Interview with Eugenio López Alonso

La Colección Júmex – Ecatepec, Mexico

What was the first piece of artwork you purchased, and when was this?
The first piece I bought was a painting by Roberto Cortázar in the early 1990s. By then, I was very interested in what was happening in the Mexican art scene, and consequently, my travels were also focused on discovering what was going on in the art world.

Why do you collect?
Art allows me to understand how the world can be seen, and how it can be re-imagined by artists. Collecting allows me to delve into the complexity of this process, and most of all, to share with other people artworks by different artists. In the beginning I started purchasing pieces that I loved, but now (besides loving the pieces that I purchase) I also bare in mind the fact that this is a significant collection that is open to the public, so I'm trying to create a coherent collection.

Does your collection follow a concept or a specific theme?
I'm interested in today's artistic production, not only in Mexico but internationally. We have been focusing on reviewing art and artists from the nineties to date, including many of the artists that were involved with minimalism and conceptualism at the very beginning. I like to research artists in depth, and I try to collect several pieces by them, not just one or two.

Who are the artists you are currently following?
My interests vary and I constantly travel and attend art fairs, galleries, museums, biennials and other events. I try to keep my eyes and ears open. Off the top of my head, some of the artists that I'm currently following include Fischli/Weiss, Damián Ortega, Gabriel Kuri, Urs Fischer, Francis Alÿs, Louise Lawler, Rosemarie Trockel, and Jeff Koons among others.

Do you have a personal relationship with the artist you collect?
I've never met many of the artists I collect. But some, I know very well. Specially the ones that I began collecting when they were just starting out.

Why did you decide to make your collection publicly accessible?
Because art is one of those things that can define us as human beings and it must be shared. I opened my first space/gallery in the outskirts of Mexico City in one of our factories. I did this because virtually no one was showing contemporary art in Mexico. I was determined to collect international as well as Mexican contemporary art. This gave me a chance to invite talented curators from all over the world. And by doing so, people here in Mexico were able to see what was going on in the international contemporary art world.

Which publicly accessible private collection would you recommend visiting?
In Europe, the Goetz Collection in Munich is an absolute must. In the U.S., it would be completely unfair to mention just one: the de la Cruz Collection and the Rubell Collection in Miami, and, of course, the new space for the Eli and Edythe Broad Collection in Los Angeles that will open soon.

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