The wonderful island of Holbox in Mexico is also the Street Art’ Paradise!16 July 2019
Holbox’s Street Art heritage is quite amazing and helps enjoying this paradise island. No one is coming to Holbox for its paintings; but for its sweetness of life, its paradisiac beaches never crowded and all the protected species that can’t be find anymore on the other coasts! We are very, very far from Cancun’s mass tourism and even further from the frenetic Mexico City! But here it is; this isolated island of the Yucatan Peninsula has seen the first IPAF (International Public Art Festival) Street Art! In 2014, this festival aimed to capture the concerns and hopes of islanders by creating murals. More than 40 artists spend time on the island and left behind them a beautiful gift to residents and visitors like me.
The most beautiful Maya face of Holbox done by Jace Jano
Alejandro Cervantes Gonzalez Aka Jace Jano is a young Mexican artist born in Aguascalientes. He has painted since a young age; initiated to graffiti as a teenager; he turns to other techniques such as oil or acrylic. His work is firmly rooted in the human; he focuses on looks that go beyond the borders and believes that a better future is possible. A deeply humanistic work of great sensitivity as shown by this magnificent portrait of a young Mayan Himalayan. Done in 2014 during the International Festival of Public Art of the Mexican Caribbean after a photo of Bruno Morandi, French photographer. This sweet face with a pregnant look imprints our memory in an irreversible way! Certainly one of the most important artwork of the island. Enough important for being restored in 2018.
Pinta o Muere; the collective that gives us to see life in colors
Paint or die! You have read the name this Mexican collective correctly! They are painting in the different municipalities of Quintana Roo and brighten the walls of smaller villages as highly tourist places. Their universe, often aquatic, leaves an important footprint on the island of Holbox, especially with their child looking towards the Gulf of Mexico and further … The United States. Or their frog in the main alley of the village that makes sense when the street is flooded after a beautiful rain!
An ounce of sweetness and poetry with artist Jade Rivera
By doing my first steps on the beach of Holbox; I came face to face with this little man sitting on one of the rare stones of this immense beach of fine sand … I thought it was the drawing of a child; but the lines were a little bit too precise … It was by discovering, later, a house painted by the artist Jade Rivera that I understood! This Peruvian artist is an autodidact. Although he was admitted to the National School of Fine Arts in Lima, but decided at the last moment not to go there. He works on giant walls or micro-formats. Besides, this little man is one of his signatures. Many of his representations are children … His work distills a little poetry in the ambient air.
The sublime and unavoidable Woman with the Pink Flamingo
I do not know why ; but I find this mural frescoed really beautiful, even if the color have change with the time passing. She had an incredible wow effect on me! The past colors, the composition, .. makes it devilishly charming! You understand that this fresco is undeniable my favorite of Holbox! And I was not surprised that Léo Tezcucano, the author, is a recognized visual artist worldwide. His works are exhibited at Art Basel Miami and he collaborates with many brands such as BMW, Absolut Vodka * and Perrier. This drastic sportsman continues in his works to explore the vulnerability … his own which resonates with ours; perhaps the reason for my attraction to this work.
The co-founder of the festival leaves a rather astonishing work on the island
Ruben Carrasco is a child of the country; he began selling his drawings in the streets of Mexico City, then worked in a theater to be able to live decently. A few years later he will learn photography in France and Mexico City. And become … tattoo artist! Then open a gallery in Cancùn at the age of 26! No wonder this touch to everything, now based in Montreal is co-founder of the IPAF festival that has left such beautiful works of Street Art in Holbox. His universe is rather dreamlike and one often finds beasts horns; Bison, reindeer, .. Just like snowy universes. This Mexican artist is world famous and participates in many Festivals & Walls around the world.
Ekza One the artist that became Holboxeño
We find throughout the village paintings of Ekza One. This Mexican artist, who spent 8 years doing hip-hop, is an autodidact, and we find in his work a very important naive art side. The inhabitants of the island literally adopted him! We can find a large number of works that he has made without speaking about this huge fresco on the central square of the village that decorates the acoustic dome dedicated to concerts. … In the purest Mexican tradition, he has at Holbox decorated restaurants, houses murals, represented the owners and street children. His most accomplished work remains this love duet in the central street of the village.
The Mexican tradition offers us a gallery of caribbean faces
The streets of Holbox are also an open-air portrait gallery. Whether they are grocers, restaurateurs, telegraphers or hairdressers; the inhabitants of Holbox are found on the walls of their houses. And if you have ever visited Mexico; you will see that it is a tradition, a family portrait; a tribute to the ancestors, … These portraits can be made by artists, but also by villagers. These faces appear calm and peaceful; which reinforces the feeling of tranquility that reigns on this island.
Mexican muralism under the Caribbean sun
Whether it’s a hut on the beach or a small cottage in a hidden street; each house is interesting. Muralism is rooted in the daily lives of Mexicans. The fishmonger will draw a mermaid on his wall, the veterinarian will have colorful animals, … Even the tiny village church is ultra-colorful. You will find a lot of my discoveries on Instagram; because they are too numerous to be included in this article! Know that this rule applies to all the villages of Yucatan!
As you can imagine, it is with regret that I leave this more than beautiful island. But as I will stop at Mexico before leaving; I hope to share with you some discoveries before returning to Paris! If you want to continue to walk around the world, I invite you to browse in my Street Art section , you should enjoy! And of course if you enjoyed this island getaway, thank you for sharing and leave me a little comment; it always makes me happy!
See you soon for new surprises!