May 24, 2012

María de la Reforma: New mural in Mexico City

The last few weeks have been hectic, but here are finally some shots of "María de la Reforma", the mural I painted this month for the All City Canvas public art project in Mexico City.
The culture of Mexico and muralism go hand in hand so this was just a natural continuation of a long tradition there. The mural is over ten stories high, located by the Paseo de la Reforma, which is one of the city's largest, most famous thoroughfares. It was an honor for me to paint this there because not too far away on this same street in the IMSS building is one of my favorite murals ever, by the famous Mexican artist Jorge González Camarena.
Painting the mural involved a daily battle with the sun, lift problems, breathing constant exhaust smoke, and most especially- painting the entire thing from a little swinging basket that hung from a crane. I could have used a little more time to finish the mural but I'm still proud of how it came out. It was also humbling and overwhelming to see how supportive local people were.
The image I painted is based on photos I took of a social activist & poet named María Guardado, who was tortured and left for dead in 1980 by government forces during the civil war in El Salvador. She was one of thousands of civilian victims of that war, during which the US-backed Salvadoran government employed death squads to kill & terrorize everyone from poor farmers to nuns to students. Maria survived and fled the country for Los Angeles, where today she is still a passionate fighter for social justice.
Along with other economic and political problems, Mexico has been enduring a bloody six-year drug war which has left at least 50-60,000 people dead so far. In this election year in Mexico, I think many people are hopeful that things will get better. I'd like this mural to be seen as a symbol of hope and strength.
Many thanks to Maria Guardado, la familia Celaya y ARTO, Claudia, Andrea, Martin y el resto del equipo ACC, Roberto Shimizu of the incredible MUJAM, Gonzalo de MAMUTT, Arturo & Fifty24MX gallery, John Carr & Eyerie, Kim & Djentrification of well as everyone else that came by to show support


M* said...

Absolutely Stunning !

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and art for the world. It is pleasing to look at and I also learned about this brave strong activist.


Modern said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Modern said...

Great work bro,Came out amazing"-god blessed.

-Dr.eye One

carlos said...


Deptreepe said...

thank you MAC,very nice work

Luis Vega said...

¡Estás Cabrón! (Your art is nice)

Miguel Perez said...

I am no painter, but your artwork is absolutely inspiring in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

what an incredible mural... I can't even imagine how you keep things to proportion at such a stupendous scale. The biggest piece i've done was 5x7 feet and even then I had to step far away to see how things were going.... enlighten me el mac!
also, i've battled with this damn captcha for like an hour trying to post this comment what piece of work this software is

Dorinda Moreno said...

The Comadres and Friends of Maria Guardado, in the U.S. and Mexico DF appreciate this impressive honoring of Maria as a light for the people of El Salvador and all who have suffered as a result of the U.S. involvement in the 'dirty wars'. Maria de la REforma stands before us as an antorcha of victory that the people will survive the unjustice and win! Dorinda Moreno, International Tribunal of Conscience/FuerzaMundial!