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The contemporary and street art scenes in Mexico are booming at the moment and a flurry of new talent is emerging, from both Mexico City natives and those who call the capital their adopted home. With such a burst of activity taking place, it can be impossible to know where to start and with who. Keeping that in mind, here are the best of the city’s up-and-coming artists and where to find their work.
The walls of Mexico City are littered with exquisite examples of socially and politically conscious street art, but one of the best urban artists of the moment is undoubtedly Farid Rueda. Regularly considered one of the country’s best, he’s been brightening up the daily grind in the capital for years, most recently with his geometric animal murals full of Mexico’s cultural richness. You can find his vibrant pieces across the world, from Bogotá to Hannover, but most of the stand-outs are undoubtedly found in the Mexican capital.
From one street artist to another, you should be keeping an eye on Mocre in the coming months. Having begun in 2012 with digital pieces, now acrylics, fine art and furniture also form part of his repertoire – Jack of all trades, master of many. Most of his work focuses on Mexico’s most iconic yet endangered animals – think jaguars (Avenida Revolución, next to the Tacubaya Metro, Mexico City), axolotls (Barrio del Alto, Puebla) and eagles. In fact, almost all his pieces are concerned with the grave consequences of destructive human actions.
Twenty-four-year-old Sofia Castellanos is a star on the rise within the Mexico City art scene. A native to the Mexican capital, Castellanos’s deceptively simple and yet elaborately detailed pen and paint images, which combine floral and natural elements together with the human face, have been featured during huge events such as the Corona Capital music festival and Holi Festival of Colors Mx 2015. She has some upcoming and as-yet-unconfirmed shows in Mexico this year, but right now you can see her street art work in Roma (Zacatecas 26) and in Parque Lira.
Perhaps the most recognizable name so far, 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 but a few. Her work is often described as subtle, modern and typically linked to Mexican urbanity in one way or another. She was the first Mexican artist to ever grace LA’s Blum & Poe Gallery with a solo sculpture exhibition, and you can currently catch her A Pot For A Latch exhibit at the Manetti Shrem Museum, California.
Jimena Mendoza recently enjoyed a solo exhibition at Mexico City’s world renowned modern art museum, Kurimanzutto. While she is no longer exhibiting there, she is certainly an artist dominating her field right now. A Mexico City native, she is currently based in Prague and creates artworks that are thought provoking and often impossible to categorize; a prime example is her 2013 Rowing and chicken feet piece, which combines, well, chicken feet with the oar of a boat. You can regularly catch her work at La Galería de Comercio open air exhibits.
Alejandro Olávarri makes bold statements both in his life and in his art; take, for example, his claim to have found the world’s best burger in Brazil. Predominantly indulging in a color palette dominated by shades of blue, this graphic designer/artist dabbles in painting and collage, too, at times, and while he isn’t currently exhibiting in any gallery space, you can take a look at his incredible pieces online. Abstract and intriguing, his pieces are worth more than a passing glance.
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 over her personal Instagram. A graphic designer by trade, she dabbles in digital illustration and recently partnered with Sidral Mundet for their #ALaMexicana project. Her beautifully detailed, fine line pieces are exquisite, littered with animals and florals. You can admire (and buy) her work at the Mexico City store Rojo Bermelo.
Axolotl Collective is composed of a number of artists who are most well-known for their urban murals and illustration talents, the former of which can be seen all over the streets of Mexico City. They’ve been working together for more than four years and bring together pre-Hispanic imagery with vibrant, bold designs, which partially explains why their namesake creature is the endangered ‘axolotl’. Check out their pieces in Colonias Doctores, San Fernando Huixquilucan and Torreblanca, as well as Mexico City’s historic center, the Coworking Workshop and Casa Tomada to name but a few.
The strikingly vibrant work of Lourdes Villagómez is immediately attention-grabbing to say the least, yet look deeper and you’ll realize 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, and although her work isn’t currently on display, you can see many pieces on her website.
French by birth, Gwladys Alonzo has undeniably made her name in the city she now calls home. Her fascinating sculptural pieces combine found objects alongside more traditional sculptural elements such as wax, concrete and marble to create fragile pieces deeply inspired by nature. Alonzo is also preoccupied with the attempt to break away from male vocabulary and stereotypes traditionally intertwined with the practice of sculpting. Keep an eye on her website for announcements about an upcoming exhibit this September and pay a visit to her workshop during Mexico City’s ZONA MACO event.