The work of Mantra is a true visual delight. Its first wall reminds us of the importance of water as a generator of life and the death and despair of its absence. It is located at the western end of the building, in a narrow and cloudy passage that connects two important avenues of the city, surrounded by grey walls and floors stained by years of walking. The Mantra altarpiece is erected with grace and color, as nature does on a daily basis, as if flowers had bloomed on those walls and a monarch butterfly reigned over the alley. On the left, a sea turtle skull lies on a fishing net, as in Tre Packard’s original photograph. The transformative power of the art of Mantra has accentuated the enormous force of nature to make everything bloom, pristine, even in the darkest alley.
The technical ability of Mantra is almost disconcerting. However, it is from the metaphor contained in the mural that the strength to move the passer-by is born. The piece identifies us with nature, to be more human. We see a huge female presence that gazes with delight at the fertile nature. It is an allegory about biodiversity, with the purpose of showing that humanity has the capacity to interact with the natural environment in complete harmony and balance. The main character is inspired by the female deities of water in Mesoamerica and represents nature in its original splendor. From the east side of the dome, the Mantra piece dances with the west side, the lizard Cipactli beset by the pollution of Goal and Ryper, completing the dance game of the four directions of the world on the Dome and under the Sun. With a quetzal on his shoulder, a salamander, a butterfly, a whale shark and other natural beings representing the wealth of the world connected by the same element – water.
“Cultural Freedom is the ability of people to define their own identity and evaluate their individual culture. The exploration of Noségo, an artist from Philadelphia, led him to paint on his wall Oshun, the African deity (Yoruba) of love and fresh water, which in Cuba is synthesized in the Virgin of Charity of Copper. In her Sunbathing Mural, an African woman comes out of the water and raises her hands to create a spell of light and love, a creation that will produce other creations. Life illuminates with the power of the fresh waters, refreshes with its sweet protection and speaks of an act of love for nature.
Nosego’s mural is a testimony of the life of a person who lives in the small moments. When his elongated hand and strong arm hold a brush, the artist finds himself working on a work more than just performing a beautiful soliloquy in the symphony of his life, rarely can such freedom be appreciated in the stroke, perhaps that is why the smile on Oshún’s face is serene and cheerful, showing that his author was truly free within his painting.”
“””Among all the natural phenomena that are linked to water, rain is probably the most emblematic and significant for the human species. Like the rain that is sometimes heavy and sometimes light, Paola Delfín moved nonstop for 13 days on the dome of Focault’s pendulum to invoke with her painting the Tláloc Zapoteca: Pitao Cosijo. His rain deity raises a glance to heaven, a pair of hands hold a heart, as delicate as Paola’s stroke, symbolizing the gift of life, while a waterfall flows reminding us of the connection between water, life and the offering that in return we human beings make with our work. A third eye awakens on the forehead of the deity, looking at the truth of things, and at its side ornamental plants bloom in a monumental work that makes the heart beat.
The Relationship between Paola and Cosijo, describes an intimate romance between an artist and her work, created under the scorching Queretaro sun, during 13 long days of work. While Paola initially confessed to underestimating the structure, like the rain soaking through a desert, the work of the Capitalina filled the structure to the brim to bathe the north face of the festival’s emblematic Water is One dome. The work is a monumental work of art that invites us to remember the roots of Mexicans and the care of water as a catalyst for life. The piece also stands out for the way in which it took the author out of her comfort zone, leaving the delicate lines of the female figure briefly to address the roughness of a stone god that seems to be carved on the stone of the Dome and whose heart resounds in the sky with lightning. Behind this northern wall, at the southern end of the dome, Curiot Tlapazotl paints the consort of Tlaloc, the female deity Chalchiuhtlicue with whom he begins a dance of life, love and prosperity.”
“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.”
In collaboration and within the main altarpiece, Renata Martínez and Aaron Glasson also developed an altarpiece. In it they tell the story of thirst and the absence of water. On the far right, Macedonia Blas Flores, the indigenous woman and human rights defender who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, holds a jug of water with the attributes of Tlaloc. Behind him, a man with Spanish features holds another jar that has been broken by an indigenous boy to take advantage of his runoff and feed a garden.
The mural covers different topics such as water pollution, marine fauna affected by contaminated water, difficulties in getting water to the house, floods and droughts. Also at the bottom center of the composition, a piece by Renata shows the desperation in the form of a person trying to drink from a bottle so that the bottle seems to be drinking from it. On the far left and beyond the parking lot wall, the artists depict a masculine face that peeks under the surface of the water to look at the garbage, including a Spanish conqueror’s helmet. Next to it is the message “plastic is toxic”, inside a pet bottle, in the hand of a skeleton…
At the center of the mural, two stone figures symbolize nature and the creation of man, in a reflection that tells us that both the idol and the stone are of the same material, so why not preserve nature in the same way that the work of man is preserved?
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.
“””Traced on the façade that gives access to the Science and Technology Museum of Foucault’s pendulum, Sermob’s mural speaks of the indivisible in the world. Sea creatures merge with the human archetype, highlighting the way in which the species that inhabit the earth are irretrievably linked; we are all one universal entity and the actions of one species can profoundly affect the existence of the other. In this way the angles in the shape and the watery figures that maintain the background composition direct our view upwards.
At the top of the piece, a person balances two buckets, symbolizing Tlaloc and the difficulty of bringing water to people. With this metaphor of Sermob, each inhabitant becomes a sort of Tlaloc, a god whose strength has been reduced before the action of others and whose need to bring water to those he loves plunges him into difficult tasks. Cities are no strangers to this, when the great mass becomes a single entity with a name; the Tlaloc that carries water to them becomes a snake hundreds of kilometres long, like the “”Aqueduct II””, until it reaches the inhabitants of the city who seem to live with naivety without knowing that perhaps in less than three years it will probably be an act of hope to open a tap.
The piece by the artist, originally from Iztapalapa, but who has lived in Querétaro for years, finishes off with vegetal accents of nopal whose importance has been vital in the life of the citizens since the foundation of the city and whose existence would be impossible without water. Sermob’s sharp and neat line defines an almost surgical precision that attracts visitors inside the children’s museum of “”the pendulum””, where behind the smile of every little boy awaits an inspired citizen who will be part of the generation of change agents that the country needs, those who will make Tlaloc its lightest burden.