Anónimo Colectivo is shining a much-needed light on Mexico’s creatives

Alejandra Martinez, founder of the contemporary art platform and recently appointed creative director of Maestro Dobel’s Artpothecary project, looks to celebrate Mexico’s history of creativity and innovation.

9 June 2021

A New Angle is an editorial series that aims to give a platform to creative industry changemakers who make it their mission to disrupt the status quo. Each week we’ll chat to a person or team doing important work in the sector, making it a fairer place, championing vital causes, supporting underrepresented groups and tackling pertinent issues facing creatives everywhere.

This week we speak with Alejandra Martinez, founder of Anónimo Colectivo, a Mexican contemporary art platform composed of “multi-destination experiences, anonymous auctions, creative collaborations, and art consulting” that challenges the idea of art collecting as a financial investment. Through this outlet, Alejandra also champions Mexican art, culture, and craftsmanship, and it is this cause that has inspired her latest venture: Maestro Dobel Artpothecary. Created in partnership with tequila brand Maestro Dobel, Artpothecary is a new platform that celebrates Mexican creatives and innovators. Its inaugural event, titled The Fruit Chemist, took place at this year’s Frieze New York art fair and featured original works by artists such Orly Anan and Eduardo Sarabia. Here, we chat to Alejandra about opening a “gateway for new arts patrons” and why collaborative endeavours such as Artpothecary are “not just good for business, but also for our souls”.

It’s Nice That: What about the creative industry are you hoping to change and why does it need changing?

Alejandra Martinez: I just created an art platform that was a lot friendlier to newcomers. A space where people who were having their first encounters with the art world could feel comfortable about not knowing all of its intricacies. For instance, in the Anónimo Auctions, the less you know about art, the purer your experience will be. You can just blindly trust your own connection to each piece.

INT: What have you built, and how does it tackle these industry issues?

AM: Because the experience of the Anónimo Auctions was so welcoming, we witnessed a lot of first-time buyers who in the years since have developed into solid young collectors. So I guess what we have built is a gateway for new arts patrons.

INT: What other organisations are out there like yours, and what sets yours apart?

AM: Well there are many art platforms everywhere, and so many of them are amazing at what they do. But I believe what might set us apart is the fact that we're not afraid to break rules, and therefore can push the limits to create fresh new experiences in collaboration with our clients and partners. We are co-creating with them as we go and we don't have a rigid path ahead of us. We're just following our own belief system, our own intuition. 

INT: What are the major challenges you’re facing?

AM: With Covid our most evident challenge was the lack of event gatherings, which at the time was 80 per cent of our business. But, as with everything in life, when you trust it and stop resisting it, you find new doors. And I think because the fairs were closed for so long, our advising branch of the business grew exponentially, and not just with the primary market – we were also able to tap into a secondary market, which made the backbone of the business very solid. 

INT: How does the creative industry support your mission?

AM: I was lucky enough to grow up in the Mexican contemporary art and design industry. For us it's so natural to have such a close relationship with high-quality, generational craftsmanship everywhere. It's embedded in our culture. I grew up in an energetic context filled with real colours, real flavours, real crafts, and real content rooted in centuries of tradition. I believe the world has been shifting more and more towards acknowledgement and appreciation of that.

Working with Maestro Dobel as creative director and on the Artpothecary platform has been such a rewarding project and supports my work in Mexican contemporary art and design, as Artpothecary celebrates Mexican creatives and innovators like Eduardo Sarabia and Orly Anan who we worked with [for the Frieze New York event]. Aligned efforts such as Artpothecary are not just good for our business, but also for our souls. Mexico has so much depth to it, and seeing so many people willing to dive deep into our culture is a really enriching and humbling thing to witness. 

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About the Author

Daniel Milroy Maher

Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.

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