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Celebrating equestrian art

By Sigurd Neubauer


Katerina Morgan is the owner and founder of the Horse Polo Art Gallery, which is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She launched it three years ago. 

“I’ve always enjoyed art, and on my travels, I visited the top museums around the world and continue to learn a lot about equestrian art,” Morgan says.  

But values are also important to Morgan, which are anchored in the pursuit of excellence; respect; ethics; honesty; a sense of beauty; human dignity; and friendship.

“The gallery’s goal is to establish a community that will serve as a cutting-edge workspace for gifted creators from all over the world and help art collectors and enthusiasts with building their own collections,” Morgan explains.

Through her art, Morgan has taken on an increasingly prominent position within the competitive world of polo.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Morgan has traveled the world to draw inspiration for her Buenos Aires-based gallery. Photo credit: Irina Kazaridi 

My values are: pursuit of excellence; respect; ethics; honesty; a sense of beauty; human dignity; and friendship

Morgan: I only work with contemporary artists in the primary market. It took me around eight months to develop a website, and it was even more difficult to establish the proper balance between the gallery and the tone and message that the website seeks to promote. 

Working with a limited subset of equestrian art allows me to go further into its history.

I discovered many interesting facts. For example, during the first Olympic Games, art was an essential part of the competition. And some athletes even won medals in both disciplines—sports and art – for which they were awarded with an equestrian sculpture! 

Please describe the criteria for the various artists that you work with.

Morgan: I’m always on the lookout for emerging talent with a distinct and recognizable personal style. Our selection criteria are professional artists who participate in exhibitions with a passion for equestrian themes. For the gallery, our main criteria are creativity whether it is expressed through photography, drawings, paintings, steel, ceramics, glass, mosaics, or bronze. 

You have since developed a silk scarf business. How did it evolve?

Morgan's newly developed silk scarfs. From left to right: Pablo Pieres, Katerina Morgan, and Pablo Mac Donough. Photo credit: Katerina Morgan

Morgan: I have a large photo library of the top polo horses and players. One day, I was thinking about what I should do with the archive. It so happens that I like silk scarves. It seemed like a brilliant idea to combine my interests in polo photography and fashion design; this is how I came up with the scarf as I wanted to create something unique.

Next, I made sketches from my photographs and experimented with different combinations. 

After getting some surprising results, I hired a professional designer to assist me with developing the final patterns. To manufacture the scarves, I traveled to Milan, Italy.

What brought you to Argentina?

Morgan: My family emigrated to Argentina from Russia many years ago, and I later changed my life altogether. I adore Buenos Aires. Argentina has given me a new life and numerous opportunities; and I am grateful to its people who immediately welcomed and embraced me. Over the past 13 years, I’ve visited numerous countries, including the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Thailand.

‘Precision’ by Alexey Klimenko

Where did your passion for polo come from?

Morgan: When I attended a polo match for the first time, I noticed that it’s not just a luxury social event, but it is also an exciting and beautiful sport. To witness the connection between horse and man is incredible; polo is something so different from other sports. Each match is unique; we can observe the athletic polo ponies running fast, and the players’ movements are sometimes so incredible! Polo is an amazing sport and so addictive!

You’ve since taken on an active role within the international polo community.

Over the past 13 years, I have attended international polo events in the U.S., the UK, France, Spain, Thailand, Brazil, and Argentina. The most important polo competition in the world is the Palermo Open Polo, also known as the Argentine Polo Open, which will be held in Buenos Aires this coming November. The event attracts over 20, 000 people, many coming from all around the world just to witness the best polo teams competing. 

Some of my polo photography shots were chosen for the unique advertising campaign by the HSBC bank, which is the major sponsor of the Argentine Polo Open. For our gallery, its contribution to the world polo community above all else is a singular recognition and honor.

Prince Mateen Bolkiah of Brunei competes in Sotogrande, Spain

Who do you collaborate with?

Morgan: I collaborate with polo clubs from the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. The clubs have asked me about more designs. I have since developed some additional designs for a second collection, which will be released in the not so distant future. 

Finally, what makes the horse so magical?

Morgan: The image of the horse holds a very significant place in human history. The horse has always been a faithful companion to man. The horse was portrayed by early humans in ancient rock carvings and paintings; it has been featured in Greek mythology and other myths, and was the subject of many ancient equestrian art figures.  Images of horses served historically as important components of European and Oriental cultures where they represented wealth; power; strength; and independence. The rider has traditionally been regarded as the embodiment of a strong and powerful individual. Equestrian beauty, strength, and personality, are themes that continue to inspire mankind until today. 

The bronze 'Fighting Ball' sculpture, by Spanish artist Salvador Fernandez Oliva, has been acquired by the Royal Guard Polo Team of Morocco. Photo credit: Katerina Morgan
Arch competitors Pablo Pieres and Pablo Mac Donough are two of the top polo players in the world. Although they have never played on the same team, Morgan brought them together for the development of her scarves
Title sponsor HSBC incorporated Morgan's art into its logo for the 2021 Argentine Polo Open
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