Monday, June 5, 2023

Street Art in the Neighborhood

Last Wednesday I took a long walk in San Juan de Aragón, the area in which Alejandro lives.  In the course of my walk, I came upon more examples of the street art for which Mexico City is famous.

In May I wrote that San Juan de Aragón is well-known for its reenactment of the Battle of Puebla each year on May 5th.  This homeowner decorated the garage door with a somewhat primitively painted tribute to that event.

Is it considered street art if it is on wheels?  Parked next to that garage door was a truck that is a mobile barber shop.

Across the street was this impressive mural on the wall of a home.  

This part of San Juan de Aragón is known as the "Barrio de San Miguel" (Neighborhood of St. Michael).  A bit of explanation here.  In Mexico, cities are divided into districts known as "colonias".  The area known historically as San Juan de Aragón is made up of fifteen "colonias".  Some traditional neighborhoods still cling to the older term of "barrio" even though it is not an official designation of the city.  I was walking through the "Barrio de San Miguel" which explains why the Archangel St. Michael is prominently featured on this mural.  

It would appear that the painting was done in honor of departed loved ones.  Beneath the weeping angel is written "En su memoria" (In their memory), and the names of various people are written on the wall.  The inscription of the scroll at the far right of the painting reads, "God bless he who arrives in my 'barrio'.  Protect he who stays, and care for he who goes away."

I left that "barrio" and continued down the busy street of Calzada San Juan de Aragón, which becomes Avenida 412 (streets in Mexico City frequently change their names!).  I came to an elementary school.  The walls of public schools are often covered in murals, and this one was no exception.  I'm not sure, but I suspect such paintings are done by the students under the direction of their art teacher.

This school has a "Star Wars" theme going on.

Walking around the school there were paintings with other themes...

The house from the Pixar movie "Up"

The traditional "María" doll

The "Mario Brothers" video game

Characters from "Toy Story"

I had stumbled upon a mother lode of street art because next door was a junior high school covered in paintings and across the street another series of murals.

More to come in the next post.

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