Exhibitions » 2002 » Sensacional! Mexican Street Graphics


Sensacional! Mexican Street Graphics

Sensacional! Mexican Street Graphics

This is a survey of street graphics in Mexico that includes everything from Aztec imagery to Catholic themes to figures from Mexican wrestling. Presented in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate of Los Angeles. This graphic art does not fit within the conventions of traditional graphic design, art composition or even contemporary style. These commercial signs, posters and illustrations are clearly designed to communicate directly with consumers, but the rawness of their imagery transcends their status as mere commercial objects. The visual humor, word plays and creativity employed in these images demonstrates a cultural vibrancy and energy that warrants our attention. The uniqueness of these images compelled the show‚s curator, Deborah Holtz, who is based in Mexico, to travel throughout the country capturing these various graphics in photographs.

In addition to painted wooden boards, old posters, photographs and painted corrugated metal, the exhibition includes reproductions of some of the signs on large cloth panels. These reproductions were painted by "Rotulistas" or sign painters, who recreated onto cloth imagery from various Mexican street signs and products. These hand-painted reproductions give a more realistic idea of how these signs are found in the streets of Mexico. Food advertisements consisting of cartoonish dancing roasted chickens or a shoe repair sign with smiling high heels, for example, entertain the eye with their playful imagery and bright colors.

Sensacional! Mexican Street Graphics is traveling internationally from Mexico and the Armory will be the first presentation in the United States. A color-illustrated book accompanies the exhibition.

Deborah Holtz

Exhibition Dates
12/7/2002 to 2/15/2003