All posts tagged: Mil Amores

Chihuahua, a Mexican Desert City with a Few “Street Art” Blooms

Chihuahua, a Mexican Desert City with a Few “Street Art” Blooms

“Chihuahua is like one big ranch,” says a local reporter who guides you around this desert city known for beef, cheese, sotol, cowboy boots… and a growing middle class – thanks to the hundred plus multinational maquiladoras operating here with a focus on aerospace, medical equipment, and automobile manufacturing.

The “ranch” metaphor is meant to be welcoming, but it also lets you know that this city of nearly a million can still feel like a small town. This is the capital of Mexico’s largest state, which goes by the same name. And yes, the diminutive and scrappy dog originated here – as did Pancho Villa, and you can visit his homestead if you like.

It’s not the typical city where you might expect to find Street Art, yet only a few blocks from the government palace downtown that holds two stories of wall paintings by Mexican muralist Aarón Piña Mora, you will find new paintings in the dusty side streets that indicate a more international flavor is present.


Paola Delfin. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Largely conservative by most accounts, Chihuahua city in the twenty-teens has been sampling the flavors of the burgeoning global Street Art scene thanks two locally organized arts festivals; Ruta in 2013 and Centrópolis in 2014, and to the stylistic adventuring of local artists on other walls outside these approved ones.


Paola Delfin. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Local custom has been to dismiss those un-permissioned painters as cholos, a disparaging term referring to a criminal element. Today its not as simple to disparage this rising tide of painters in the streets when cities across Europe and the US are actually seeking out and inviting Street Artists and muralists to come and revitalize a neighborhood or draw youth into a city center.

“Street Art has traditionally been seen as a form of vandalism but thanks to the festivals that include visual artists as the special guest it is slowly changing the way people see graffiti and street art,” explains Ivonne Dalila Miramontes, a curator and photographer who studied in the Arts Faculty of the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, and who currently teaches visual arts to high school students.


Paola Delfin. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It’s a subtle distinction but it’s a big deal, because now the new murals have a meaning and people don’t see art in the streets anymore strictly as vandalism and it has been a great opportunity for local artist to express themselves and be recognized as artists.”

You’ll see tagging on abandoned walls in some neighborhoods, and there is a range of old-school graffiti styles represented along with political ads for candidates and commercial ads for muffler repair shops on the low flung long walls that run alongside some carreteras in Chihuahua.

You’ll also see uncommissioned paintings that are figurative, or minimally abstract, or have a more trained illustrators eye here and there. Suddenly it looks like there is a small mushrooming of art on the streets. Is it a movement, a sign of a future renaissance of arts and culture, as we have seen in many international cities, or is it a chance outcropping that will be stomped out or left to die in the sun?


Adán Estrada AKA El Disko. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“It is really great to be able to do my work in different cities,” says Paola Delfin, one of the new breed of Mexican Street Artists who has travelled to festivals internationally at the invitation of organizers in Miami, Puerto Rico, Brazil, even Berlin.

“I like to observe the impact that this work has on the people and on the environment in each of them. Coming from Mexico City where art, specifically muralism, has an important history, it’s always interesting and inspiring to work in new places. Some cities like Berlin also have a huge background of art, muralism or street art, so people are more accustomed to this work.”


HidroC. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Delfin’s own female-centric paintings here were completed during the Centrópolis festival – one with undulating wavelike hair that envelops the monochromatic figure on a partially decayed wall. The other painting uses a more realist technique she is experimenting with; levitating above the street perhaps to recall the magic realism famous in Latin literature by writers like the celebrated Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who wrote many of his greatest works while living in Mexico City for decades.

“’Susana’, the levitating modern girl, is a based on a girl I met during the festival,” Delfin says, “She was helping all the artists there and she helped me a lot – and I like to paint people who had some impact in my life somehow, and I asked here if I could use her as a model.”

Serene and still, the artist says the figure is meant to allude to a dangerous trade that has claimed many young women closer to the border four hours north of here.“I painted ‘Susana’ sleeping. She is waiting to wake up and find some peace surrounding her. For me she represents the young women up there.” Of course some of the works touch on societal themes, and others can have political undertones.


CRON. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For Bebo, a Mexican artist who has created many of his trademark foxes as stencils and abtract linear forms on walls throughout cities south and north of the border, his work is allegorical – although most passersby won’t necessarily know how strong his intent is. “I use mostly foxes on my work. I think foxes’ faces show how diverse they are physically as specimens but I also like their character – playful and mythical at the same time. ”

“My work can’t ignore this absurd political reality we are in. It feels like the whole of Mexico is a battle ground,” he says as he talks about the five paintings he did in Chihuahua city in 2014. “My work can’t reflect this reality but instead wants to change it. It is a small step to do something. My approach is entirely metaphysical. To fight against the ignorance I use my imagination. To fight against terror I use hope. I like to offer a different path.”


Eldeini. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

His path to Chihuahua was lead by Felix Lugo, a local artist and independent curator who organized the Street Artists with the Centrópolis festival, which included three days music stages, theatre, traditional cultural events, and according to organizers, close to 100,000 people. Although not all of that foot traffic was here to see the murals, he thinks that a painting is often better than a blank wall.

“I paint to open a dialogue on the streets,” says Bebo, “It is like a window to establish change in a specific city and at the same time to connect people with each other.”


Ovrlnds and DISKO. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

For now, we offer you these images of a few remaining pieces and some brand new ones that were discovered around the city, as well as an abandoned spot north of the metropolis where you’ll find more typical graffiti artists trying their hand at the spray can.

Who knows if this warm and dry city can support the new generation of creative voices that are now being called on in many cities globally to create excitement and engage art fans, but we did see a few cafes and even a gallery or two where this art has been springing up.


Ovrlnds and Disko. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“I do see a future for a large Street Art/mural festival,” says Miramontes, who notes that local artists were energized by the attention that the plastic arts were receiving.

“It made me feel that art is being taken seriously in my city. Also the murals are the only things that still remain after all the festivals, and when I pass by any of the artworks I remember being around while the artists were working and seeing friends, families and people in general having fun enjoying this form of art. We just need more people interested and involved in this environment so we can achieve success by bringing this kind of art to the community.”


Mil Amores. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mil Amores. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jelly Fish. Detail. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Jelly Fish. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mil Amores. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


CAM. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mil Amores. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mil Amores. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Clasicco. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BEBO. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BEBO. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BEBO. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BEBO. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BEBO. Detail. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BEBO. Chihuahua, Mexico. Centropolis Art Festival 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


BEBO. Santa Isabel. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown. Santa Isabel. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown. Santa Isabel. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Artist Unknown. Santa Isabel. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mil Amores. Santa Isabel. Chihuahua, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)




Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!



This article is also published on The Huffington Post.



This article is also published on El Huffington Post.




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Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year 2015 – BSA Readers Choice Top 10

Happy New Year to All! Thank you for inspiring us to do our best and to those of you who continue to support our personal art project / cultural examination, we extend our gratitude more than ever.


Begun as an enthusiastic discovery of what was happening in a few neighborhoods in New York, we continued to expand our view into more cities around the world last year and into the history and future of the scene. We also aimed to provide you with a critical platform for examination of the street art/ graffiti / public art/ contemporary art continuum with interviews with artists, curators, collectors, organizers, observers and thinkers in the street, studio, gallery, and museum – trouble makers and taste makers alike.

In the end, it’s your observations and the conversations on the street that are most important. As we begin the year with over 300K fans, friends, and followers on social media platforms and 225 articles on the Huffington Post (thanks HuffPost team!), we feel like we get a valuable good survey of current opinions heading our way daily.

With in-depth interviews, investigative articles, opinion infused examinations, plain celebratory reverie, occasionally silly non-sequitors, and public appearances where we get to meet you, we get a good analytical look at an ever-evolving movement, glittery polish and warts and all.

As the new year begins we take a look back at the top stories chosen by BSA Readers in the last 12 months. Among them are two takeover pop-up shows in soon-to-be demolished buildings, a story about commercial abuse of artist copyrights and the effort to fight back, a street art community’s response to the sudden death of an activist street artist, a Street Art tourist trip, and a few inspirational women, men, and Mexican muralists.  Even though we published at least once a day for the last 365 days, these are the most popular pieces, as chosen by you, Dear BSA Reader.

10. Exploring Lisbon as a Street Art Tourist


Os Gemeos / Blu (photo © Stephen Kelley)

9. Kara Walker and Her Sugar Sphinx at the Old Domino Factory


Kara Walker. The artist portrait in profile with her sugary sphinx in the background. (photo via iPhone © Jaime Rojo)

8. Women Rock Wynwood Walls at Miami Art Basel 2013


Fafi (photo © Martha Cooper for Wynwood Walls)

7. A Sudden Secret Street Art House Party in Manhattan


Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

6. Niels Shoe Meulman Balancing “Unearthly” Paintings


Niels “Shoe” Meulman. Process shot. (photo © Adele Renault)

5. It’s All the Rage, Street Artists Filing Lawsuits Left and Right


4. Shok-1 Street Art X-Rays Reveal a Unique Hand at the Can


Shok-1 (Photo © Jaime Rojo)

3. 12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC


Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

2. Army Of One, Inspiration To Many : Jef Campion


Army Of One AKA JC2 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

1. Graffiti and Street Art Lock Up “21st Precinct” in New York


Pixote in action. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

12 Mexican Street Artists Stray Far from Muralism Tradition In NYC

Name Checking Rivera, Following Fairey

A new show of gallery work by Mexican street artists currently running in Manhattan’s Lower East Side questions the assumption that the nationalistic, social and political messages championed by that country’s famed muralism movement retain the impact and relevancy to artists a hundred years after the revolution.

To hear the story told by some, you may think that this is a generation following in the footsteps of the great syndicate of technical workers, painters, and sculptors who were funded by government programs in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s to promote a vast array of social and educational messages to a newly federalized citizenry. However people born in the last decades of that century comprise a much wider spectrum of individualists and self directed visual authors who are redefining narratives on streets in cities and their position as inheritors of that lineage may not have as much relevance to them as you thought.


Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“12 Mexican Street Artists” features a few of the names you recognize from that scene and leaves perhaps a couple of them out, but the scope is a sufficient sampling to give you an idea of the current moment of art on the streets. Included in the show are Saner, Bebo, Dhear, Fusca, Meca, Meiz, MilAmores, Minoz, Sego, Seher, Smithe and Undo. Photographer Christophe von Hohenberg, who organized the gallery show, draws your attention with portraits of this loosely connected group and there are a variety of works on paper by these  street artists, graffiti artists, muralists, and public artists who come from a multiplicity of backgrounds and disciplines.

While some in the group refer to themselves as “La Linea” and they may honor the  heritage associated with their countrymen Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueros, these world citizens are equally eager to differentiate themselves from those great muralists of the previous century.  Walking along the collection of mostly small works you’ll see folk influences here, sure, and so are traditional and sociological consideration. But don’t forget the surreal, the pop, the modernist.


Sego in Brooklyn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Never mind borders – we now are becoming accustomed to the staccato race across a boundary free digital fountain of inspiration. Seen through a Mexican filter, these are the same Internet fueled romances currently exploding on the Street Art scene globally; illustration, graphic design, cartoon, tattoo, skater culture, painting, stencil, the conceptual, even the sculptural.

Suffice to say this show of 12 Mexican muralists is an important inclusion in the story telling as the global street art explosion is re-defining how we look at public aesthetic discourse and public art making. A clear break has been made from the heralded lineage of Mexican muralism and this small show may be the first concentrated collection that demonstrates how far the new kids are wandering.

Speaking to a handful of them last week while they hit up walls in Manhattan and Brooklyn, we learned that these artists are as influenced by Fairey as they are Tamayo.


Sego’s first trip to New York. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mexico City’s Sego began transferring his illustrations of animals and insects from his notebook to the street about 10 years ago when hanging with graffiti-writers on the street. A designer who has worked with corporate brands, he says the symbiosis of the natural and the man-made world is something he wants to engender with his creatures whether he is in a moneyed neighborhood or a poor and dangerous one.

If you ask him about his connection to the famed Mexican mural tradition, he honors it and then emphatically distances the work of his generation from it. “I was very inspired by them but not influenced by them. I respect their work and we have to learn from their monumental production but we have to be conscious of the fact that we live now in a different time and we have to really propose new things for today’s realities,” he says.


Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“The irony is that those murals were often created in governmental buildings that the poor and indigenous people didn’t have access to. So in terms of how strong the connections are between the people and the art when comparing what they did and what we do today, I feel like our connections are much stronger,” he explains as he talks about the Street Art that goes into any neighborhood and usually on its own volition.

One last thing – “Those muralists had the government behind them and the financial support so they could have as many assistants as they needed. The merits of what we do also rests on the fact that it is mainly D.I.Y. and has more of an independent spirit since we have to self-finance our work.”


Sego (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mexico Citys’ UNDO, who considers all his work to be an attempt to reverse deleterious political realities, and Tijuana based Bebo, a philosophy and fine art major who discovered modern street art when he was a student at university, both have distinctly different approaches to their work and to how they label it.

Undo: It’s different for everybody. There are some who don’t feel comfortable with the term “muralist”, you know?
Bebo: And some people who don’t feel comfortable with the word “graffiti” or “street art”, but we all do walls. Everybody paints walls and we love it.
Undo: That’s just the terminology.


BEBO at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Brooklyn Street Art: Yeah it is, but you know some people do care very much about how their work is described. Particularly because Mexico has this wonderful muralism tradition and it is something you can be very proud to be associated with, so I thought perhaps you would want to say you are muralists, who do not do graffiti.
Undo: It’s not the same for everybody. Some of them started directly as graffiti artists and then they went to murals.
Bebo: It’s the way you grow up. You develop a personality in what you do and how you do it.  If you painted graffiti first, you always say you are a graffiti artist.  They don’t necessarily make the connection with the muralists.


BEBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

As UNDO describes a recent stencil piece that depicts the Mexican Presidents chair with bloody spikes for legs, he criticizes what he sees as a false appearance of democracy and the onerous burdens that are placed upon the everyday citizens. Now he is studying economics and technology and how our lives are being changed by the intersection of the two.

You may think that this is a rebel who is eager to vandalize, but his social conscience tells him just the opposite when it comes to illegal walls. “It is attractive to think about you know, because of the rush of the adrenaline but the idea of tagging – I like that others do that but I don’t feel comfortable to trespass on other people’s walls,” he explains. Right now he’s trying to lighten his themes with a little hope, so he has cut and sprayed a stencilled dove.


BEBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“One day Acamonchi came to visit us and also Shepard Fairey came to our school and I said, ‘Okay, this is very easy for me’, ” says Bebo about how he first began making stencils and wheatpastes and putting them out on the street.

Bebo: You have to make a language and that is the interesting part so when I put something in the street I can say “Ah, that’s mine”.
Brooklyn Street Art: Right, it has to have your signature… and what is your typical subject matter?
Bebo: Foxes. I do all kinds of foxes. It’s a visual thing. I began to use canines like foxes and wolves in my work because I feel like they are designed perfectly in nature. Their symmetry is perfect, like the triangle that is formed with their eyes and their snout.


BEBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Bebo: When I began researching foxes and wolves I moved beyond the purely graphic concept and I found the foxes to be even more attractive. They have the capacity to be in the here and the now, and it is very impressive. For example if the fox stops to smell a flower, he lingers and inhales it and relishes it. If he lies down to have a nap in the sun he really enjoys sunbathing. They do what they need to do at the time that they need to do it.


BEBO (photo © Jaime Rojo)

UNDO says Fairey also influenced him.

Undo: Yeah I definitely have to say that I was inspired by OBEY because I didn’t know how to do it and I saw it and I said, “oh I’m going to try to do it”

Did he also see the well known Fairey speaking at a public forum?

“No I saw him on the web,” he says.


UNDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


UNDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


UNDO (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Mil Amores at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fusca collab with Kazy (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fusca at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Smithe at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Meiz at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dhear, York CHK at Dorian Grey Gallery. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Dorian Grey Gallery (photo © Jaime Rojo)

12 Mexican Street Artists is currently on view at the Dorian Grey Gallery. Click HERE for more details.


Please note: All content including images and text are ©, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!




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