“Martha Cooper isn’t only a photographer, she’s a historian as well and you are here with us today to pay homage to her work. Martha is my teacher and she taught me more than graffiti, she’s taught me the way in which we live with art every day. When we see a piece of art on the street we bring it into our daily lives. That’s precisely Martha’s contribution to our lives”
Edgar Sánchez, co-founder of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival.
Under the magical spell of the Jacarandas in full bloom, a spirit of Pax Urbana flowed through Queretaro’s lush public park Alameda Central this weekend as dignitaries from the city, including the honorable Andrea Avendaño, the Minister of Culture of the City of Queretaro, and the Nueve Arte Urbano team hosted the opening of an outdoor exhibition by famed photographer Martha Cooper.
The 101 photographs spanning four decades were enlarged and mounted in weather resistant vinyl throughout the park, representing the full range of Ms. Cooper’s continued focus on art in the streets.
Named “Evolucion de una Revolucion” (Evolution of a Revolution), produced by Nueve Arte Urbano in collaboration with the Secretariat for Culture of the city of Queretaro, the open air exhibit champions the grassroots art movement that continues to evolve in cities around the world. It also references the social and political revolutions in countries like Mexico that reflect the will of people and produce upheaval that change the course of history.
The welcoming ceremony featured bboys, bgirls, djs, and speeches by the Minister of Culture, representatives of the municipality, and Edgar Sánchez, co-founder of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival.
With the arte libre espiritu of New York graffiti writers like Dondi, Lee, and Futura mingling in the air with Mexican muralists Siqueiros, Rivera, and Orozco – a rather transnational reverence for the powerful engagement of art in the streets was at play.
Notably, the audience here were again the youth of the city who feel the powerful magnetism of this grassroots people’s movement that opens doors to them to create and express themselves, giving them a sense of agency over their own environment.
It has always been the kids, teens, and young adults who have driven this global urban culture and Ms. Cooper has steadfastly sought the clues to our future by consulting the opinions and creative expressions of these folks.
That may explain why Cooper today embodies that precise sense of discovery and vitality – an enthusiasm that shined during a personal tour she gave of her new photo exhibition here outside in Mexico.
“On a path where thousands of people walk every day we’ll be welcomed by urban art in an urban space. “Evolution of a Revolution” is an exhibition by famed photographer Martha Cooper under the project PaxUrbana, a collaborative project that’s rooted in a dialogue between several sectors of our society and includes the graffiti writers from different neighborhoods of the city of Queretaro”
Andrea Avendaño, Minister of Culture of the City of Queretaro