For ten years, since the 2006 teacher uprising in Oaxaca, with scissors, paper, paint, and talent, the Lapiztola collective has been cutting through propaganda and meaningless phrases to lead, provoke, and inspire with their art. Looking across the Alcalá from Santo Domingo, a new stenciled mural in front the Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca (IAGO) caught my eye…
There she was, beckoning, much like the beautiful and haunting mural, We sow dreams and harvest hope on the Tinoco y Palacios wall of Museo Belber Jimenez (before it, along with others, was unceremoniously ordered removed by the city government). Another mural by Colectivo Lapiztola.
The symbolism of the corn, the bandana, and a young indigenous girl is rich in the layers of rebellion and resistance of modern-day Oaxaca. And so I went up the stairs of IAGO and into the courtyard where Benito Juárez presided over the entrance to the exhibit, Corte Aquí (Cut Here), by the Lapiztola collective.
Lapiztola consists of three artists: Rosario Martínez, Yankel Balderas, and Roberto Vega. This small exhibit (3 stencils and 7 graphic works), with its larger-than-life images, covers three rooms and stimulates our hearts and our minds.
Over the past ten years, as the exhibition demonstrates, Lapiztola has taken on the issues of social protest, disappearances, the protection of natural resources, and drug-trafficking — the latter, as evidenced below.
Also included, is one of the first Lapiztola images that fascinated me. It covered the front of the Espacio Zapata in 2012 and speaks volumes about modern society.
If you go to the exhibition, don’t miss the third room; in it hangs the three massive stencils (below) used to produce the brilliant mural I named the Art of Agave, celebrating the human face of agave cultivation. It once educated and enlivened the wall of Piedra Lumbre on Tinoco y Palacios, before it, too, was painted over.
I’m not sure how long the exhibition will last. However, if you are in Oaxaca, I encourage you to pay it a visit and to all, when you are in Oaxaca, make sure to pay attention to the walls — they have something tell you.
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