultural scene, where collaborations are carried out with established artists and emerging talents.
Being one of the most recognized galleries in the northwestern part of Mexico, it aims to be a projection platform, promoting the dissemination and exhibition of the art and culture of our time. One of its most important recognitions has been the promotion of art through educational projects with children, adolescents and adults by generating a feeling of belonging and growth of knowledge in society.
The gallery is nurtured and finely curated by Yandi Monardo, who was born in 1975 in Uruguay and is a master of aesthetic intuition. His great passion and discipline towards art have led him to create images of deep essential content that capture the viewer’s attention. His work delights the eye and conveys a taste of fresh iconography where he reveals his creative potential. It is here where the personality of the passionate artist transcends, creating a world where matter takes on a life of its own.
Yandi entered Mario González-Sosa’s workshop – a direct student of the famous Luis Solari, at the tender age of 11! Up until his 15th birthday, a young Yandi was constantly surrounded by adults, and being the rookie of the class pushed him to discover the possibilities of painting and being able to express himself freely through the world of art.
In the mid-1990s, when he arrived in Mexico he was only 19 years old, and even though he comes from Latin America, Uruguay is a very different place. As a late teen, it was his first time around muralists, he experienced other art trends, different kinds of music, culture, and even food that were unalike. Yandi thought of Mexico as a very colorful place. He later made acquaintances with several artists from Oaxaca, which was even more contrasting than his previous reality.
“Mexico is a country of great effervescence and art; one is nourished by this culture and contributes from it and it becomes a feedback loop”. Yet it must be done with devotion and enthusiasm”, said Yandi.
He exhibited at the Excelsior in 2000 and was able to collaborate with maestro Raúl Anguiano – one of the last muralists in Mexico!
Nurtured with all these rich experiences, Yandi describes himself as more of a self-taught individual. He has had the fortune of being close to many teachers who have been generous enough to share their ideas which have influenced him in a way that gave Yandi the confidence to generate an artistic proposal of his own.
After a number of years around the country, and inspired by the desert and the sea of Cortez, Yandi decided to come to Baja California Sur and start working here in Cabo. Today you can see a handful of desert-themed paintings in his gallery. He likes abstract impressionism, he feels comfortable there, yet he can expand into other means of expression such as sculpture or any other format, to address a theme or idea.
“Art is a personal experience, each work contains a different message for each viewer”, says Yandi; and that is precisely what this art gallery offers: new opportunities for people to establish a personal relationship with art and at the same time be able to incorporate these works of art into their lives.
Yandi feels very grateful to the country and would like to give something back to it, and above all to the community where he lives. Since in Uruguay, many art schools encourage art amongst children from a very young age and also spin them towards getting involved with art by constantly exposing them to artists, the goal of the Yandi Monardo Art Gallery is to help spread the art and culture that enriches Baja California Sur, a place where different technologies and artists are exhibited. It is a very different gallery from those that exist in Cabo since this space is also created for artists who do not have the space to generate their own work, resulting in more possibilities for new and exciting artists.
There is also a big emphasis on the educational part as essential so that people are exposed to art and so, have the chance to develop a taste of their own and therefore an audience is created. People learn how to appreciate art, thus giving rise to an artistic and creative community.
Today the gallery has had exhibitions by artists from Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, and Spain, amongst others. They have been organizing an expression workshop and school for more than seventeen years – having students who have later graduated from prestigious art schools in San Francisco and New York.
Last September Yandi and his colleagues traveled to Southeast Asia and chose Vietnam as the destination to put together art workshops for college students, exhibiting more than fifty paintings and working hand-in-hand with the Hanoi Art School and the University of Fine Arts of Vietnam, in an event attended by the ambassadors of more than seven countries and Vietnamese authorities.
“Art generates brotherhood even though sometimes we cannot understand each other. At the event a lot of people did not speak English, but you could see there was a genuine interest in Mexican and Latin American art, and that is what counts and transcends barriers”, stated Yandi.
In collaboration with Luxury Avenue Mall at the Puerto Paraíso Plaza, the Yandi Monardo Gallery opens its doors to a curation of unique art pieces whose purpose is to enrich the spaces of homes and businesses, as well as the personal lives of art collectors.
Overall, the gallery offers a compelling collection that invites visitors to reflect and appreciate art in its many forms. Feel free to visit them, explore the local art and get involved with the art movement.