Mexico

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Art

A Collaboratively Painted ‘Mural of Brotherhood’ Stretches for Over a Mile on Mexico’s Border

June 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs courtesy of Enrique Chiu

Over the past two and a half years, nearly 4,000 volunteers have converged on the US/Mexico border to assist artist Enrique Chiu with painting a mural. Chiu began the project on Election Day in 2016, and once his collaborative project is complete, the “Mural of Brotherhood” will span a mile of Mexico’s border frontage in Tijuana. Shorter segments will also be created in other regions to connect the project to the southern edge of the border. The wide range of styles, including written phrases and more illustrative narratives reflects the diversity of those who have worked alonside Chiu to complete the expansive mural.

Chiu was born in Mexico and has spent 14 years living in the U.S., both as a child and as an adult. However, he re-rooted himself in Tijuana’s vibrant arts scene ten years ago. In an interview with Hyperallergic Chiu explained, “the murals spread messages of peace to people crossing the border by car or on foot,” and are “intended to be a final glimpse of hope for migrants risking danger as they cross northward.”

A recently released documentary by Alejandro Arguelles Benitez follows the project. You can watch the trailer below, and track the progress of the mural on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 



Illustration

The Moon’s Magical Mythology Captured in an Illustrated Book by David Álvarez

January 17, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In Noche Antigua (Ancient Night) an opossum and a rabbit work together—and against each other—to create and maintain the sun and the moon. The book, written in Spanish and illustrated by Mexico-based artist David Álvarez (previously) is based on elements from ancient myths in several Central American cultures. Álvarez captures a sense of quiet magic with the simplified forms and hushed tones of his illustrations, which seem to glow from the illumination of the moon. You can see more of the artist’s work on Instagram and his Etsy shop, and find a hardcover copy of Noche Antigua on Amazon.

 

 



Photography

Mexican Guardians Haunt Familial Portraits by Photographer Diego Moreno

November 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Diego Moreno incorporates ancestral imagery with a familiar contemporary universe in his series “In My Mind There is Never Silence.” The artist shares with Colossal that the characters that populate the series draw from his personal family history along with pre-Hispanic Mexican traditions. Each photograph depicts a normal domestic scene: gathering around a table for coffee, getting a hair cut, or playing in the living room with television on in the background. Moreno’s grotesque guardians are participants in or witnesses to these everyday tableaux, which doesn’t seem to surprise or alarm the humans in the room.

Each large, monstrous character, the Panzudo (which translates roughly to “paunchy”) guards a neighborhood in Chiapas, Mexico, and their size and grotesqueness reflects each individual’s scale of sin. He explains, “This work gives new meaning to the intricate tangle of the concealed and the visible, the individual and the collective subconscious, on the highly complex map of coexisting cultures and beliefs in contemporary Mexico.”

The series will be released as a photobook in 2019. The images will also be on view, representing Latin America, in the 5th African photo biennial in Ethiopia in December, 2018, in the Photo Vogue Festival in Milan, Italy on November 15, 2018. (via Lens Culture)

 

 



Design

New Eco-Inspired Gallery Presents Contemporary Art Within a Vine-Covered Exhibition Space

May 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

IK LAB is a new art gallery concept in Tulum, Mexico founded by Guggenheim descendent and Tulum resident Santiago Rumney Guggenheim and designed by Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel. The open air exhibition space is located at Neira Sterkel’s upscale eco resort Azulik, and eschews all elements associated with the traditional white cube gallery. Instead of static walls, IK LAB contains undulating cement surfaces that meld into overhead pathways and leaf-shaped podiums. Bejuco, a vine-like plant native to the region, fills in the areas not covered by waves of cement and forms the circular openings that dot the gallery’s slatted walls and ceiling.

Guests are invited to walk barefoot through the space to get a tactile sense of the built environment’s textures. The gallery’s cement walls mute most external sounds. This allows any noise produced during contemplation to be echoed and amplified, creating ambient auditory sounds experienced in tandem with the architectural design.

IK Lab opened April 20th with their inaugural exhibition Alignments, which is comprised of work by Artur Lescher, Margo Trushina, and Tatiana Trouvé. In addition to mounting contemporary art exhibitions, the new gallery will also host an avant-garde residency program that will invite guests to interact with the unique architecture. The gallery is open to the public every day from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art Photography

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

September 7, 2017

Christopher Jobson

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.

 

 



History Photography

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

October 20, 2015

Johnny Waldman

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.

 

 



Art

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

July 27, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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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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