The Intercultural Festival of Muralism on Water, Life and Unity, from March 30 to April 8, 2018, in Querétaro, Mexico.
Behind Nine Urban Art is a dream: the power of small, responsible organizations to change Mexico and the world. Born from a small company that evolved as an organization that seeks total responsibility, Nueve is a Mexican platform for the production of murals, the development of Mexican talent and the transformation of society through culture.
Through an alliance with the Pangea Seed Foundation, based in Hawaii and the creator of the Sea Walls – Artists for Oceans Festival, the artists, curators and producers of Nueve have managed to create a unique piece in the world. Considering its curatorship, the cause it defends, its level of quality and its extraordinary combination with the architectural work, the altarpiece of “Water is One” is the most extraordinary work of urban art in the world today.
“Water Is One” consists of the creation of a monumental “Altarpiece” or “meta-work of art” on the dome of Foucault’s pendulum at the CECEQ, with 3,000 square meters of murals, composed of 21 pieces developed by 33 artists and producers, tackling a single theme under the curatorial line of “Water Is One”.
The altarpiece was created with different artistic styles including hyperrealism, illustration, organic exploration, metaphysics, graffiti, classical muralism and Transpersonal Graffiti Muralism or “Transgrafiti”. The participation of some of the most important exponents of urban art at the local, national and international levels stands out, among which are: Aaron Glasson from New Zealand, Jason Botkin from Canada, Nosego from the United States, Mantra from France, Sänk from Estonia and a large group of Mexican talents with: Sermob, Goal, Ryper, Renata Martínez, Demencia Beivide, Saúl Torbe, Miguel Valiñas, Smithe, Curiot Tlapazotl, Paola Delfín, Pogo, Tmuz, Atole Parra, Tmuz, the Xfamily and Benuz Guerrero.
This monumental milestone in the history of urban art was created as a gift to the peoples of Queretaro, Mexico and the world, and its legacy will endure for posterity in an investment that represents two million pesos of private capital provided by Incusa, winner of the National Quality Award 2016, through its artistic platform Nueve Arte Urbano.
In an act of generosity and love for humanity, all the participating artists donated their time, talent and love to dialogue with the world about the challenges facing human survival in the face of the challenges of water, garbage, overconsumption and the exploitation of Mother Earth.
This Festival represents a central point in the work of Nueve Arte Urbano in the streets of Querétaro for eight years and whose genesis was presented during the administration of Francisco Domínguez Servién as Mayor of the city, through Paulina Aguado and the Municipal Institute of Culture of Querétaro, during the festivities of the bicentennial of Mexico’s independence.
This meta-artwork was executed between March 27 and April 15, 2018 and seeks to spread its message to the whole world.
All the artists and producers who collaborate in this offering of the people to the people, we respectfully ask our authorities to grant us the protection of this work, the landscaping of the space where it is located and the installation of benches and a museography that honor the relevance of the cultural process that for eight years has embellished and empowered our city, our country and the world. Likewise, Nueve Arte Urbano is committed to renovating at least four murals of the altarpiece every 3 years.”
The Pangea Seed Foundation and Nueve Arte Urbano create the “Water Is One” Festival in Querétaro.
The Pangea Seed Foundation and Nueve Arte Urbano create the Festival “El Agua Es Una” in Querétaro.
“Within the natural conflicts of life, those generated by man are becoming more and more frequent and it would seem that humanity is struggling to destroy itself. The Pogo mural describes the conflict between opposing forces. On the one hand, water and nature push with force and life, containing the voracity of a beast of death that attacks from the other extreme, enveloped in sewage, garbage and human ambition.
Pogo represents a generation of illustrators and designers who are taking responsibility for the things that happen in the cities where they live and find their power in the realization of pieces with a strong meaning, in such a way that they capture the attention of the passer-by and stir their ideas until they make him reflect deeply.
Pogo’s high-contrast graphics describe a sincere and honest concern to try to be the best version of ourselves for the Earth, showing the best face to every problem and, like Pogo when making its wall, respond to every challenge with a huge smile.”
The mural by Goal and Ryper, Keretan artists with deep graffiti backgrounds, emerges on the west side of the dome. We see the enormous head of Cipactli, the mythological being, similar to a crocodile, which was sacrificed by the Tezcatlipocas to create the world and nature, according to pre-Hispanic mythology. Cipactli gives his body so that Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca can divide it in two, creating the sky with his head and the earth with his body. So Cipactli is a metaphor for the beginning of nature. On the lizard, small molecules of carbon dioxide have reclaimed the atmosphere. Small and subtle, little by little they have made life more unstable and this is shown in the eyes of the sick reptile, which breathes a purplish and cloudy air. Beneath the lizard, life seeks to survive in the waters corroded by human activity and global warming, homes lie in agony barely able to withstand flooding. The Cipactli de Goal and Ryper looks to the south for the pure water that all beings claim, while pollutants and human settlements sneak up on it, threatening the life of Mexican fauna and the stability of the Earth as a result of the constant deterioration of water and habitats, generated by human ignorance and ambition.
In addressing the water issue, Smithe created a codex describing Tlaloc and Coatlicue, both worn and ill. The exploited gods are loaded with cables, pipes, wells and other artifacts necessary for humans to live; in contrast we find thirst, wear and tear, death and a final consequence for a species that seems to be forging its own destruction of not contemplating in depth the repercussions of its actions.
Placed firmly on four sections of the building, the complete composition describes an altarpiece of Mexican pop art that stands out for the clean strokes of the most skilled in graffiti and whose resonance is already beginning to influence contemporary graphics, defined by a style that is leaving its mark on world illustration.
Addressing the theme of thirst and despair, Saul’s work portrays a dreamlike landscape where creatures migrate from one side to the other seeking first to quench their thirst in the desert, first as a nuisance that becomes a terrible need for survival. Saul’s agglutinated line invites reflection and gives the message that without water we have nothing. On the left side of the mural, Saul approaches a more optimistic tone with a female face wrapped in symbols of fertility and life. The work is sprinkled with different forms, sometimes visionary and sometimes abstract, which make up a kind of garden graffiti artist of delights.
Sänk’s mural recreates the legend of the mystic Chan, the mythological creature that governs the waters of the springs where the liquid flows from the rock, and the responsibility of taking the water from Querétaro to the Zamorano hill when humans fight for it. Today the Chan seems to be further and further away from our cities, so we have to unite communities and actions to recover the ecological balance. On its wall, Sänk portrays the legend in which a wise man of the village invokes the chan, asking him to let the water of Zamorano flow so that it can return to the springs of the glen. The scene features a handful of Ajolotes, the extraordinary Mexican salamander that has the power to regenerate your organs. From them the rains come out, new rivers are born and at one end, hidden at the bottom of the space, in the limits of the building, the Blue Deer of the Wirrarica, lord of life, contemplates the rebirth of its garden.
“Every component of the water cycle is vital to life on earth. While it is common to think of water in its liquid state, high in the sky clouds contain an enormous amount of the world’s pure water. The industrial activities carried out without measure and the waste that our unconscious way of life throws away, significantly damages everything around us. In his mural, Miguel Valiñas tackles the theme of water and atmospheric pollution, creating with his brushes a cloud that takes the form of a siren in the sky, like a magical being that flows through the atmosphere in the hope of bringing us the waters we need gently, while the city, naive about its existence, continues to be damaged by the exhalations of its economic activity.
An architect by profession, Miguel Valiñas travels the world like his ethereal mermaid, creating murals, disseminating ideas and promoting awareness.”
For life to exist there must be balance, this is the message that the native of San Luis Potosi addresses in his work, this piece that describes a humanoid creature figure that releases the water that two hands hold, tells us about the evolution of life and that each living being depends on each other to grow and exist. The piece ends its message on the far right, where a plant like man goes through stages, making it clear that we are not so different when we all share a common need.
Made entirely with Calligraphy, the work by the Mexican artist, who lives in Dresden, Germany, highlights the problems of moving the liquid from one place to another, and his work flows strongly as a consequence of life.
“Mediante un trabajo colaborativo entre Édgar Sánchez, Tré Packard, Sigre Tompel, Jason Botkin, Ricardo Quezada y la legendaria periodista Martha Cooper, el equipo de artistas y productores de “”El Agua es Una”” dedicó y suscribió su trabajo con el siguiente texto:
“”Somos una comunidad de artistas e impulsores del cambio, actuando como uno, en una expresión colaborativa de libertad cultural y activismo ambiental. El agua en nuestra sangre es la misma que cae del cielo y recorre corrientes y ríos hasta nuestros océanos. Todas las aguas son una. Usando el lenguaje universal del arte, ofrecemos estos muros, con amor por el agua que sostiene toda vida en este planeta y para recordarnos la importancia de construir comunidades fuertes que protejan este recurso sagrado.””
Dando un acento final a la obra monumental, los artistas Atole Parra y Hannah Sole, se encargaron de plasmar este texto en uno de los muros colindantes al estacionamiento, en una hermosa letra azul que evoca el fluir del agua.
With more than 30 years of experience in graffiti photography, Martha Cooper is the world’s leading promoter of this style system. Having her Genesis in Brooklyn, Martha witnessed first-hand a movement that would take the world by storm. As part of the festival activities, we invited graffiti artists from Queretaro to paint a tribute to the photographic work at the Martha Cooper Graffiti Open. To the call of Nine Urban Art, graffiti artists from all over the city joined in, to express their name and remember that these walls are also theirs: Gofe, Smoke, Toes, Muek, Roy, Kererer, Cres, Evok, Snak and Xoffe.