Mariano Ugalde Curates Bolivian Art Collection at MET Hotel
La Paz welcomes new design-centric property and first rooftop bar
La Paz, Bolivia (January 25,2022): The Panorama Hospitality Group is pleased to announce the launch of the new contemporary art collection at MET Hotel in La Paz, Bolivia featuring works by local artists curated by Mariano Ugalde of Salar Art Gallery. Located in Calacoto, one of La Paz, Bolivia’s trendiest neighborhoods at an elevation of 11,975 ft. above sea level, La Paz is known as the city that touches the clouds and is the gateway to the otherworldly Salar de Uyuni salt flats and the Bolivian wine country.
“The ongoing collection for the MET Hotel Art Collection focuses on emerging and mid-career Bolivian contemporary artists and comprises works in various mediums. The artists and works were selected to have a dialogue with the design and architecture of the hotel. The collection gives the visit a taste of contemporary Bolivia and new mediums and languages employed, “ shares Mariano Ugalde of Salar Art Gallery. He adds,”Viewers will discover highlights of contemporary Bolivian art through works that range from a piece in neon by Jose Ballivian, an emerging artist that represented Bolivia at the 2017 Venice Biennale to a site-specific installation that was done by Andres Pereira Paz, a rising figure in the international art circuit that lives and works in Berlin. On view is also a large format work by Bolivia’s most promising figure in contemporary painting; Cristian Laime, an artist born on the shores of Lake Titicaca and who lives in the city of El Alto to name a few.”
MET Hotel is a design partnership between New York-based hospitality design firm Los Designers and Bolivian architect Ivan Valdez, who has worked with the late Zaha Hadid Architects in London. Overlooking the Andes Mountains, the hotel is centrally located to Mi Teleférico, an aerial cable car that offers epic views of the city. The property boasts 76 bedrooms comprising one penthouse suite and 75 rooms ranging from standard to deluxe and includes Dominga Restaurant, a spa with a 24-hour fitness center, indoor pool, sauna, hot tub, outdoor relaxation garden, and event space that can host up to 200 people. The premier suite, MET Penthouse, is a two room suite with panoramic views over La Paz and a robust art collection featuring local artists. With pale woods and muted colors throughout, the guest rooms at MET Hotel are bright and airy, providing a relaxed space to unwind after a day of exploring the city. Modern accent décor pieces such as the pillows celebrate the rich weavings from the Jalq'a culture in Southern Bolivia and the bedroom rug patterns take inspiration from local historic textiles from Tiwanaku, an ancient city and sacred site consisting of former pyramids and enclosures, gateways and monuments located in western Bolivia near the southeast shore of Lake Titicaca.
Utilizing modern design with an emphasis on Bolivian culture, the lobby draws inspiration from the local ruins of Pumapunku and Tiwanaku with its layered concrete walls shaped like perfectly cut geometric stones. While the design is largely modern, these historically significant patterns provide underlying textures that provide a sense of place. Conscious hospitality is part of MET’s DNA. Acting responsibly, they recycle and avoid single use paper and plastic items, generate their own energy through solar panels and use rainwater and groundwater to every extent possible.
José Ballivián, (Bolivia, 1975) Lives and works win La Paz Bolivia I AJAYU 2021
From 1999 to date he has held several group shows and individual exhibitions in national and international spaces. The topics that he tackles in his work are; popular culture, everyday life and the body as a space of resistance. Ballivián is an artist who travels through different mediums such as performance, video art, poetry, objects, drawing, painting and installation - to challenge and transgress the socially established norms in a country like Bolivia. In 2017, he represented Bolivia at the Venice Biennale.
Erika Ewel, (Bolivia, 1970) Lives and works in La Paz Bolivia I PAISAJE MINIMAL 2021
Spanning a 25 year career, Ewel has exhibited extensively in the Americas and Europe. She did her BFA the UFMG, Brasil; and and MFA at the UNAM Mexico. She has represented Bolivia in the MERCOSUR Biennale, Brazil, the Cuenca Biennale, in Ecuador; and in the Estandartes Biennale, Mexico. “Womanhood is the constant in my artistic work, be it through a figurative or symbolic representation. Currently I am interested in showing the intimate, personal and private side of quotidianity. The mediums I use are oil painting, drawings, collage and photography.”
Andrés Pereira Paz (Bolivia, 1986) Lives and works in Berlin I Untitled 2021
Pereira Paz has extensively exhibited across Latin America, USA and Europe. Recently his works have been featured at 11th Berlin Biennale; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; The Ryder Projects and Gasworks, London; Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Riga; Kinderhook & Caracas, Berlin; National Museum of Art, La Paz; Second Grand Tropical Biennale, San Juan de Puerto Rico, a.o. In 2021 he had a solo-show at Statements in Art Basel with Isla Flotante Gallery from Buenos Aires. This Fall and is shortlisted for the 6th edition of the Future Generation Art Prize.
Cristian Laime Yujra (Bolivia, 1988) Lives and works in El Alto I TSIMANE 2021
Laime is Bolivia’s leading figure in contemporary painting and the recipient of the 2019 Salon Pedro Domingo Murillo, the most important visual arts award in the country. His work is deeply rooted in Bolivian customs having been born at the shores of Lake Titicaca and raised in the city of El Alto. “El Alto for me represents a contrast, a constant struggle between modernity and keeping alive the cultural identities that compose it; it is a hurried urban spot, the result of centuries of colonization and cultural syncretism; It is a city that has not yet defined a common horizon, which is still in the process of construction; it is like a great camp in passing, I feel that people are waiting for something to change and transform their lives "
Keiko Gonzalez (USA, 1964) Lives and works in La Paz I Untitled 2021
Gonzalez studied art in Texas and received an advanced degree and the Ralph Bunche Fellowship from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of Art and traveled and studied in Europe. His intuitive practice has been honed for over 25 years on three continents. Although Keiko’s primary medium is paint he is also at ease sculpting, drawing and producing multi-media installations. He frequently collaborates with other artists and has taught out of his studio for over 20 years. He has represented Bolivia in biennials in La Paz, Venice, Sao Paulo and Cairo, taking several First Place and Grand Prize awards and he shows in Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands, Spain and extensively in North America including Panama City, Mexico City, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, New York and Memphis. Keiko’s work is exhibited regularly at Art Fairs and is in several major museum collections in North and South America.
River Claure (Bolivia, 1997) Lives and works in Madrid I WARAWAR WAWA 2020
Claure’s work revolves around cultural juxtapositions and investigating identities marked by territory. He studied Contemporary Photography at the International Centre of Photography and Cinematography EFTI (ESP). Warawar Wawa in Aymara language means Son of the Stars and is a re-contextualization of Saint Exupéry’s book Le Petit Prince to the new contemporary Andean culture. Contrary to homogeneous ideas regarding collective identities, Warawar Wawa invites you to look at the heterogeneous through the fantastic universe. “While reading I wondered why I imagined the protagonist white and blond. I realized that it was a prejudice, so I imagined what a dark prince like me would be like, with greatgrandparents from an Andean community that migrated from Calacota to the city. That is where the idea of the Andean little prince came out, an idea that I developed two years later when I returned to Bolivia and obtained state funds to materialize it."
Maximiliano Siñani (Bolivia, 1989) Lives and works between NY and Frankfurt I APACHETAS 2021
Siñani studied Architecture at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz and Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He is the co-founder of 67 on the Lower East Side, New York. Solo exhibitions include El Museo del Barrio in New York, Museo Nacional de Arte in La Paz, Y Gallery, Open Source Gallery, Michael Mut Gallery. He has been part of all the Bolivian Biennials, and frequently invited to collectives. "Sylvia Lipson Allen Memorial" award through the School of Visual Arts, 1 prize at XIX Bienal de Santa Cruz in 2014, and an Honorable Mention in the LXVII Salón Pedro Domingo Murillo in 2019. Residences at Kiosko of Santa Cruz, ISCP (International Studies & Curatorial Programs) in Brooklyn, CRIPTA747 in Turin, and La Casa col Forno in Rorá. His work has been published by Disonare Magazine, Bukow Press, Arte al Limite and A - Ediciones Arte contemporáneo.
About MET Hotel:
MET Hotel, a new 76 room boutique hotel in the Calacoto neighborhood of La Paz, Bolivia will open its doors in February 2022. Overlooking the Andes Mountains, MET is a partnership between New York-based hospitality design firm Los Designers and Bolivian architect Ivan Valdez, who has worked with the late Zaha Hadid. La Paz is a gastronomic city with a vibrant art scene and is the gateway to the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. The hotel is centrally located to Mi Teleférico, an aerial cable car that offers epic views of the city and boasts an art collection curated by Mariano Ugalde of Salar Art Gallery. MET is developed and operated by Panorama Hospitality Group, the founders of Bolivia's most awarded and first design hotel, Atix. Fernando Rodriguez and Carlos Rodriguez are the Co-Founders of Panorama Hospitality Group, a company that seeks to develop, operate, and curate unique properties in Bolivia and South America, with a focus on vibrant concepts that promote the discovery of exciting cities and places.