Interviews | Argentina | 21.02.24

Coffee With Luna Paiva in Buenos Aires

Some of you might have spotted Luna Paiva & her installation ‘A Matter of Time’ on Miami Beach during this season’s Faena Arts & Miami Art Basel show.

Having started out as a photographer for Vogue Italy & L’Officiel Art, she spent several years studying in Paris before returning to Argentina.

We caught up with Luna Paiva in Buenos Aires to get the inside track on art, travel & her beloved home city.

You spent time living in Paris, what drew you to moving back to Buenos Aires?

I moved back to Buenos Aires when I was 23 years old. I was working in Paris in theatre & film & one day I thought if I ever reached my dreams in Paris, it might take me ten years & I likely wouldn’t be happy. After that, I decided to move back to Buenos Aires. I was eager for nature & exploration. I travelled around the country & found great inspiration for my work.


How has the Argentine art scene developed in the last 10 years?

Living as an artist in Buenos Aires is all about distance. It’s far from the art world – far enough to be absolutely focused on your work, however, it’s also too far to have lots of opportunities to show your work. There’s always a tradeoff. If you can travel, it’s possible to strike a balance. Nature & culture are both wild & very present in Argentina.


Which Buenos Aires galleries would you recommend to a visiting friend?

Revolver Galería, Pasto, Nora Fisch, Ruth Benzacar.

Your showstopping ‘A Matter of Time’ installation was a huge hit at the Faena Arts / Miami Art Basel show, could you tell us a bit about the creative process & where the idea came from?

At the Faena, my biggest challenge was to install my work into the natural world: the sand, the sky & the sea. To be visible and invisible. I’ve created a space within borders (actual walls) that currently feel impenetrable. A room without perceivable boundaries might present certain complications, but it also invites ideas about freedom, & permeability. The installation became an interactive space that was welcoming & available, even though metal was the dominant element. The combination of the heavy curtains, the fireplace and the chairs have a distinctly American feel to me, which is inseparable from notions regarding permanence & what endures (or what does not). But the cactus introduces a more radical element, both disorderly & dynamic.

When not in your studio where do you like to spend time? (Any favourite cafes, bars, restaurants?)

I like to have breakfast at Narda Comedor, lunch at Los Platitos & dinner at Gran Dabbang or Proper. For coffee, I go to Birkin or Lab.


Do you have any favourite Buenos Aires architectural gems?

I would say Biblioteca Nacional, Teatro Colón, Teatro Nacional San Martín.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in nature & quietness. When I’m almost falling asleep or waking up. Those seconds of full relaxation. Or driving in Uruguay. Many of my pieces come from Ruta 9.


What do you never travel without?

The three P’s: plata, pasaporte, pasaje, (money passport & ticket). Otherwise, I try not to forget my sunglasses, comb & moisturizer cream, which I always do.


What’s your ultimate travel playlist?

My latest playlist for travelling in Paraguay & in Big Sur is full of all of the Argentine songwriters I love, namely, Charly Garcia, Luis Alberto Spinetta & Gustavo Cerati.




Anywhere on the 2019 travel list?

India, Portugal, Paris, Paraguay, Spain.


Any favourite Buenos Aires based designers?

House of Matching Colours, Dubié, PanoramaStore, AuxCharpentiers & Arandu for traditional gaucho goods.


Where do you go to escape the city?

I go to the countryside in Rocha, Uruguay.



Where would be your ultimate dream travel destination?

Machu Picchu, Patagonia & Japan.

What’s your favourite book to read when travelling?

I usually take many books when I travel, a whole pile, hard to read them, heavy to carry them but good company. They also look great on my nightstand.


What’s your favourite App?

My favourite Apps are Google Maps & Dropbox.

Luna Paiva Website
As Seen In…