Tag Archives: Mexico

A Child Peers Over the US/Mexico Border Wall in a Giant New Photographic Work by JR 

French artist JR just unveiled a new work in progress at the US/Mexico border. The large photographic piece depicts a child peering over a border fence from the Mexican side, apparently in reference to Trump’s effort to rescind the DACA program which protects the children of undocumented immigrants from being deported. The artist is known for his towering photographic installations backed by scaffolding such as his pieces at the Louvre and the Rio Olympics.

JR will be in LA tonight at Blum & Poe for a discussion with curator Pedro Alonzo about “immigration in the artist’s practice.” Admission is free.

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A Drought in Mexico Uncovers a 400-Year-Old Colonial Church in the Middle of a Reservoir 

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Licensed from the AP / David von Blohn

Usually when droughts occur and reservoir water levels recede, it’s not a good thing. But a certain drought in Southern Mexico is attracting a lot of enthusiasm. Water levels in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir have dropped by 82 ft (25 meters), revealing the remains of a mid-16th century colonial church. Known as the Temple of Santiago, the structure was erected by Dominican friars but then abandoned in the 1770s because of plagues.

The 48-ft tall church became a relic of memory in 1966 when the construction of a dam submerged it under water. Since then it’s only emerged twice: once in 2002 and again, now. As it did in 2002, the church has become a popular destination for tourists and local fisherman have been taking spectators out on boats to get a close-up view of the rare occurrence.

“The people celebrated,” recalls a local fisherman, of the last time the church emerged out of the water. “They came to eat, to hang out, to do business. I sold them fried fish.” If the drought continues, water levels could get low enough for people to walk inside the church.

Photos by David von Blohn, used with permission.

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Street Artists Collaborate with Mexican Government to Bring Vibrant Splash of Color to an Entire Neighborhood 

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In a fantastic attempt at urban renewal, the government of Mexico recently collaborated with a group of local street artists called Germen Crew to paint a 20,000 square meter mural across the facades of 209 homes in the district of Palmitas in Pachuca, Mexico. The project was intended to bring about visual and social transformation by temporarily providing jobs and, according to some reports, reduce crime and violence in the neighborhood. You can see a few more photos of the endeavor here. (via StreetArtNews)

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Washed Up: Alejandro Duran’s Site-Specific Found Plastic and Trash Installations 

Derrame

Working along a single stretch of coastline in Sian Ka’an, Mexico’s largest federally-protected reserve, artist Alejandro Duran collects countless bits of trash that washes up from locations around the world. So far he’s discovered plastic debris from dozens of countries on this shore of the Caribbean coast which he utilizes for site site-specific installations for an ongoing project titled Washed Up. By creating aesthetically pleasing landscapes from a disheartening medium, it’s Duran’s hope to create a harsh juxtaposition that draws attention to the global catastrophe of ocean pollution. He shares in a statement about Washed Up:

Over the course of this project, I have identified plastic waste from fifty nations on six continents that have washed ashore along the coast of Sian Ka’an. I have used this international debris to create color-based, site-specific sculptures. Conflating the hand of man and nature, at times I distribute the objects the way the waves would; at other times, the plastic takes on the shape of algae, roots, rivers, or fruit, reflecting the infiltration of plastics into the natural environment.

More than creating a surreal or fantastical landscape, these installations mirror the reality of our current environmental predicament. The resulting photo series depicts a new form of colonization by consumerism, where even undeveloped land is not safe from the far-reaching impact of our disposable culture.

Duran just received the Juror’s Award from CENTER for his efforts, and has upcoming exhibitions at Habana Outpost in Brooklyn and at the XO KI’IN Retreat Center. (via This Isn’t Happiness, LENSCRATCH)

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Artist Isaac Cordal Leaves Miniature Cement Skeletons on the Streets of Mexico 

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Artist Isaac Cordal (previously) is well-known for his creation and placement of miniature cement figures in public places around the world as part of an ongoing series called Cement Eclipses. While the meaning behind each tiny sculpture is intentionally ambiguous, it’s impossible to look at each piece without imagining a story. The pieces often appear in scenes of mourning or despair, as part of what Cordal says is commentary on humankind’s disregard for nature and as foreshadowing of potential consequences. From his artist statement:

Isaac Cordal is sympathetic toward his little people and you can empathize with their situations, their leisure time, their waiting for buses and even their more tragic moments such as accidental death, suicide or family funerals. The sculptures can be found in gutters, on top of buildings, on top of bus shelters; in many unusual and unlikely places.

These new skeletal works are part of a 2013 series he created in Chiapas, Mexico, and he also had work this summer at ArtScape 2014 in Sweden. You can see more over on Facebook. (via Supersonic)

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Modern Ruins: An Artist’s Vehicle Designed to Traverse 9,000 Kilometers of Abandoned Railways in Mexico 

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All images courtesy the artists and the Arts Catalyst

What do you do with the abandoned railways that once held the promise of trans-continental linkage and progress? Some have converted them into tourist-friendly pathways. But Mexican artists and brothers Ivan Puig (previously) and Andrés Padilla Domene decided to traverse the nearly 9,000 km of railway in Mexico and Ecuador that, in 1995, was abandoned and left to decay. But they didn’t travel in any old fashion. In a project that ran from 2010 to 2012 the artists rode in a striking silver road-rail vehicle called SEFT-1, which they designed and built themselves so as to travel both on rail and road.

The multi-year journey, which was documented online, explored abandoned rail but also the notion of modern ruins, and “how the ideology of progress is imprinted onto historic landscapes.” (via Hyperallergic)

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