On Day 8 of our Arsenic World Tour, we found ourselves immersed in the vibrant and thematic street art of Mexico City! Our urban culture tour guide for the day was the creative mastermind behind "Street Art Chilango," which is a famed street art movement inspired by Mexican pride and unity. As wide-eyed tourists with cameras (TWCs), we roamed the city and viewed an eclectic mix of color peppered across the CDMX landscape.
The founder of Street Art Chilango, who goes by the name @jenaro_visualcraft on IG, is a self-ascribed pioneer of Mexico City street art and full of mischief and talent! He hails from Mexico, but has perfected his craft all over the world. His main goal is to transcend ideas; hoping to push his contemporaries away from their focus on technique. He, instead, advocates for distinct, compelling signature style and for communicating a personal message for each piece.
Jenaro works closely with Street Art Chilango co-founders Andrik Noble and Alex Revilla. They all create together on commissioned murals on the streets and tucked away in private locations. They believe in the "ethics" of street art - they oppose vandalism and always ask property owners for permission before painting. Jenaro touched upon the power struggle and turbulent beefs of graffiti artists vs. street artists and his hope for a more united, respectful community of creators. He told us the internal strife that the election of Donald Trump caused within the people of Mexico is a driving force behind the creations of Street Art Chilango. Also, he cited that many of these murals were born from the hateful rhetoric of the election, which actually brought people in the country closer together and closer to their Mexican roots and pride.
We saw a bit of everything on our Art Walk Tour; from Sharpee-infused hot girl sketches to politically-charged messages on sidewalk stickers, odes to Haring, Pokemon Go, and even Huichol culture.....But!....here at ArsenicTV, we love women and any composition that aligns with our girl-power motif - so the murals from today that really caught our eye all had powerful women at the center. Our favorites were Jenaro's portraiture of world-renowned artist Frida Kahlo amongst the flowers (this piece was recently included in a Mexican street art coffee table book). We also loved the piece entitled "Estamos Unidos Mexicanos" which translates to "We Are United Mexicans" featuring Mexican/American beauty Diana Garcia wearing the peace flag of Nacho Becerra. On Diana's Instagram post of this mural she invokes the mantra: "Peace to me, peace to you, peace to us, peace to the world."
"The election of Donald Trump is a driving force behind the creations of Street Art Chilango..
We also enjoyed meeting artist @francmun on the street as he worked on a realistic, life-sized octopus! We ended the day next to Jenaro's rendering of his dalmation with multi-colored spots - we took note of how salient it is for good street art sticker placement and put our very own Arsenic logo sticker nearby his dog..
The Street Art Chilango tour left us with tired feet but in deep gratitude; having realized a more well-rounded, inspired view of the CDMX street art vibe and of Mexico on the whole!