When we bought the new house in the South of Mexico city, in the Tlalpan neighbourhood, there was a house nearby, entirely painted with “street art”. Motifs inspired from pre-Colombian lore. Here’s how it looked from left to right.
The central figure was a red-hair tree-woman (goddess?) The scroll coming out of her mouth was the Aztec symbol of speech. It meant the Lady was speaking.
Speaking to whom? Or just blowing on her extended tree-hand?
Was she speaking to the phoenix on her hand or to the lady in blue?
Neither the lady in blue nor the goldfish responded.
The deer and the jaguar fell silent.
The house and paint were old. But they told a story. Until, a few weeks ago, on one our first walks out of lockdown, we found the house had been re-painted. Again, from left to right:
“I’m not late yet, am I ?” said the rabbit to the butterflies and the cat. What cat? The tiny one on the window. Alice was out on an errand.
The red-haired lady got a haircut.
“Blackbird singing in the dead of night…” (Don’t mind the snakes)
The young lass with the snakes? Ixchel is her name.
She is waiting for the waning moon. She is the mother of all gods.
Artist name: Duek Gonzalez, Bogotá. A Colombian in Mexico? My compliments to both artists and the house owner. (Though I liked the previous art better. Oh, well…) A technical note: light at this time of year is very tricky. The street is oriented North-South. Sun comes up behind the house in the morning. Backlit subject. Now in the afternoon, the sun projects too many shadows from the trees…
Thank you for flying Equinoxio Airways. I asked WP whether we could set up a frequent flyer scheme. They said no. And stuck us with the new bl..dy editor instead. 😉 Stay safe.
105 thoughts on “Street art new and old”
The first mural looked like magical realism. Was it also by the Colombian artist? The second seems like hyper-realism. Ixchel the fertility goddess looks like she is about to cry. Interesting neighborhood. Wish we had more murals near us in Madison.
Hi Rebe. So glad you dropped by. I checked my spam folder the other day, and there you were. I unspammed your comment but never found it again… You know Wp puts a limit to comments… so I never had a chance to answer it… Perdón!
The first mural did look that way. I don’t think it was the same artist. Different style. I looked in all my pictures, couldn’t find a signature. Not sure “Ixchel” is about to cry. If you look at picture with direct sunlight and open it up, I think it’s the very bright paint, and the serious mouth… 😉
And as for Madison, maybe citizens can put together a suggestion to City Hall?
Hope all is well with you?
Abrazos hasta la próxima…
Hola, yes the spam filters are funny. Usually 90% correct, but sometimes throw a consistent commenter in there. Quien sabe? I thought you did well despite the difficult light.
Thank you. I still know I need to go back around 2 or 3 in the afternoon to get a good light w/0 too many shadows… 😉
Amazing – both! Have to agree with you on favouring the first one. Wow to “donate” one’s house for art like this is a wonderful tihng.
Hands up for the first mural. And yes, it is a good move to get your façade painted. The house is a bit… unkept. When you come close to the wall, you realize they did not “parch” the old painting. Just painted over…
Tout va bien chez toi?
Woot! I understand what you mean… rather than fix what needed to be fixing, they covered it up with trompe l’oeil in a sense 😉
Tout va. On se remet tranquillement des émotions et la vie va de bon train.
Yeah – I noticed some crackle during the tour you have us
Agree with the others, both versions are stunning!
Trugarez. (I was so glad I had enough shots of the first mural…)
Yes, very fortunate. It’s a great metaphor for “act now” 🙂
So lovely and I also appreciate your narrative Brian always learn a wee bit more…so cool and such amazing experiences…mural art is something I could check out more in etown …. enjoyed your flight ☺️🤓🧚🏻 magic ~ sending you joy stay safe Brian and loved ones 💫🤗🙋♀️
Dankje wel Hedy.
Sending joy back.
Wat a fabulous idea to decorate a home.
The ”snake girl” is simply marvelous.
She is isn’t it? Though I do regret the previous mural, her eyes are just gorgeous. This is a very talented artist. All well, “Mate”?
J’adorerai que mon voisin ait une maison comme celle-ci.
Merci à toi pour ces voyages dans l’art (du temps)
Prends soin de toi
Avec plaisir chère amie… Bonne soirée.
Yeah, that editor wasn’t their best move. After a lot of screaming (on my part) and advice (from readers) I finally found a back door that takes me to the past and I’m now using the old editor again.
LOL. I’m still screaming. I thought of using the backdoor, but sooner or later that is not available. So I tried to face the new version. Just a matter of memorizing the new “layers”. Almost there… Hope all is well with you?
We’re getting through, thanks. About Gutenberg, by the time I have to shift over, maybe they’ll either iron some kinks out or at least write a halfway decent instruction manual.
Possibly. Or written more kinks. (I never read the manual) 😉
Hahaha – no rewards program for Equinoxio Airways!
Well I did enjoy the tour through the art – such a nice way to let us move through and feel the street art- I also much prefer the old version.
If it works don’t fix it. The #1 rule for everything, constantly throw away. Hope all is well with you?
Well said – and will be lining you later this month Or next month amigo – some fire hydrants to share
I loved both paintings and am amazed they painted over the old art – why not just paint somewhere else? Does someone live in that house? The windows aren’t looking that cozy maybe windows like that are normal over there??? hmm…. Anyway, the art is lovely and I also enjoyed your storytelling.
Agreed. But the neighbours apparently didn’t volounteer. 😉
The house would an old, sort of low-income house. Maybe some “intellectual” bought it? Or the painter bought it? Don’t know.
Glad you liked it…
A bientôt Lumi.
The flight was good! Illuminating, I could say. What absolutely awesome street art. A cut above the stuff I see here and I thought that was good. It is both a shame and a treat that the wall was repainted. Selfish me would want to hang on to both versions. For street art, I guess, it can’t happen and it has a limited life. Is that why they re-painted?
Hi Amanda. Glad you liked both. Now the destiny of street art is ephemeral. Maybe that’s what gives it a special quality?
Hope all is well with you?
It is lamentable that it is ephemeral. At least we can capture some longevity in photographs.
Oh and stick with the new editor. In a few weeks you will grow to love it, and wonder how you managed before. It is hard for me to remember how to use the old one now having switched when the trial came in. It is much more flexible. But I hear loads of grumblings from bloggers.
It’s not that bad. Just a different logic, and above all visibility. Images are a good example. You could get to images in one level. Now, you have to move 4 levels… In the near 50 years I’ve worked with computers I’v learnt to use commands a lot. So in this case it’s just memorizing the new vocabulary and location of commands… Should be fine in a couple of posts I guess… Cheers.
If this is your field, you will be fine, of course. I take your point about the levels but it become automatic and I don’t even notice it now.
It is an “accessory” field. I’m a business major and an MBA. But we were taught computer science from the beginning, with accounting, marketing, etc. It helps, and one needs to redevelop the “automatic” moves to stop noticing.
Indeed. We continuously adapt and learn. Noone likes change but it is always there lurking in the wings. And where would be without it?
Change is what made us. My ancestors were farmers, peasants. Without change I would still be picking potatoes from the ground. 😉
Exactly my point. Change can be advantageous as well as disruptive. There are indolent sloths, possible prostitutes, orphans, illegitimates, poets and writers in my background. None of whom had much money. I am very grateful to have the life I do.
I always remind my daughters (who’re doing well) that one of my grandfathers was a simple railroad man. His father was a peasant in Brittany.
We’ve come a long way.
It is good to know your roots.
Looks like you lived in a fantastic neighborhood! I love the first mural with a red-hai red woman. I often wonder about the identity of the artist behind the murals without explanatory plaque! Thanks for sharing and have a good day. I hope all is well with you ☺️ Aiva
Glad you liked it Aiva. How was your summer? Have you been able to re-unite with your sister?
We had a great summer! Thank you. It was strange to spend it right here in Sligo, but with everything that’s going on in the world right now, there’s not much else we can do! Especially when you live on the island! Haven’t been able to see my sister yet! My sister is in the middle of renovations, have to wait until she’s done. Hopefully next month 🙂
Hopefully. Haven’t seen my older brother this year since he lives in Paris and our trip was cancelled. Cheers
Both are absolutely fantastic!!! So beautiful and you get to look at it all the time. Lucky you. Is your house painted? Truly lovely post. Thank youl.
Great aren’t they? That house is about 5 blocks away, and I confess we don’t walk that far recently. But there are opportunities for street art close-by.
No, our house is not painted. It’s white with terracotta windows at the old colonial style. I’ts one of 8 houses in the same… what do you call it? Horizontal condo. I don’t think the neighbours would like street art on my façade… 🤣
Well, I certainly love all of this. I am not sure I would want to live there but I would love looking at it because the art is great. That red haired woman (who looks a little like Cate Blanchet) and the lips on that young girl. They are great!
Cate Blanchet? yes. there is an air… And the young girl to the right is fantastic. Lots of light on that portrait.
Thanks for sharing this house. I’m curious how did you learn the story of this house, as in the names and meanings if all the characters and such?
Hi. Thanks for visiting. I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t know the story of the house. It is just my interpretation of the paintings based on what I know of local culture.
Such a delightful ride this morning, I really do enjoy the street art, so different to our polished aluminium and dull concrete. I see you snuck a Beatles line in there too. I see the new work is less busy. I wonder who did the work?
I’m a sneaky blogger. (Or bugger?) 😉
The artist is a “Duek Gonzalez, from Bogotá, according to what I could read on the wall.
Many thanks Brian, not that I’m any the wiser for the knowledge, but nice to know. Lol, sneaky indeed. 🙂
Yes, good that you had taken photos of the first version. What a pity if it had been completely lost. I like them both, the old one a bit better, it is more like my understanding of street art, pictures interwoven and such. But Ixchel is a real beauty!
Agreed on all counts. The old art was richer. But the light on the new one is precious. The young girl in particular.
Wow, such amazing talent and such beautiful street art!
Helloooo. So good to see you. My apologies for not visiting more (I really feel ashamed of myself) lockdown seems to have drained so much of my time, I don’t have enough time left to visit my favourite blogs… I need to find a solution…
Hope all is well with you?
It’s cool! Glad you’re OK.
It seems with lockdown we have less time, if that’s possible.
All is well in in The Land of Oz. 😉
You have such an eye for street art and artists. Thank you for all these great photos and commentary, it makes me feel like I am seeing it for myself.
Well, thank you Sarah. I’m just lucky to stumble across great stuff. (And I do keep my eyes open) Hope all is well?
Yes, you do keep your eyes open! We are well, getting a kick out of life despite all the many reasons to despair.
That is good. Yes there are many reasons to despair. I don’t know what’s happened in just a few years… Enjoy, though. 🙏🏻
Beautiful art work. The second one looks so much more modern, with that super in 3-D look on the snakes! The first one is magical though. While they are both stunning, I’ll put my hand up for the first one, too. Love flying Equinoxio Airways always
And again we agree. The first one was totally magical. Though already deteriorated.
But then the new one is so bright. A good artist. Both actually.
Very beautiful street art that you posted today!
Love the mural of the picture of the women wearing an earing .
Absolutely. The amount of symbolism in that one portrait was amazing… 🙏🏻
PS. You must have taken particular interest in the technique of both artists, right?
Impressive ain’t it? 😉
Are most homes where you are decorated with art this way? Or is this the exception?
This an exception. It’s a vey mixed neighbourhood. High income, Colonial 16-17th century, middle income, low income. The latter sometime don’t even have the money to paint their façade. That particular house is unique. I’m sure the owner decided the first and new painting. Maybe they’re in touch with artists?
Beautiful! That´s why I loved Mexico City. Because of its colours and street art. It has some of the best I have seen so far. If I ever have a house I’ll for sure will make it colourfull! 😀
Colours are fantastic here. And most times the light makes the colours explode… Have you ever tried a very large painting? (As a rehearsal for your future house?) Tschüss Mel.
Yes I have, but not as big as a mural. Back in the days when I was doing acrylics i preferred huge canvases. One day I will get back to it! As soon as I have the space 😀
Look forward to it. 🎨
loved this. and ya i too liked the previous painting better. had a note of history attached to it. the new one brings a breath of fresh air, a sense of modernity, so can’t really complain.
I recently made an art page, it’ll be great if you could check it out!! 🙂
Will do. Tout de suite. 😉
Couldn’t find your art page. Can you send me the link? 🙏🏻
I still use the classic editor. It’s a bit more work, but I’m happy.
Stick with it as much as you can. I decide I’d take the jump. Once I learn the major moves, I’ll be ok.
I’m sticking with it!
It’s fine. I was so used to old Windows operating systems, that when my PC fired, I switched to Mac. I didn’t want to learn yet another Windows…
I love your narrative! What a beautiful art form ❤️❤️❤️
Why, tahnk you ever so much… You just made my evening. I’m glad you liked the post…
Well, you did a nice job taking those pictures, next thing you know, they may decide to repaint the house again.
The good thing you have capture the images, and now they will be here almost forever..?
Greetings Brian, hoping these year with all its problems will be gone soon. 🙂
Greetings back. Yes the original painting will remain. (Barring a massive EMP of course, which would wipe out all electronic records of humanity. 😉
Year’s almost gone. Not sure problems will go away yet. The election has me concerned…
Stay safe… 🙏🏻😷
I loved those pictures !
There’s something so alive about Latin American street art. I absolutely love the rabbit. 🙂
Just had a blank. Yes. That rabbit. I won a rabbit in a lottery once when I was 7 or 8. A real country rabbit. Loved it.
Now I only think of Alice’s rabbit. I’d called him “Lapinos”. Hmm. Hadn’t thought of him in years… Merci de me l’avoir rappelé… Bises “ma grande”.
Good to hear you loved your lapin. I’m a rabbit person. Just call me Alice. Haha.
Of course, I remember your beloved rabbit… 💕
And Alice suits you to a T. (Or would it be an A? Or a J?) You keep crossing the mirror all the time. 🙏🏻
It would have been nice to have few of these talents here in Kolkata too! lovely artworks and great shots!
No street art in Calcutta? How strange. It is a worldwide tend. Maybe it depends on the neighbourhood. And the authorities.
interesting to see what a living artform that graffitti is. ah, wordpress classic — I’ve been still using it, yet now I’m getting notices that it’s ‘unsuported’ sigh
Very alive indeed. Might point us to the right direction if we look closely enough…
The New editor isn’t so bad. Two steps: 1) Write? Just type directly where the cursor is. Don’t bother to look for the paragraph icon. 2) images? click on the right side + sign, look for the image icon. to put the 1st image of your post. About 3 levels of search. upload all your images. select one.
Then just type below the caption… And so forth
ok – tx for the encouragement 🙂