Mexican Murals – High Above the City

in murals •  6 months ago 

I might have been a bit unfair in my previous post about the lack of new murals in my area. In fact, there are some fantastic wall paintings, if you know where to look. In this case, it would be high above the busy bustle of Avenida Revolución, right around where it intersects with Avenida José Martí in the neighborhood of Tacubaya, not even too far from where I live. Up there, on the wall of an apartment building is this sizeable mural. The fact that it’s in a bit of an awkward position to see it from the street is made up by its enormous size.

Since the only decent shot I got was from this weird angle, let me zoom in to take a closer look at the two images on the side. The abstract geometric shapes in the middle picture can also be appreciated from afar.

The painting on the right side shows a head of some sorts. My first impression was that of a clown (an evil clown, though it may be redundant to point out this characteristic). A closer look at its mouth could actually reveal certain feline features, reminding me of the depictions of jaguar-like faces in pre-columbian art. This doesn’t make the picture any less scary, but at least I know that it’s something formidable and powerful, a thing you can’t say about clowns.

 

The mural on the right side is without a doubt the most impressive one. It depicts a human face, once again pre-columbian looking, wearing the feathered headdress with a bird’s face. Above the image we can see a third face. This one is the hardest one to describe, most likely a spirit entity, once again cat-like. To me it brings to mind the iconic Totoro characters from the famous Miyazaki movie. I’m not sure if that was the artist’s intention, but the surrounding circular images, especially the one with the smiley-looking face, suggest that he may have been inspired by other modern-day imagery. In any case, he combined them quite well with the traditional Mexican style.

Looking at the lettering on the side of the mural, I managed to make out the artist’s name. A quick search on the word led me to the page of Jorge Tellaeche, who apparently has painted many other interesting murals. Some of these I may actually know where they are. If I come across them, I’ll make sure to post about later. 

If you liked this, check out my developing series on Mexican murals:  

  • Feminist Mural on a Blue-Collar Business
  • Not Much New in Almost a Year
  • Commercial Murals for Small Businesses
  • A Mural for a Movie
  • Get to Know Your Local Cacti
  • New Images Covering Old Ones
  • A Warrior Princess in Mazunte
  • A Cartoon with a Public Health Message
  • Murals Under Periferico
  • Murals of the Barrio in Aguascalientes
  • Respected and Less Respected Paintings
  • Under Metro Line 4 
  • ChaliaKiller's – Murals, Chilaquiles, and Lots More 
  • A Familiar Face 
  • Political Expression: the Painting is on the Wall 
  • Different Types of Wall Paintings 
  • The Beauty of Death and the Struggle of Life 
  • Winston Churchill and the Bike Movement 
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    What an amazing series you have going here. I love street art!
    BTW, you should meet @cendrinemedia if you haven't already run into her. She's covered a huge number of murals in Winnipeg.

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    I'm happy you like my series. I like to include links to previous posts, otherwise I feel they get lost in the ocean of recent entries. It would be great if there was an elegant way to group previous posts, but for now this list should do.
    I looked at @cendrinemedia's profile. She's got some nice photography, but I didn't scroll down far enough to see the murals.

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    She took them off the blockchain after some locals were upset that she was profiting on the photos - so those ones are only on her website now. Hopefully, she'll chime in here.

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    Taking them off the blockchain??? I thought precisely that was impossible. Anyhow, I think if you add a review of your own, and mention the artist whenever possible, including linking their site, you're actually helping them, so they should have nothing to complain about. Besides, murals are painted on public walls, making them public domain. This way any architect or landscape designer could come with the same argument. Well, at least this is how I see it. I understand how others could have a different opinion.

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    She deleted content on the posts that were still editable. She's been on the local radio and even national television in Canada now through them, so she felt it was important to play the helpful/friendly card.

    I agree on your view on the public walls thing - I believe this is still a gray area legally. Such as making money off some of my photos of publicly-viewable locomotives. Or 10-year-old pictures that include recognizable people - in a public situation... Very gray.

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    Hello there!

    Actually, no, you cannot profit from public art. You are allowed to take photos, but these photos should not make you money. You have to have permission from the artist for that, because it is still their piece and they own copyright. I live in Canada and rules are very clear about it. I learnt my lesson.

    I have had to put disclaimers all over my website to ensure no one would come after me for trying to take advantage of the art. But, as I said: If I really wanted to make money, I would certainly not endeavour to take photos of the 600 murals in my city. I have already spent about 100 hours of my personal time (and money) for my Murals of Winnipeg project. Feel free to check out the photos I am sharing on my website.

    For example, if you use the photos in a public exhibit, the artist can demand royalties, and even if you didn't make money.

    I received complaints from locals (but never the artists) about my project. That's probably because local and national media was showing my photos.

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    Wait a second: if it was never the artists who complained, just locals, what were they complaining about? How were they affected by you? Just because they saw you on TV?

    The other thing I don't get is the part about the royalties for public exhibits: Does that mean the artist can insist that you mention their name, etc. (which I think they should) or that you pay them money, even if you didn't make any money? The latter option is actually so outrageously unreasonable that I'm sure I misunderstood something.

    I'm just looking at your site right now. Those murals are absolutely stunning!!! Thank you for bringing them to me (who would never get to see them otherwise) and for that I totally think you should deserve a fat upvote for each one. I remember seeing some amazing street art in Vancouver. In spite of all the muralist tradition in Mexico, they are every bit as awesome (or in some ways even better) as Mexican murals.

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    I know it doesn't make sense, right? I received complaints from sponsors of the murals actually. And it came from the fact that the media did not follow my instructions. They were just too busy trying to build a buzz around this. There is only one person in the city that photographs murals. Plus, Winnipeg is an unknown city outside of Canada. So, as you can imagine, it's an unheard of thing!

    Mentioning the name is mandatory (if it is available). But an artist can come to you and say: "You exhibited my work, now I want you to pay me." It's part of the Canadian copyright laws. There is no logic behind it, of course. But people have abused artists for so long that now, the government is trying to offer them protection. As an artist myself, I kind of appreciate that.

    I started taking an interest in murals a few years ago, and had the opportunity to photograph some on Big Island, Hawaii, recently. They all take my breath away! So much talent and yet, almost nobody talks about them.

    Thank you for looking! I will follow you and check out your posts.

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    Oh, so I did not misunderstand. It is actually a law that doesn't make any sense at all. Too bad, especially since it was probably passed with the best intentions. Which is also why I don't think laws are effective mechanisms, but that's a different story.

    Thanks for checking out my blog. If you scroll down far enough you may actually see some Vancouver / Victoria murals (which I now realize have broken the law already... oopsie!)