Lio Malca is an art collector and hotelier with projects in New York (USA), Ibiza (Spain), and Tulum (Mexico).
Malca has been an avid collector of art since the 1990s. His collection is centered around the acquisition of works that defy established historical narratives and blur the boundaries between academic, urban, and popular notions of art.
Malca was an early and consistent collector of iconic artists associated with the street and contemporary art movements, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, George Condo, and Kenny Scharf. Today, he holds an important vertical collection of Haring’s work. Also an early collector of artists of the Lowbrow movement, he owns a number of artworks by Mark Ryden and Marion Peck.
In addition, Malca collects works by contemporary artists from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. He was an early supporter of Vik Muniz and Oscar Muñoz, and he owns important works by Jacob El Hanani, Zilvinas Kempinas, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Yue Minjun, and Misaki Kawai, among others.
Malca’s artistic inclinations as a collector grow in accordance with the contemporary avant-garde. Recently, he has become interested in artists who incorporate emerging technologies into their work, collecting works by artists such as Brody Condon, Joanie Lemercier, Marco Brambilla, and Quayola.
While valuing technological developments in the art world, Malca maintains an appreciation for artists of the 20th century, such as the Italian Mexican surrealist Pedro Friedeberg—a prominent figure in Malca’s collection.
Most recently, Malca has been collecting works by emerging artists like Katherine Bernhardt, Genesis Belanger, Eva Beresin, Pedro Pedro, Nat Meade, JJ Manford, and Jonni Cheatwood, among many others.
Over the last 30 years, he has organized a wide range of exhibitions, including pop-up shows, exhibitions in a long-term exhibition space in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, and full-scale museum shows at La Nave, his art foundation in Ibiza. La Nave Salinas has presented solo exhibitions by artists Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Marco Brambilla, Bill Viola, KAWS, Rafa Macarrón, and Eva Beresin.
Malca’s activities extend to acquiring monumental artworks for his hotel Casa Malca in Tulum and The Art Lodge, a fine art residency based out of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
Besides personal taste and enjoyment, Malca’s rationale behind collecting some of these artists in depth is to put together complete museum exhibitions for the benefit of the public. Malca believes it’s the responsibility of any collector to make their works available to larger audiences through various channels, from exhibitions to long-term institutional programs.