There is a thoroughly Ibicencan feel to Galeria Tambien, sitting in the heart of Santa Gertrudis. In this quaint village where tradition seamlessly melds with the cosmopolitan, founders – husband and wife duo Natalie Rich and Jorge Fernández – seek to extend this way of life to their gallery and furniture store. We speak to co-founder, Jorge, about what drew the pair to historic design and why they decided to set up shop in Ibiza.
What do you exhibit in your gallery space?
Our gallery exhibits designer furniture from the 30s to the 80s. We take advantage of our setting to exhibit artists with whom we work. For the moment, the exhibitions we present are linked to France, where we come from.
What draws you to mid-century design?
It’s a period of total reset. After the war, everything had to be rebuilt in Europe. Architects and designers had to rehouse the homeless and victims of war and they worked hard to create furniture and homes that were accessible to all. This period of total creation – associated with new technologies and a huge demand – has allowed the most creative to make history.
What made you move to Ibiza in the first place and how does the island impact your work?
We wanted to change our life. For a better life, Ibiza seemed to us the most suitable choice. We work differently here, at a different pace with a stress level divided by two. The gallery is a new venture for us, while continuing those we had before. Natalie is also an artist and I am a consultant in music.
What’s it like being part of a network of creatives on the island?
It’s very exciting. The island is full of creative talents in all areas, we only arrived a short time ago, but we can already observe how the island welcomes more and more creative people. Being a part of this family is highly enriching for us.
You’re currently exhibiting Caroline Rennequin’s paintings. What inspired you to collaborate with her?
Her work is an explosion of joy and colour, openly inspired by the 70s and the hippie movement. And the flowers are perfect for Ibiza. We are very proud to have been the first to show her work.
How does Ibiza differ for you in the autumn and winter compared to the summer months?
Winter in Ibiza is fantastic. The madness of summer gives way to a much richer life the rest of the year. It’s very different, our activities are not so intense. During the summer, we have a lot of friends and family visiting on vacation and everyone is organising dinners and parties. You try to go to all of them because you don’t want to disappoint friends but you’re still working every day, and so when you try to do both things it becomes more and more tiring. Winter is the time to take care of yourself, your house, your family. We have more of a social life with the people living here in Ibiza and everybody has the time to come into the gallery and stay for a coffee.
What does a typical working day in Ibiza look like for you?
My day is structured around the gallery. I go for a walk with our dog and then I come to the gallery at about 10:30am to open it until about 2pm. On the way I pick up breakfast at nº74 L’atelier Ibiza, where they have fantastic croissants and pain au chocolat. In the winter, we are at the gallery every morning to attend to the people coming in. The gallery is also my office where I buy and sell pieces – we ship pieces out all over the world every week. I also use the office for my other job as a consultant in the music industry. I work for artists and organise new releases.
Where are your favourite places to eat, drink and hang out on the island?
We love Casa Lhasa because it’s a natural wine bar and restaurant, with very good small dishes and wine from all around the world. The service and relationships between the people working there are great and it’s beautiful. Plus, it’s not far from our house which is fantastic. El Bigotes is a classic in Ibiza. You go there just to eat one dish: Bullit de Peix (Ibizan fish stew with potatoes), a really traditional dish in Ibiza. The place just borders the water which is about 20cm away and you feel away from it all. Il Bucco in Santa Gertrudis is an Italian serving old-school dishes. It was opened by the people who run Il Bucco in New York, one of the most famous Italians in the city. Sushiya is one of the best places to eat sushi – every day the Japanese chef has specials with the fish of the day. When we arrived, we were missing Japanese food and we found our place! Can Guimo is the perfect place to have a coffee and a quick lunch. It’s the sort of restaurant you would expect to find in Bolivia, Argentina or Mexico but it’s in Ibiza, with Ibicencan flavours. In the evening, you can watch the sun set at El Silencio, by the people from Silencio in Paris. They have really good DJs there so it’s a great place to have a dance.
Do you have any favourite artists or pieces?
That’s a difficult question. We really enjoyed the Georgia O’Keefe exhibition in Paris, her works are remarkable, and her life is exemplary. She’s one of the great pioneers of the Feminist movement.
How do you select who you collaborate with?
Experience, instinct and curiosity.
Do you have any key design pieces that you exhibit?
We always look for special pieces as it’s important for us that they have a story. At the moment, we have a beautiful table and six chairs designed for the IBM offices in the south of France in 1983. We have furniture from Chandigarh in India designed by Pierre Jeanneret, a cousin of Le Corbusier. In fact, in 1948, he designed furniture for government buildings and the mayor’s office in Chandigarh. We also have some pieces from Charlotte Perriand, a fabulous 20th century French designer and architect who was one of the most important feminists of her time.
Can you tell us what’s on the horizon for Galeria Tambien over the coming months?
We have the exhibition of Caroline Rennequin‘s works until April, with new paintings to replace those that have been sold. Then, we will present collective exhibitions of three of the artists with whom we work; Caroline Rennequin, Natalie Rich-Fernandez and Georges Pelletier. And, we have another project that I can’t talk about yet…