On the Road: Mexico City
Mexico has a long history of embracing urban art, decorating its walls with vibrant shades of color for much of the past century. Artists such as Diego Rivera and Orozco played a huge role in this, by telling stories on the walls of the city in a creative and beautiful way. For Mexican youth, having been exposed to this genre of art from a young age, seeing it all around their neighborhoods, it is not surprising that the tradition would continue to morph into what it is today, culturally traditional yet contemporary at the same time. Add to that social media, and the exposure that comes along with it, and Mexico City has taken its street art craft to a whole new level.
I had the opportunity to visit Mexico City (also known as Mexico, D.F., or DF for short), just after the completion of Meeting of Styles, which was held October 13th-15th in the historic center of the Federal District. I was amazed by not only the quantity, but also the quality of art on offer; a beauty to be shared and appreciated by locals and tourists alike. The event draws graffiti artists from all over the globe as a form of cultural and artistic exchange.
This year's event was centered around the area just southeast and northwest of the zocálo, or central plaza, with a large concentration on Calle Regina, the Jardín de Juegos, Calle San Jéronimo and Santisima. You can find a map and more information about the event on their website.
All over the city there are beautiful walls to be found. Many of them have associations with Mexican culture or heritage, but others have no connection other than vibrant colors, and a shared beauty. There are even some familiar faces (for me) in the crowd, such as ROA, Herakut and The Bear Champ from Chicago. But I was also happy to meet some new friends, such as the work of Duek, Humone, and Eric Ailcane.
Here is just a sampling of the walls I saw during my short stay:
After a hard day of street art exploring, there is definitely some great food to be had to satisfy your hunger. So pick a spot on the terrace overlooking the plaza, order an iced cold Modelo to go with your tacos al pastor or molcajete and enjoy the view. You are in Mexico City, after all.
So, what are you waiting for? Mexico's calling.