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While Mexico’s most well-known female artist is undoubtedly the cult icon Frida Kahlo, there are many more female up and comers on the Mexican art scene that you should know about. Whether they work abroad, or are still based in their home country, here are the 10 painters, illustrators and artistic innovators you really should get to know.
In recent years, Culiacán-based Fritzia Irízar has grabbed international attention for her provocative, innovative and almost sociological experimentation in the art world that has set her apart from the pack of emerging Mexican stars. Her Golden Green – Greening Gold exhibition juxtaposed water and gold in an attempt to challenge the value we ascribe to the latter, whereas Untitled (Nature of Imitation) featured a diamond made from the hair of the Rarámuri people. It seems her Wall Street Journal and Artsy approved ‘emerging artist to watch’ status, is well-deserved.
Perhaps the most recognisable name on our guide to Mexico’s emerging artists, Pia Camil is a stalwart of Mexico City’s contemporary art gallery scene having displayed her work at Galería OMR, as well as internationally in New York, Paris and Spain to name a few. In fact, she was the first Mexican artist to ever grace LA’s Blum & Poe Gallery with a solo exhibition of her sculpture. Her work is often described as subtle, modern and typically linked to Mexican urbanity in one way or another.
Indra Sánchez, best known as Indi Maverick, is a Mexico City native and on-the-rise illustrator, whose body of work can be found on Behance, as well as all on her personal Instagram. Her beautifully detailed, fine line pieces are exquisite, often littered with flowers, animals and even women themselves. A graphic designer by trade, she dabbles in digital illustration and recently partnered with Sidral Mundet for their #ALaMexicana project.
Splitting her time predominantly between Mexico and Germany, Katya Gardea Browne is a distinctly different kind of artist to many of those on the Mexican contemporary art scene right now, who continually attempts to bring the use of new mediums to her body of sculpture, installations and video. She’s displayed her work across both Latin America and Europe, and her upcoming exhibition will be on show this year at the KAI/10 Arthena Foundation in Düsseldorf.
Sculptor and artist Tania Pérez Córdova’s work is focused on human interactions, interpretations and the meaning we impute onto materials. In this vein, many of the items used in her pieces are borrowed, including the SIM card used in Call forwarding (it was embedded into a sliver of elegant white porcelain, juxtaposing new and old, modern and obsolete) and the We focus on a woman facing sideways, Evening earring. However, items themselves are often not the focus of Córdova’s pieces; rather, language and time often take center stage.
The strikingly vibrant work of Lourdes Villagómez is immediately attention-grabbing to say the least, yet look deeper and you’ll realise the intricate relationship these pieces have with her Mexican heritage and culture. Tradition and folklore, particularly the perennially popular iconography of the sugar skull, are all captured in her acrylic-turned-collage pieces. She originally studied graphic design in Mexico, minoring in art, before going on to get her masters in visual arts in Italy recently.
Inspired heavily by the Martin Buber book Yo y Tú, Yanin Ruibal is a Sonora native currently based in Mexico City. Her animal-filled artwork is undeniably impressive and incredibly detailed, but when you begin to realise that many of her pieces are drawn in Bic biro, the skill level of this emerging artist takes on a whole new dimension. For more regularly updated information about her work, check out her Facebook page, and if you really love Ruibal’s style perhaps consider attending one of her workshops.
Born in Mexico City but based out of New York, Erika Harrsch is perhaps one of the most established Mexican artists on this guide. She dabbles in multimedia work, combining traditional and technological techniques, and her work is defined by questions about gender and identity. Harrsch’s interactive pieces are both thought provoking and impressive, like the butterfly-filled 2006-2008 project Eros-Thanatos. Beyond this, she’s also strayed into political territory with her 2009-2010 project titled Passport, and her pieces have been displayed internationally.
Hilda Palafox quit her job to dedicate herself to her true passion – illustration. She managed to gain ground and popularity by publishing widely across social media, before her career really began to get going. In fact, just last year she took part in an exhibition in Tampa, Florida, as well as displaying her pieces at Galería Alfredo Ginocchio in Mexico City. Primarily centered on women, her quirky work is dominated by simple lines and block, minimalist colours. She’s definitely one to watch.
Like other artists on this list, Silvia Andrade also divides her time between Mexico and Germany, and has displayed her work extensively in both countries. Most recently, she had a collective exhibition in Berlin titled art after work. Currently working on her master’s degree in artistic ceramics and glass, Andrade is not to be confused with the photographer of the same name who’s best known for her series featuring digitally altered microscopic images. Incidentally, both Silvia Andrades are well worth checking out!