Who is Lio Malca?

Lio Malca is a renowned art collector, gallerist and hotelier with projects in New York (USA), Ibiza (Spain) and Tulum (Mexico).

Lio Malca

Lio’s collection is centered around the acquisition of works that defy the established historic narratives of high art. He always intends to blur the boundaries between the academic and institutional, and the urban and popular. He was an early visionary of Basquiat’s work when Basquiat was only recognized by smaller circles in the art world.

In the early 1990s, Malca showed interest in young artists who were involved in the New York cultural scene. He was especially passionate about artists who pushed the limits of high and low art.

Throughout the 1990s, Malca continued to invest in emerging art markets. Since then, Malca has expanded his interests as a collector and surrealist thinker, following his intuition and using his personal taste as a guide.

Malca was also an early collector of artists such as Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf, both iconic figures of the street art and contemporary art movements. He was a consistent supporter of their emerging art markets. Later, he began to collect work from Lowbrow artists such as Mark Ryden and Marion Peck.

Kenny Scharf Exhibition


Malca continues to collect from artists that have continued the legacy of Pop Art, such as KAWS.

Lio Malca’s collection has evolved. He has acquired works from Latin American, African, and European artists, such as Jacob El Hanani from Morocco and Zilvinas Kempinas from Lithuania. Since 2002, Malca has also been collecting contemporary art from Asian artists. He has acquired works by artists such as Hiroshi Sugimoto, Keiichi Tanaami, Nobuyoshi Araki, and Yue Minjun.

As a collector, Malca’s artistic inclinations have evolved in parallel with the contemporary avant-garde. Recently, he has developed an interest in artists who integrate new technology into their work, including Brody Condon, Joanie Lemercier, Marco Brambilla, and Quayola. While he values technological advancements in the art world, Malca also maintains an appreciation for 20th-century artists who are already highly regarded, such as the Italian-Mexican surrealist Pedro Friedeberg. Malca’s collection includes more than 100 works by Friedeberg.



Lio Malca isn’t only an art collector. He is committed to creating spaces and projects where he can show his collection to the public. He has a passion for promoting curatorial projects, supporting artists directly, and working closely with established art dealers, galleries, and museums around the world.

Malca deeply believes in the idea that art brings magic and meaning to life. His personal projects have the unique ability to generate accessible spaces where he is able to show the works in his collection to the public. He has a gallery in New York, a boutique hotel in Tulum, and a contemporary art foundation in Ibiza.

Malca’s collection is managed at The Lio Malca Gallery in New York. There, he has organized more than a dozen exhibitions, ranging from In your Face, where Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s works were exhibited, to Joga Bonito in 2019 with works by Vik Muniz. Malca personally helped sponsor Muniz’s career from the beginning, as he has done with other artists.

In 2014, Lio opened Casa Malca in Tulum, Mexico. Casa Malca is a world-renowned boutique luxury hotel where design and art envelop guests in a magical experience.


Part of Lio Malca’s collection is exhibited at Casa Malca, with the works distributed organically throughout the property, showcased in various indoor and outdoor spaces.

Casa Malca introduces a unique concept where guests can immerse themselves in nature and the exquisite pleasures of the hotel while also experiencing and living with artworks worthy of a museum. In 2020, Lio initiated The Art Lodge, a residency program inviting artists to spend time in the heart of the Tulum jungle.

In 2015, Lio established a non-profit foundation in Ibiza, Spain, known as Fundación La Nave Salinas. The foundation’s purpose is to exhibit contemporary art and contribute to the community. La Nave Salinas is housed in a former salt warehouse located in the salt pans of Ibiza, offering an expansive exhibition space spanning over 300 square meters with 8-meter high ceilings. La Nave Salinas has hosted impressive art installations by world-renowned artists such as Kaws, Marco Brambilla, Keith Haring, Bill Viola, and Kenny Scharf.



Every year, The Foundation undertakes an ambitious curatorial project that includes an educational program offering guided tours of the exhibition space and conducting teaching workshops for local schools. These activities aim to bring contemporary art closer to people of all ages and are offered free of charge, a principle that distinguishes The Foundation from many other cultural projects on the island.

In 2020, Lio and Isaac Malca, his nephew, jointly established The Art Lodge, an invitation-only residency program that invites artists to spend time in the heart of the Tulum Jungle. The Art Lodge is founded on the premise that providing artists with the opportunity to work in a natural environment inspires them to create beautiful and compelling artworks. Mr. Malca embarked on this project because he firmly believes that collaborating with emerging artists is crucial to staying current in the art world.

In 2023, ’60 White’ emerged as Mr. Malca brought the concept of a multidisciplinary art space to life in the well-known Tribeca area of New York.

The main essence of this venture lies in the values of flexibility and ever-evolving spaces. Mr. Malca envisions exhibitions by both emerging and established artists, historical shows featuring pieces from Malca’s own collection, unique artist projects, and immersive performances – all accessible to the public.

Mr. Malca’s projects continue to evolve, change, and grow, all while maintaining the Malca essence. He creatively continues to work on new projects and to expand current projects. As his collection continues to grow, Mr. Malca always stays true to the impulses of his intuition.