At Home With Art

Curator and gallerist Elisabeth Johs has created a true home for art at her Mexico City gallery. Here, she takes some time out to share her ethos.

How would you describe yourself and your creative journey?

As someone who is not afraid of going down the less travelled road. My journey has been challenging, exciting, sometimes unexpected and always rooted in facing the unknown.

Which part of the world is home to you?

I have always felt like home is where my heart is. I moved around as a child with my family and so therefore I became accustomed to coming and going. Adapting to a new place and getting up and leaving and having to detach. I have a feeling of home in many places: in Denmark, where my childhood was spent, wherever my parents are – and currently home for me is Mexico.

“To me, spaces are containers of time. Rooms vibrate with the energy and history of the past and I always feel inspired visiting untraditional art spaces.”

What inspires you most?

I have been greatly inspired by museums and collections I have visited. The modern and contemporary art museum Louisiana in Denmark. The Pinault Collection in Paris. Peggy Guggenheim’s home and museum in Venice. The Beyeler Foundation near Basel. To me, spaces are containers of time. Rooms vibrate with the energy and history of the past and I always feel inspired visiting untraditional art spaces.

How do you curate the artists you work with?

I go with my intuition. I like the work to speak for itself. Many artists whom I work with I know personally or have met in peculiar situations. I trust the work that I exhibit in my gallery.

Could you let us in on your creative process? 

I often have an idea of something I want to talk about or something I have been inspired by. In the beginning all of our exhibitions were one word titles. Our first exhibition Vivarium was about creating a museum or gallery that can keep art alive. Looking at art as a living ‘thing’ and asking it, what do you need to survive?

How does the wild play a role in your life and work?

Nature played a big role in Vivarium through our aim to look at art as a part of nature and not something separate from us and vice versa. JO-HS Mexico City functions as an art gallery, an artist residency and my home. It’s surrounded by green gardens and inside the main gallery space we have a large breathing plant. Nature has played a big part in JO-HS feeling and being alive.

How do your surroundings inspire you? 

Mexico inspires me endlessly. The many layers of history. The colourful markets, singing streets, kind hearts and many flavours and zest in the culture and country.

Do you have any daily rituals?

My mornings are sacred and I like to spend them exercising or journalling.

Tell us about JO-HS’s beautiful interiors

Our gallery is in a house. Elements of home are mixed with the art space such as the living room and kitchen. I love that our visitors really get to see what it is like living with art.

What is your favourite thing about summer?

I love the smell. I usually get to spend more time in nature in the summer and I am looking forward to time close to the ocean and sea.

What would be your perfect summer gathering?

A bonfire on the beach with friends.

Finally, any upcoming projects, plans or trips you’d like to share with us?

Excited to be working on opening our new space in New York!

Step inside the vibrant world of Elisabeth’s projects


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