CULTURE

Casa Bosques, CDMX’s Cult-Favorite Art Bookstore, Comes to New York

For the next two weeks, Casa Bosque’s trove of global art and architecture books, rare queer erotica, psychosexual treatises, and the occasional wildcard is shoppable in New York City for the first time at a pop-up in The Standard, East Village.

Credit (all images): Nodeth Vang

 In 2012, Jorge de la Garza and Rafael Prieto opened Casa Bosques to bring indie art and culture titles from around the world to Mexico City. Compared to today, the city’s population of expats, tourists, and homegrown creative talents was nascent—so much so that the bookstore was the first of its kind there. As its population has globalized and evolved, Mexico City has emerged as the country’s contemporary art and design capital, as well as its most liberated city vis-à-vis queer expression. “There’s a different attitude,” de la Garza says. “People come from all over the country to Mexico City, which is similar to what happened in New York. It’s very natural to see people holding hands, kissing, showing gay pride.”

Like New York, Mexico City’s young people have pushed the envelope of progress, especially as it relates to queer identity and outness, says de la Garza. “From the youth, there’s this [attitude] of being ‘out’ and even trying to make people uncomfortable, because we’re in this day and age and they should be free to do that. It wasn’t my generation, but it’s something that you see now, and it’s very normalized.” De la Garza, who makes time to man the Casa Bosques flagship and popup and curate the book selection, has responded by working in a selection of titles that spotlight the Mexican queer and creative talents who originate from or call the city home. A handful of examples could be found on a recent walkthrough: a calendar and photography book, Animas, from Gustavo Garcia-Villa; a Luis Barragán monograph designed by Estudio Herrera; and No Mames, a photographic chronicle of young talents shaping contemporary Mexican culture as captured by Mayan Toledano

On Tuesday night, a crowd that included designers Nicola Formichetti and Jonathan Saunders, stylist Becky Akinyode, and photographer Ramon Christian joined de la Garza to celebrate the pop-up, which was timed to Pride month and brings rare and out-of-print editions—such as a signed edition of Jimmy de Sana’s S&M zine, Submission—into the mix of art books and monographs.

Whether in New York, where “people are willing to collaborate and very enthusiastic,” or in Mexico City, the community that has sprung up around Casa Bosques has its own kind of gravitational pull—one that de la Garza hopes has played “a small part” in shifting Mexico City’s cultural norms for the better. “Casa Bosques was mentioned as a safe space, a place where you could work and there would be zero issues,” he says. “It’s been more than 10 years; it’s been very touching. Even if it’s a small impact, I’d be very happy if it was something.”

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