An Interview with Los Cabos Artist, Yandi Monardo

Yana and Yandi Monardo at Yandi Monardo Art Gallery in Los Cabos

Jesson & Co / MNI Alive

Release Date

Wednesday, January 31, 2024


Just as the incredible cuisine of Los Cabos lives in its farms, bistros, and trendy seaside restaurants, its storied and proud culture is preserved through the myriad art galleries that one can find in San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. One such eponymous gallery belongs to Yandi Monardo - a native of the Baja Peninsula whose every brushstroke reflects the character and spirit of his home and heritage. Monardo also provides a space for the love of art to flourish in the hearts of the next generation, inviting visitors to share in that passion with the earnest hospitality Los Cabos is known for.

Below, we had a chance to chat with Mr. Monardo to learn more about his story, his mission, and his compelling relationship with art:

Is there a specific moment, inspiration, or time in your life you can think back to when you knew being an artist was what you wanted to do?

I remember that when I was 11 years old, I participated every day in different Artistic Expression Workshops that took place in the Cultural Centre in my city. I attended many art events, which helped me understand that in these activities, there was a very great possibility of communication and expression. Seeing higher-grade students advance with different techniques generated in me a great curiosity to develop my ideas creatively in different media. At that age, the materials did not matter so much; the important thing was to create, to investigate the usage of colours and the reactions the art provoked. These factors generated in me the great emotion of creating with the materials that came my way, and I understood at a young age that research, perseverance, and practice were inseparable.

When did you open Yandi Monardo Art Gallery?

The Yandi Monardo Art Gallery opened its doors in 2014, managed by my wife and me, with the overarching idea of creating a space where not only my work was present, but there was also a cultural and educational platform in the town of Los Cabos. A platform for emerging and established artists at the national and international level. A place where art exhibitions could be held. Currently, we have more than 35 exhibitions open to the local public and visitors. The art academy that works harmoniously with the Gallery serves children and adolescents interested in Visual Expression.

What is your favourite kind of art to create?

The archaeological currents that I like are Renaissance, Impressionism, Constructivism, and Abstract Expressionism.

What inspires you in your artwork?

I am inspired by landscapes, by the history of a place, by the myths and legends that are transmitted. I am inspired by nature where I live, such as the desert, the sea, and the mountains. Los Cabos offers me a wide period of daylight, which is when I experiment the most and manage to reach many of my conclusions with my paintings.

If a person reading this was only coming to Los Cabos for a day, what would you recommend they do? 

The traveller who arrives in Los Cabos must get up early, enjoy the colours that the dawn gives us, walk along the shores of the Sea of Cortez or sail through the Pacific. Delicious breakfasts with corn tortillas and seafood are delicacies that cannot be missed. Visiting an art gallery of a local artist is essential if you want to truly know the culture and contemporary vision of the reality of the place. Los Cabos has a wide offering of experiences according to tastes and interests, but the most important thing is the hospitality of its people. Speaking a few words in Spanish like, "Hola" or "Gracias" (HELLO and THANK YOU), will be the open door to gratitude and respect.

What do you do on your day off?

On my day off, I try to dedicate time to the animals we have at the country house; we also enjoy a walk in the mountains. I engage in a variety of activities that almost always end with a sunset: a moment to appreciate those magnificent orange, pink, and yellow tones. I am grateful for being in this second world, with the people I love, and doing what makes me happy: painting.

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