The streets are screaming at you

The streets are screaming at you

"From the margins of the culture, through graffiti, stencils and stickers, every day the streets are screaming about things," opens the gallery statement for a show of Mexican graffiti at the Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico in the Centro Historico. The show features more than two dozen street artists from across Mexico and is scheduled to travel to 13 cities in the span of a year. Much of it is raw wall pieces, but there are also some interesting abstract canvases and sculpture done in the graffiti aesthetic.

Call me crazy but this is not the sort of art exhibit I can imagine ever making a country-wide tour in the United States. Graffiti is still too polemical there. Here in Mexico City, there is graffiti everywhere, and it is still largely practiced in the wild, lawless style that defined graffiti when it peaked in major U.S. cities in the early 1980s. There's even a gallery, Border, that specializes in graffiti and street-oriented art, in Colonia Roma.

An note of interest about this show, "Las Calles Estan Diciendo Cosas," was that it included an enclosed wooden box-space that basically functioned as a temporary graffiti pit, allowing any guest to tag its surfaces. Some of the tags bled onto the museum walls nearby. (Of course, we too had to participate a bit.)


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