Murals in Mexico

My girlfriend and I were blessed to spend an amazing month of our summer in 2015 studying Spanish in Oaxaca and Mexico City, DF. During our time there, we walked for about 7 – 10 miles each day, wandering around the cities we were in and trying to soak in everything. We fell in love with the many spectacular murals we saw there and set a goal to find as many as we could. Eventually, we photographed these and bound them in a small book to give to our hosts as a thank you — some of the best fun I've had traveling.

It's hardly complete — there's an incredible amount of spectacularly wonderful art in Oaxaca and DF, let alone the rest of Mexico. But since we loved them, we hope you might too. Here's some of our favorite murals and street art, everything that made it into our little book. Given our interests, we enjoyed the political material a lot, and so that's especially represented.

The captions include the district each were found in, and any information that we could find to help understand the pieces.

poco a poco: una vista pequeña del arte en la calle

cover

Monkey

Eje 1 Norte (José Antonio Alzate), Santa María la Ribera, Cuauhtémoc. Mono Sappiens is a DF-based band; 'mono' means 'monkey'.

oaxaca

frida with mohawk

Porfirio Díaz. This stencil of a mohawked Frida Kahlo has become an iconic piece of Yescka's work. Text reads 'Workshop Siqueiros', likely referring to the famous Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros.

green hands

Murguía.

two women with beehive

De Progreso. Text reads 'liberty, equity, respect'.

man hugging himself

Los Reyes. Graffiti reads 'this ground'.

hands holding heart

Walkway behind workshop on Murguía.

butterflies

Melchor Ocampo. Text reads 'Experimental Graphics Workshop of Oaxaca'.

mercado

Porfirio Díaz. The letters spell 'mercado', meaning 'market'. Note the woman in Guelaguetza dress wearing a gas mask and the police forces attacking the men waving a socialist flag. Mural painted by ASARO (asamblea de artistas revolucionarios de Oaxaca).

political poster with
        rat political poster with
        woman
political poster with
        campesino political poster with
        cops

clockwise from upper left: Xochitl, Macedonio Alcalá, Manuel San Crespo, Manuel San Crespo. Many political posters adorn the walls of Oaxaca. The first of these is by the CNTE and SNTE Sección XXII teachers' union, who are here opposing the elections for governor. The second reads 'not one more death! Justice for sweet ...', with the rest cut off. The bottom left features a campesino holding a single peso coin, while an obese businessman vomits a paper on which can be barely read 'REFORMAS', likely referring to the educational cuts opposed by the militant teachers' unions. The final reads '2ND MEETING OF REJECTED APPLICANTS', again opposing government education reforms, this time from the UJRM, a youth socialist organization.

bananas

Xicoténcatl.

man with goatee

Los Reyes.

owl

Murguía. Text reads 'Workshop of Lithography'.

man with smoke

Periférico (Eduardo Mata).

chubaka

Melchor Ocampo. A torta is a type of sandwich.

1968 olympics

La Noria. Text roughly translates to 'occupy your destiny'; an okupa is a squatter. The mural clearly depicts the famous 1968 Olympics black power salutes by athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos in México, DF.

libertad a los presos

Porfirio Díaz. Text reads 'Liberty to the political prisoners of June 7!' The photos are of people jailed after participating in protests in Oaxaca.

woman with tattoos text between women woman with tattoos

Biblioteca Henestrosa, Porfirio Díaz. Note the fusion of traditional patterns with anarchist and other modern symbols in the tattoos and dress of both women.

A geometric drawing with the text 'con el fuego en las manos' connects the two women; translated, this means 'with fire in their hands'. On the bottom right is painted in English 'smile now cry later'. Mural by Oaxcan artist collective Tlacolulokos.

méxico, df

canine unicorn

Cine Tonalá, Tonalá, Roma Sur, Cuauhtémoc.

trombone player

Tepeji, Roma Sur, Cuauhtémoc.

machete woman

Centenario, Del Carmen, Coyoacán. Text reads 'machete al machote', a feminist call for self-defense against male harassment.

mother mary

Debussy, Guadalupe Victoria, Gustavo A. Madero.

iguana

Pilares, Colonia del Valle, Benito Juárez.

maneki-neko

Chiapas, Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc. The cat is a maneki-neko, a Japanese good luck symbol.

woman with clouds

Tonalá, Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc.

satan and heads

Querétaro, Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc.

man with baseball cap

Eje 1 Poniente (Cuauhtémoc), Santa Cruz Atoyac, Benito Juárez. Mural by El Grand Chamaco; chamaco is a slang term for kid.

blobs

Durango, Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc.

gentrificator

Doctor García Diego, Doctores, Cuauhtémoc. Text reads 'Hasta la vista, pobre', meaning 'see you later, poor person'. This alludes to the well-known Terminator lines 'hasta la vista, baby', spoken before Schwarzenegger kills the film's villain. The Doctores neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying along with other areas of Cuauhtémoc.

graffiti tag with kyle

Eje 1 Poniente (México - Coyoacán), Xoco, Benito Juárez.

transhuman baby

Eje 1 Norte (José Antonio Alzate), Santa María la Ribera, Cuauhtémoc.

woman in blue background

Parque Lira, Daniel Garza, Miguel Hidalgo.

leopard

Insurgentes Sur, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc.

toucans

Centenario, Del Carmen, Coyoacán.

skulls with pill

Iztaccihuatl, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc.

technological birds

Eje 1 Poniente (México - Coyoacán), Xoco, Benito Juárez.

girl in forest

Vegan restaurant Coco y Chia, Pilares, Colonia del Valle, Benito Juárez.

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miriam and kyle

miriam + kyle
méxico, verano 2015