On my last day in Mexico I visited the new Sou Maya museum built by Carlos Slim to house his collection of Rodin's, Dali's, Miro's and other art. It is a free exhibit, which he can well afford since being one of the richest men in the world. He owns the telephone monopoly in Mexico.
The architecture is impressive as you drive up to it but the volume of the building is very heavy when you arrive as you walk up to the entrance. I thought it would lift ones spirit but instead gave me a slightly dizzy and overwhelming heavy feeling. I was hoping that it would be like Frank Gehry's Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. The site of the Sou Maya museum is in the midst of other tall and closely built structures so you feel confined except from the street. In the case of the Guggenheim in Bilbao, which is set before a small green hill in a wide open space with a large avenue leading to it and is therefore able to be seen as a monumental and impressive structure that does not overpower its viewer, has movement and music. So, I was a little disappointed with the Sou Maya.
Since I have done remodeling and building, I noticed details in the interior that could have been done better. The ramp that goes from floor to floor, much like the Guggenheim in New York without the openness, is not finished smoothly. The banisters are not smooth from section to section and one can see the loss of rounding of the ramp...much like drawing a circle without a compass.
The art work is there but not displayed very well. It seemed to be crammed in with as many as possible and a flow does not exist. The top floor filled with sculpture..Rodin's, Dali's and so forth is all mixed without rhyme or reason that I could see. One's eye jumped from modern to classic to contemporary sculpture and seemingly like everything and all in one pot. Maybe the Sou Maya is just a storage place for Slim's collections of stuff...sculpture, paintings, coin collections, antique furniture and music pieces... and meant to be just that.
|side of museum|