San Luis Potosi is culturally rich, has a UNESCO protected historic downtown, and just hosted the Miss Mexico pageant last night – yet most people think of other Mexican cities before this one. It’s been an educational week discovering the city, its rooftop beer gardens, its cathedrals, it’s markets, museums, its seedy side of town with sex workers openly chatting, its gorgeous green parks that pop up every three blocks, its friendly helpful people, its mezcal, and its expansive safe walkways. This city may be one of Mexico’s most underrated.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring: Janin Garcin, Diego Rafel Lopez, Isela Vargas, Oscar Medina, Patricia Macias Mendizabal, Carlos Mejia, Says David, Panda, PaPa, and Celoz.
One of the best ways to see a city is through its advertisements, especially when handmade. Perhaps we’re disposed to thinking this because increasingly there is a blurred line today between typical commercial promotions and street artists branding their legal/illegal work on the street with social media tags or websites that lead to products to purchase.
Currently, at the Center for the Arts of San Luis Potosi (Centro de las Artes de San Luis Potosi), the “Sensacional” exhibition invites you to witness the graphical and design interpretations you’ll find on the streets of nearly every neighborhood – and you’ll feel welcomed. Walking through the galleries and seeing the figures, fonts, and colors is like sampling daily flavors and emotions you’ll find on Mexican streets. It’s a handmade open vernacular that speaks directly in the design and imagery of gas stations, corner groceries, signage, flyers, packaging, labels, posters, and announcements. The images may be painted with intense color schemes, skewed proportions, a familiar cartoon or celebrity, and humor; a pleasing sense of humor specific to the culture that is rather free of the usual contrivances.
Trilce Ediciones México. It has traveled to many cities since 2003 – including Glasgow (UK), Pasadena (US), Washington (US), New York (US), Boston (US), San Francisco (US), San Antonio (US), Zaragoza (Spain), Alexandria (Egypt), Bogota (Colombia), Zacatecas (Mexico), and Mexico City. Here in San Luis Potosi, we were happy to see many of the cultural influences that form the aesthetic of the street all joined together. The curators are well organized and the show is presented with categories that meld trade, food, aesthetics, nationalism, religion, animals, transportation, machismo, burlesque, music posters, and Lucha Libre.
Eclectic and entertaining, the everyday language of comics frequently appears in many images hand-created by untrained artists who function as advertising agencies for a client list that may include mechanic shops, churches, food vendors, liquor stores, mariachis, and wrestling expositions. Violating all kinds of corporate, copyright, and art school/trade rules, these idiosyncratic graphics are untouched by the blanded global commercial aesthetic, making them more authentic, human, and, definitely, pleasing.
For more details about Sensational: Mexican Design and Centro de las Artes, San Luis Potosi, click HERE