Cancun offers plenty of surfaces buildings, overpasses and walls to tag, mural, sticker and wheatpaste. Street art here is the messages with the constant change of formats and styles. The messages that tell us a lot about what is happening in Cancun and in general in Mexico.
In October Cancun hosted Meeting of Styles, the biggest festival of graffiti in the world with the most beautiful murals. Founded to unite people from different countries, the festival brought more than 80 artists from Europe, North and South America to participate in its first edition on the Caribbean side of Mexico. During two days Mexican and international artists were drawing on the walls and installations surrounding Av Chichen Itza letting people see Cancun from a completely alternative angle.
The history of the festival goes back in 1995 with a meeting of graffiti artists in Wiesbaden Hall of Fame in Germany. The first event took place in 1997 under the name “Wall Street Meeting”. And in 2002 the event was reorganized under the current name and was hold in different public places becoming one of the main platforms for urban artists interested in sharing their ideas, techniques and styles with their international colleagues. Since then Meeting of Styles has sponsored over 250 events worldwide.
The aim of the festival is to promote international collaboration and exchange. It also serves as a mediator between artists and local communities, allowing the artists to create their street art publicly and legally. This year the festival came to Cancun attracting an immense number of visitors. Today I will introduce you to 20 the most prominent works of the festival.
Miguel Ángel Belinchón Bujes known as Belin was born in Linares, Jaén (Spain). He started to pain on the streets since 15 years old.
Belin makes large-scale realistic portraits of distinct characters. It’s the type of work that makes you look twice and marvel at the power of a few spray paint cans. The works of the artist have been displayed in museums, galleries and walls around Spain and different countries.
Slaven Kosanovic, better known as Lunar, is a Zagreb-based artist (his name comes from the legendary video game Lunar Jetman). He found inspiration in the books he was reading. Many heroes from those stories now are in Lunar’s graffiti.
Lunar is a bit different from his fellow graffiti painters. The artist does not hesitate to improvise by applying different techniques. He will gladly practice cigarette holes, squeezed vegetables or spilled wine in order to achieve the artistic goals.
Apitatan or Juan Sebastian Aguirre is a famous Ecuadorian street artist. His works are characterized by the use of catchphrases and vivid colors. Cartoonish characters inhabit Apitatan’s large-scale murals across the globe, each telling their own story.
This Mexican artist has a style that combines aspects of traditional realistic illustration with effects and volume generated by the spray. His work has been appreciated in Mexico, having shown them at the bazaar of Art and Design Art District in Mexico City as well as in street art festivals in other countries.
Mon Devane was born in Ourense, Galicia. He studied illustration and graphic design and began painting realism as a way to improve his technique, but soon it became his obsession.
The artist uses bright colors to capture the pure nature of every face he paints. Right now Mon Devane has his own recognizable style. He has participated in many exhibitions around Galicia including A Trincadeira, Intercontracultura, Festival Arteficial and others.
Farid Rueda was born in Morelos, has been studied in ENAP (Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas or National School for Visual Art) and after meeting the famous Mexican artist Seher who encouraged him to pursue a career in street art decided to develop his own personal style – using the masterful usage of color.
A young artist from Cancun has transformed the city with graffiti.
Deken’s project Various Barrios has been bringing together urban artists and communities from Riviera Maya in order to enhance the look of the public spaces and make the neighborhoods of Cancun full of colors. The proper works of Deken tell unusual stories.
Born in Salvador this young artist has been a part of the graffiti community and street culture from a young age. Madjer creates thrive on a use of color and design with realistic images. One of his most striking images is the portrait of Pablo Picasso that was realized during the Meeting of Styles in Mexico DF. You can see the works of artist in Monterrey, Mexico City, Cancun and of course in his home country Salvador.
Medellin based street artist Fish Corrosko has been making quite a splash of the Colombian street art scene with his artworks that incorporate bright colors and patterning throughout his compositions.
For the artist any graffiti or street art is in itself a political action and is a way to communicate ideas. Through his works he tells a story without changing the ideas of the people who view the works on the streets.
Erving Noh (Eanc One) is a young Cancun based artist currently studying design at the University. Together with his friends he creates a part of Morlocks Crew whose impressive drawings have been appearing in recent times on various public buildings around Cancun. Image wise, the works of Eanc and in general Morlocks Crew mainly contain images of people.
The emotions conveyed in the faces of people vary from joy to sadness and in doing so Eanc appears to be drawing our attention to the street art and social life in his home city, Cancun.
Richy Calavera ODV
Richy Calavera is street artist that is based in Mexico DF who seems to have a very different approach to fellow street artists by taking a much more romantic route with his artistic creations. The street art works of Richy consist mainly of the images of female characters, often surrounded by flowers or with branches growing out of their heads.
If you take a look on the Richy’s Instagram or Fan page you will not only find street art, but wonderful images on canvas.
José Cristian Rebollo (Secreto Rebollo) is one of the most renowned graffiti artists coming from Guadalajara. The impact that his works make is far from away breathtaking, the details even more so. The visual composition, the wide spectrum of colors is one of the characteristic for Rebollo’s work.
In most of his works the artist intentionally displays human face with the splash of colors in order to show the differences of the techniques.
Koka Lep Ogt Pekatore
Mexican street artist Koka is known for his remarkable photorealistic artworks of portraits creating colorful reminiscent photorealistic murals. The artist started to paint around 22 year ago on the streets of Mexico DF.
For his works the artist uses different kinds of surfaces, including pieces of cardboard of various sizes, which gives his art an additional flare.
Elhoms Rangel (Homie TSK) is not just a brilliant graffiti writer but as well a very talented calligraphy artist. He is renowned for his combination of calligraphy and graffiti techniques, which he uses to create large-scale works. His most famous and controversial murals are located in the north part of Mexico, Monterrey.
Noriega Jose Luis
The Mexican state Chiapas is home to a stunning mixture of arts and a rich history that gave life to it all. It bears a unique vibe incorporated in culture and nature, celebrated by numerous artists. One of the most famous Chiapas artists is a young street artist Noriega Jose Luis who creates a series of paintings based on animals, capturing the emotions and interactions between the human and its environment.
The graffiti writer and tattoo artist Debza originally from Toulouse, France finds inspiration in graffiti art, Japanese animation and tradition, mixing up several techniques such as collage, graffiti, stencil, painting, and drawing.
Successfully blending old and new practices, he screen prints and hand-paints backgrounds, subsequently adding graffiti elements . His pieces cover street walls all around the globe.
Daniel Poetalatas, Oaxaca-based street artist creates signature portraits. Embracing the style of the Old Masters and translating it into street art expression, Daniel is famous for his photorealistic murals executed solely in spray paint, showing his mastery in this technique.
Othem Rdz Vidales y Serek de Duotag
A renowned graffiti duo Othem Rdz Vidales y Serek is known for the spectacular explosion of fresh colors and breathtaking figurative detail art works. The duo of brothers originally from Tampico Tamaulipas, Mexico has been created stunning murals for 12 years being inspired by the beautiful nature of the country.
The organizer of the festival Meeting of Styles, Gerso influenced the graffiti writers and pioneered many projects. The artist started writing graffiti in hometown, Mexico-city, plastering his name and moving from simple tagging to creating more elaborate pieces of dynamic lettering that brought him success.
Musa 71 is graffiti artist from Barcelona, Spain, who has been on the scene since 1989, and today is internationally renowned for using “wild style” approach to the graffiti art form.
The artist has collaborated on many projects and festivals across the globe, achieving considerable mainstream success for the artworks.
Street art inspires, wakes you up and makes you get out of your comfort zone. And talented graffiti artists pour their hearts into their work to produce breathtaking pieces as a result.
Even though the next edition of Meeting of Styles will be almost in a year you can support the festival or just simply look at your neighborhood and think about the way you can improve your surroundings.
Facebook page of Meeting of Styles Mexico: https://www.facebook.com/meetingmexico/.