Murals don’t have the best name for themselves. Instead of representing a vibrant and artistic community, they tend to conjure images of that fluoro abomination that donned the wall of your primary school hall; the one that featured fifty life-sized self-portraits of children with exceedingly long necks and circular eyes that stare at you with unblinking terror. Now, this amateur art form is being taken to the next level.
Coupling with the community themselves, Spanish artist collective Boa Mistura are currently in the process of painting an entire town in Mexico (and the results are not at all cringeworthy). Taking inspiration from the art of the indigenous Otomie people, this group of painters, engineers and architects created designs that cover 30 buildings in the small town of Querétaro; with plans to expand to all 1,074 starting from September this year.
Enlisting the help of young locals, Boa Mistura says the project is being carried out in an effort to rejuvenate and unite the community not only in the painting of the murals, but in their everyday lives too. “They are thinking in a different way right now,” says a member of the group. “[They] have a new reality, a modified one. That’s actually really good.”
This initiative comes after similar efforts in both Cape Town, South Africa and San Paolo, Brazil; and it’s hard to say the pieces aren’t a success. Bright colours pop from the landscape and energise the derelict surrounds; you can’t help but smile at their simple charm. Similar groups are operating all around the world too. Much like Boa Mistura, Dutch street artists Haas & Hahn embarked on a huge project to reinvigorate Philadelphia’s Germantown in 2012. Covering four city blocks, the Philly Painting project was carried out with the goal of “uplift[ing] the environment”. The founding artists claimed “what feeds the eye also feeds the soul“.
If this is true, the citizens of Querétaro are in for some serious nourishment over the next few years. At the very least, the expression to ‘paint the town red’ will finally have a literal meaning.
Article source: Concrete Playground: http://brisbane.concreteplayground.com.au/news/204416/these-artists-are-painting-an-entire-town-in-mexic.htm