All posts tagged: Nueve Arte Urbano

BSA Film Friday: 04.12.19

BSA Film Friday: 04.12.19

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. David Shillinglaw: Alive In The Human Hive
2. Flavita Banana in Barcelona for 12+1 Project
3. JR at the Louvre
4. A NYC Subway Train in Queretaro, Mexico

BSA Special Feature: David Shillinglaw: Alive In The Human Hive

“The artworks I make are an absurd visual taxonomy listed in no particular order the ingredients that we all consume and produce,” explains the British painter and Street Artist David Shillinglaw. Clearly, he’ll have enough to paint until his dying day, as we cannot stop producing.

Another gem here: “We are funky little space monkeys orbiting a ball of hot gas”

David Shillinglaw: Alive In The Human Hive

Flavita Banana in Barcelona for 12+1 Project

“With a nod to La Danse by Henri Matisse and many human tribes’ rites of Spring, artist Falvita Banana creates her new “Juntes sumem” (add together) here on the façade of Cotxeres Borrell in Barcelona,” we wrote a few weeks ago when she first finished her mural. Today we have video of the event. See the original article here: Flavita Banana & Women in a Springtime Dance

JR at the Louvre

This time-lapse movie shows the installation of street artist JR’s paper trompe l’oeil at the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, France.

“On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Louvre Pyramid, JR created a collaborative piece of art on the scale of the Napoleon Court. Three years after having made the Pyramid disappear, the artist brought a new light to the famed monument by realizing a gigantic collage, thanks to the help of 400 volunteers !

Each day hundreds of volunteers came to help cut and paste the 2000 strips of paper, making it the biggest pasting ever done by the artist.”

A NYC Subway Train in Queretaro, Mexico

When local graff writers in Queretaro, Mexico heard that New York’s famous photographer Martha Cooper was going to be in their town for a new exhibition they decided to welcome her in the best way they knew how: A graffiti jam on a train.

Read more here: A NYC Subway Train In Queretaro, Mexico

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A NYC Subway Train In Queretaro, Mexico

A NYC Subway Train In Queretaro, Mexico

When local graff writers in Queretaro, Mexico heard that New York’s famous photographer Martha Cooper was going to be in their town for a new exhibition they decided to welcome her in the best way they knew how: A graffiti jam on a train.

Queretaro Writers (photo © Jaime Rojo)

With the help of the organizers at Nueve Arte Urbano, the local kings and queens scored a long wall on a busy major avenue that they could paint subway cars on and convert to an NYC train. They hoped Martha would feel at home seeing this and it looked like she definitely did.

Homa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It’s a fast-growing major city without a subway, even though it could definitely use a more inclusive and efficient public transportation system since its quick growth has swelled to a million inhabitants. Scores of multi-national corporations left the US and set up shop here since they wrote the NAFTA trade deal and now employ this highly educated population. Many universities, lower wages, and an easier regulatory environment have brought the big companies here as well as the fact that the city boasts an attractive protected historical area that was declared a World UNESCO zone. Now they have a subway, at least a temporary painted one.

Homa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The neighborhood where the wall is located is called “San Francisquito” or Little San Francisco – a sort of sister city for many of the folks who have family in that US city as well. Rich in character and history, the neighborhood retains a distinct connection to indigenous culture: For example this is the home of Los Concheros, a group of native indigenous people in Mexico who have roots in the Chichimecas, Aztecs and, Mexicas who perform traditional dances dating back to the early colonial period.

Mostly residential, with narrow cobblestone streets and family-owned small business and grocery stores, we saw many locals who appeared pleased for the industry of local youth in a mural that stirred some excitement and pride.

Sucia (photo © Jaime Rojo)

They stopped by and commented on the new works and wondered where the action was coming from as aerosol lettering and characters began to populate the train sides.

It was an interlude of serendipity that the visiting New Yorkers were not expecting – a sunny day full of love and art. Martha happily obliged to requests for photos, to write tags in black books and thanked each of them for their gifts of t shirts, stickers and even a miniature portrait of her drawn in pencil.

Dheos (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Rosa . Diego Afro (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diego Afro painting a portrait of Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diego Afro painting a portrait of Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Diego Afro with his muse…Martha Cooper. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Foner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Foner (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Evok (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Evok . Ternu (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Hopper . Gofe . Ryper . Goal . Cres (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Toes (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Toes . Hopper (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Toes . Hopper . Gofe (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Gofe (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ryper . Goal (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ryper . Goal (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Goal (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres . Siet (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Cres . Siet (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mariana (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mariana (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Famer (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sckart (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Sckart (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jhen (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Jhen (photo © Jaime Rojo)
What the writers didn’t know was that Martha had a surprise for them too! A signed poster advertising her book Hip Hop Files. She signed it in front of them, one for each and those who couldn’t get one due to short stock will get one from NYC…(photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.07.19

BSA Images Of The Week: 04.07.19

Many images this week are from our short visit to Querétaro, Mexico this week – where, among other things, we saw first hand many of the murals mounted by the festival Nueve Arte Urbano over the past few years.  Each festival around the world is unique to its local culture – with the possible exception of the highly commercial ones that are self-styling as a franchise of cool McArt dipped in tangy “Street” flavored sauce. We had a good survey of this mural/street art/graffiti scene in the context of Mexico’s historic mural masters, and a true sense of how counterculture can be embraced by so-called “mainstream” culture for the betterment of both.

In short, the DNA of this festival is not about self-promotion but engaging community in meaningful dialogue, respecting tradition of indigenous culture, and embracing the modern day rebels who have brought art to the streets in myriad ways. Combined with an unprecedented 101 photo exhibition of graffiti, Street Art, and urban culture mounted on the streets that was too meta for our brains, we saw people walking the walk, not just talking the talk. We only wish we had more time, and a drone!

Additionally this week we have a few more favorite shots from a quick trip to Berlin last week. Berlin is basically Brooklyn’s sister city and it was also in the full throes of Spring, with long lines at the all-night dance clubs way after the sun came up. This weekend it looks like Brooklyn is warming up too – almost beer garden time!

Until then, let’s head over to Bamonte’s for a vodka martini with the fine men and women of what’s left of Italian American Williamsburg here in Brooklyn. This is an institution that’s 119 years old lined with framed photos of famous Italian Americans and celebrities who ate there like Telly Savalas and that guy from the Sopranos!

No music, only the clinking of glasses and animated storytelling and some people who may have been dining here when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn – all eating lobster tails, shrimp cocktail, clams oreganata, iceberg lettuce salads, pastas, meat balls, fish, sautéed porkchops, scalloped potatoes, green beans, chicken parmesan, and blueberry pie or tiramisu. Okay it’s not five star, you big hotshot, but it’s at least as good as your Aunt Rosa’s kitchen, amiright? Bamontes not good enough for you now, you big Broccolini?

And the portions, my god, you won’t need to eat again until Good Friday.

So here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring 007, 1UP Crew, Calladitos, City Kitty, Clown Soldier, CS SZYMAN, Deih XLF, drsc0, Ger-Man, La Madriguera Grafica, Mantra, Nespoon, Paola Delfin, Santiago Savi, Victor Lopez, and Voxx Romana.

007 Unicorn in Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
1UP Crew. Urban Spree Berlin (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Mantra. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Calladitos. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eduardo Ruiz . Santiago Savi. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Eduardo Ruiz . Santiago Savi. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Unidentified artist (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Victor Lopez / La Madriguera Grafica. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Victor Lopez / La Madriguera Grafica. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Paola Delfin on the dome. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Tania Quezada . Diego Afro-Cruz. Detail. Nueve Arte Urbano / Centro Cultural Manuel Gomez Marin. Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

SC SZYMAN. Urban Spree Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ger-Man. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
NeSpoon. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
City Kitty . Clown Soldier . Dr. Drsc0 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Ali Six. Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Deih. Urban Nation Museum Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
VOXX. Urban Spree Berlin. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Untitled. Queretaro, Mexico. April 2019. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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BSA Film Friday: 04.05.19

BSA Film Friday: 04.05.19

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. Icy & Sot Overview
2. Imaginary City. Teaser from MZM Projects (UA)
3. “Martha Cooper: Evolucion de una Revolucion” Queretaro, Mexico.
4. Fanakapan x 1UP Crew in Berlin.

BSA Special Feature: Icy & Sot Overview

The Iranian brothers have been toiling and innovating and taking risks on the streets of Tabriz and Brooklyn now for more than a decade. Now commercial brands are discovering them as well. These guys just keep marching forward with purpose, staying true to their beliefs.

Icy & Sot Video Project

Imaginary City. Teaser from MZM Projects (UA)

Entirely of their own volition and vision, filmmakers Kristina Borhes & Nazar Tymoshchuk created this ode to Stavanger and the Street Art festival called Nuart.


Two BSA quickvids in a row here from our recent travels in Berlin and Queretero…

“Martha Cooper: Evolucion de una Revolucion” Queretaro, Mexico.

Urban photographer Martha Cooper now has 101 of her photographs on the streets — literally on the streets of Queretero, Mexico. Part of the Nueve Arte Urbano festival, the exhibition is called “Evolution of a Revolution” and we were pleased to be a part of the opening events with Ms. Cooper, who said she was very pleased with the quality of the large format photos and the reception of the people on the streets.

Thanks to Édgar Sánchez and Sigre Tompel and their team for the vision and hard work. See more on “Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico

Fanakapan x 1UP Crew in Berlin.

Thanks to a new big empty city lot this building seems primed for the big stage! First the Alanis angel has ridden on this wall for a long time with grace and beautiful realism. Secondly, Berlin Kidz climbed vertically down from the roof in their distinctive and colorful language.

But we were lucky to see the British Fanakapan working with the worldwide, Berlin-based, anonymous graffiti crew 1UP for a stunning collaboration. This kind of shit can turn you into a fanboy or fangirl in a heartbeat. If you had a heart.

Shout out YAP and team! Read more about the project on Vox Graffiti Roars in Berlin with New Fanakapan X 1UP Collabo.


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“Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico

“Evolucion de una Revolucion” Outside in Queretaro, Mexico


“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.


Someone left a love message for Martha on the board of the explanatory text for the exhibition. It reads in Spanish: “Martita I love you in secret”

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.

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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.

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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. 

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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.

Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

“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


Diego Afro. DJ, bboy and artist. Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
In no particular order: @arthlets @bgirljenko @oness_tor Diego Afro Cruz, @mexicanitolibre @cirujanomalagon @andynmt07 Martha Cooper. Evolucion de una Revolucion. In collaboration with Nueve Arte Urbano. March 30th, Queretaro, Mexico. (photo © Jaime Rojo)
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Trans-graffiti and the Trans-National “Mextonia” Festival

Trans-graffiti and the Trans-National “Mextonia” Festival

Mexico and Estonia; an unlikely couple. But sometimes love is like that. In a time when orthodoxy globally is seemingly self-combusting and obviously falling short in meeting the needs of people, it is perhaps no surprise that the unique hybrids of shared strengths are those that arise and can lead.

Consider “Mextonia”.

Édgar Sánchez and Sigre Tompel. Mextonia Co-Founders. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

A cultural love child combining the traditions of these two nations has resulted in a surprising amount of cross-cultural exchange and mural making in the last year or two. Today we have just some of the artworks made during a two-part event held in each country, the first in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2017 and the second in Querétaro, Mexico during March 2018.

The unlikely pairing by two sociological searchers who love graffiti, Street Art, and the mural traditions of the past as much as the modern mural phenomena now speaks a common language of aesthetics in multiple spheres.

Renata Mtz. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Together Édgar Sánchez and Sigre Tompel have mounted two large cross-culture jams, attracting numerous artists and trans-national interpreters (nearly 100), presenting and renewing interests in history, indigenous people, traditions, and the environment challenges of today.

By highlighting the similarities and distinct differences in traditional and modern culture, these two are the magnetic field around whom a multi-faceted public art practice is developing that showcases urban and mural artists.

You haven’t seen a hybrid like this before.

Goal. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Together the two say that the effort is “a reminder of what makes us feel proud of being Mexicans, Estonians, and even better, what unites us beyond our nationalities: our cultural freedom. Our responsibility of making this place, this world, a better place than how we found it.”

The enterprise is frequently steeped in metaphor and symbolism and a search for meanings in the overlapping of traditions. One that is often sited is the Blue Deer/Fern Blossom intersection.

In México, according to ancient Huichol tribe tradition, people go to hunt Blue Deer to search for wisdom and inner vision. Searching is also involved in the Estonian ancient tradition of searching for the Fern Blossom that is said to appear only during the summer equinox of June, which they call Jaaniöö. Both traditional cultural stories represent prosperity, protection and fertility, they say.

Sänk. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Mextonia is a gift to remind the world about the Spirit; a collective soul in the shape of a Blue Deer, in finally finding a Fern Blossom,” say Sánchez and Tompel.

For Mr. Sánchez, the Mexican co-creator and author of the Mextonia Manifesto, there is a belief that there are larger forces at work in the Universe and that Mextonia is a platform and vehicle for the new generation.

When reading his observations you will see that the platform is hoping to lead Millennial artists to reconnect with a sense of culture and identity, two things that are sadly slipping away due to the dopamine-laced fire hose of mass media stimuli, social and otherwise, that we are collectively exposed to.

Brushleee. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

For Tompel, the Estonian co-director of this bi-national transcultural journey, “Mextonia was born from a personal ‘vision quest’ to better understand the native wisdom of Mesoamerican natives.”

She says the enthusiasm and knowledge of Sánchez guided her to better appreciate ancient traditions like those of the Mexican Huichol tribe, and that this new appreciation enlivened her interest in her own homeland of Estonia, which she began to study in earnest. Together, the two of them have poured the molten iron of their combined roots and cast a foundation that many artists are now adding their interpretation to.

Markus Richard Tallvee. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Whether it is costume or symbols or rites or ceremony, you can see a deep desire to be inclusive in the styles and expressions. The spring festival, for example, extended its message with the collaboration with the PangeaSeed Sea Walls effort, headed by Tré Packard and his team in pursuit of “combining art and activism on this level and caliber to champion for the oceans,” and often sited aspiration.

Tania Quezada. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“Art and public activism can educate and inspire the global community to help save our water resources,” says Packard. “Regardless of its location, large metropolitan city or small coastal town, all drains lead to the ocean and the ocean provides every breath we take. The Earth cannot exist without healthy oceans and water resources.”

With this in mind the city of Querétaro was chosen for the multiple aqua-related public artworks as a way to draw attention to the city’s own reliance on water that is transported from a hundred kilometers outside the city. This chapter of “Mextonia” was also known as “Water is One”.

Ricardo Moste. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

The experience and study has even helped coin new terms, like transgraffiti and transgraffiti muralism.

“Muralism and Street Art have proven to transform cultural symbols and catalyze culture,” says Sánchez. “Now, Transgraffitti is a trans-personal kind of muralism, which distances itself from both; names and pop culture, by taking deep cultural symbols and re-expressing them in a transcendental and contemporary way.”

Reyben. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

In this respect, it is a unique view of Street Artist and graffiti writers in contemporary practice from an evolutionary perspective. In the Water is One Manifesto 2.0 that was released this spring the organizers write:

“In today’s world we see millions of young people expressing on walls, influencing the streets and society. They write their names to identify with their space: we call them graffiti writers. As they grow and explore, some look beyond the writing of a personal name and embark into trans-personal-creation.

They research social challenges, paint visual metaphors and transcend borders. They discover the power of their painting over streets and culture. They become a kind of contemporary shaman, producing street incantations.

This is the transpersonal-graffiti, and we call it Transgraffiti muralism.”

Mr. Cinzah. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sermob. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jonky. Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mextonia Part 1. Tallinn, Estonia. June 2017. (photo © Martha Cooper)

As BSA correspondent from Tallinn and Querétaro, veteran photojournalist and ethnographer Martha Cooper attended the installations, exhibitions, celebrations, and ceremonies in both countries and she collected a wealth of important information to share.

In her own words Cooper says, “Street art is a worldwide art movement and Mextonia has shown how creative two different cultures can be when combined. Excellent idea – brilliantly realized.”

As mentioned Part 2 in Querétaro, Mexico was a collaboration with Pangea Seed and it was a concerted effort to highlight water resources,  and “The Water Is One” theme was reflected in the murals.

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.”
~Jacques Yves Cousteau

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

While these 40 or so photos are resplendent in conveying the spirit and dedication shown daily by participants, they are ultimately a very small sample of the hundreds Cooper took.

Similarly a blog platform like this cannot comprehensively cover the events or the perspectives in their entirety, but we hope that you can gain a greater appreciation for the depth of feeling, scholarship, and talent that is represented here in Martha’s photographs and our descriptions.

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

We conclude our text here with an interview that Ms. Cooper conducted for BSA with Sigre Tompel to better understand the breadth of the festival and also to get more detail about a sacred spiritual ceremony that Cooper attended with native peoples and the artists during her Mexican visit this spring.

Martha Cooper: Can we call “Water Is One” in Querétaro Part 2 of Mextonia? Are you planning Part 3?
Sigre Tompel: Yes, it is a sequence of Mextonia, part 2 (Mextonia in Estonia was the element of Fire, Water Is One was the element of Water. Yes, we are planning part 3 and 4 (Earth and Air).

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)
Montreal-based artist Jason Botkin met and exceeded human and creative limits at one point by successfully and arduously rappelling down, up, and around this great dome to recreate an astounding version of the Aztec calendar which can only be appreciated by flying overhead. Ms. Cooper tells us that all artists working on the cupola or dome were required to have a periodic medical check to ensure their good health during the installation of the frescoes.

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Nueve Art Urbano Team)

Martha Cooper: How many artists participated in both the Estonian and Mexican festivals?
Sigre Tompel: In Estonia we had 60 artists and in Mexico 33 – together with graffiti writers and neighboring walls of the Dome. These 5 artists were actually in both festivals – Aaron Glasson (New Zealand), Sänk (Estonia), Sermob (Mexico), Renata (Mexico), Goal (Mexico). Our whole core crew is a total of 15 people.

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martha Cooper: What was the name for the type of group that performed the ceremony at the walls? What was burning in the pot that produced the smoke? Copal?
Sigre Tompel: They are called Concheros, they use Copal , smudging for blessing. The message was smudging the artists to thank them for their work and to bless their way back home, so they can arrive healthy and happy. The name of this particular group of Concheros is “In Xochitl In Cuicatl”, Flor y Canto (Flower and Singing) and they are lead by Conchero General Manuel Rodriguez. The name is in Nahuatl, the ancient language of the Mexica.

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Paola Delfín. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martha Cooper: Does the ceremony have a name? Can you say a few words about what kind of blessing it was or what message they were sending the artists?
Sigre Tompel: The Concheros hold the tradition of the old Mexican belief system. After being conquered by the Spanish, they decided to hold balance and harmony between the two belief symbols, so they started honoring Christian symbols, while honoring also Mexican symbols, usually in secret. Concheros need to be reconsidered as a Cultural Heritage of the World, they are not “syncretic” by ignorance, but to keep the sacred balance of cultural hybridization.

The Concheros were very happy because the artists expressed the metaphors of their dances into the murals, and because this represents a kind of Mexican renaissance that returns to an earlier time, reinterpreting the ancient classic pre-religious Mexican belief systems.

Paola Delfín. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Ryper . Goal. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Ryper . Goal. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mantra. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mantra. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Mantra. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Curiot. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sänk. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sänk. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sänk. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Demencia. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Nosego. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Smithe. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

 

Pogo. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Aaron Glasson. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Jason Botkin. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Nueve Art Urbano Team)

Renata. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Sermob. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Juez. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Valiñas. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Atole Parra . Solé. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Graffiti Wall. Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Water is One/Mextonia Part 2. Querétaro, Mexico. March-April 2018. (photo © Martha Cooper)


Artists participating include:

Aaron Glasson (New Zealand)
Curiot Tlapazotl (Mexico)
Dementia (Mexico)
Goal (Mexico)
Jason Botkin (Canada)
Mantra (France)
Nosego (United States)
Paola Delfín (Mexico)
Pogo (Mexico)
Renata (Mexico)
Ryper (Mexico)
Sermob (Mexico)
Smithe (Mexico)
Sänk (Estonia)


For more information on Mextonia please visit Mextonia.com

For more information on PangeaSeed please visit PangeaSeed Foundation

Read this article in Spanish / Leer este articulo in Espanol aqui:

TRANS-GRAFFITI Y EL FESTIVAL TRANSNACIONAL “MEXTONIA

Publicado el 26 de Mayo, 2018

México y Estonia; una pareja improbable. Pero a veces el amor es así. En una época en la que la ortodoxia global es autocomplaciente y obviamente no satisface las necesidades de las personas, quizás no sorprenda que sean los híbridos únicos de fortalezas compartidas los que pueden liderar en el mundo.

Consideremos “Mextonia”.

El retoño que combina las tradiciones… MAS


Our sincere thanks to Martha Cooper for her leadership on this effort as well as her talents documenting the action.

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