“Barrio Vivo!” Starts, Brings Next Gen Street Artists to MUJAM in CDMX

BSA is happy to again be working with the Mexico City based museum MUJAM and Director Roberto Shimizu to bring you news of the Street Art and mural scene from a Latin America perspective.

This time its for “Barrio Vivo” a broad new initiative that is focused on the rapidly evolving Street Art from the ‘Always On’ generation of Gen Z-Late Millenial street painters who are influenced as much by the Internet Buffet as traditional and folkloric imagery.

The “Barrio Vivo” festival in Mexico City curated by Roberto Shimizu and the Museo del Juguete Antiguo (photo ©MUJAM)

For the ambitious and welcoming visionary Shimizu its an outstanding opportunity to secure and provide walls in the surrounding neighborhood called Distrito Doctores for a concentration of new talents from all over Latin America.

During the open submission period MUJAM received more than 300 portfolios to review from across the Lingua Latina; Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile,Uruguay, Honduras, Panamá and Guatemala, every state of Mexico, many artists along the US/Mexican border (Tijuana, New Mexico, Mexicali, Monterrey.) Not surprisingly there were a few from Portugal, France, even Germany. The vast overview has given major insights, he says.

A series of live performances gets the artists and fans pumped up at a party to start off the festival. Here is Soft Ground in concert. “Barrio Vivo” in Mexico City with the Museo del Juguete Antiguo (photo ©MUJAM)


Screenshot of the music schedule a the museum parking lot for “Barrio Vivo”

“ ‘Barrio Vivo’ is a dream come true,” Shimizu tells us as we talk about the 10 day festival that just got underway and that carries through this week until final festivities on Saturday. “As you know, for a number of years I have been very interested in the new generations of street artists and I think this could be the most important gathering of this type.”

While the opening days have been a big undertaking with three dozen or so artists, walls, paint, scaffolding, directions, permissions, and communications, ‘Barrio Vivo’ is taking on its own sense of community with so many countries who share language and culture all collaborating. Shimizu also knows how to create a welcoming environment – day long music programs also help to keep a buzzing congeniality at play.

Diana Garcia and assistants at the “Barrio Vivo” festival in Mexico City with Museo del Juguete Antiguo (photo ©MUJAM)

“More than 40 upcoming emerging high quality artists are painting all around the Doctores neighborhood,” he says. “Our purpose is to give them the elemental tools and platforms to explore their work and creative processes. It is also very important for every artist to have the responsibility and the seriousness a festival offers.”

He also knows that there is no way to control everything, but those are basic tenets of art in the streets anyway. “Because you’re painting next to other great talents and your work will be in the streets where even the most amazing pieces could be vandalized.”

Participants at the “Barrio Vivo” festival in Mexico City with Museo del Juguete Antiguo (photo ©MUJAM)

And what is his take on the newly minted “Barrio Vivo”?

“As the curator of the festival I have chosen each one of the participants,” he says as he shares some observations. “The styles are totally mixed and it is very interesting how this new generation are in constant evolution and most of them have also many other talents like music, dance, performance and installation.”

Some clues perhaps, to a fuller cultural dialogue that is taking root in Street Art as it evolves forward.

More to follow!

Artist Diana Garcia strikes a mystical pose with Alejandra Palestino in front of her finished work at “Barrio Vivo”. Ms. Palestino also helped with the various artworks at the festival. She also happens to be an economist, a teacher of economics and political science and a candidate in upcoming elections for Local Deputy of District 12 of Cuauhtémoc. (photo ©MUJAM)

Christina May at the “Barrio Vivo” festival in Mexico City with Museo del Juguete Antiguo (photo ©MUJAM)

Fans at the “Barrio Vivo” festival in Mexico City with Museo del Juguete Antiguo (photo ©MUJAM)