Written by Pauline Keff and Marie Blain
In July 2018, as part of a sustainability awareness campaign launched by the UN, CEDA, Mexico’s main consumer goods market, was transformed into a gigantic outdoor gallery. Dozens of murals were exhibited there. This event is not without recall the importance of mural painting as a privileged mode of communication in modern Mexican society.
In Mexico there is a pictorial movement whose origin dates back to the years that followed the Mexican Revolution of 1910, and which has acquired remarkable importance: the mexican muralism. In search of authenticity, it is one of the first movements that legitimizes Latin American aesthetics. Mexican muralists then inspired Latin American artists who decided to engage in the cause of a social, political and aesthetic art. Indeed, Mexican artists and intellectuals participated in the construction of a new national identity known throughout the world. Today, mural painting is massive in Mexico.
The particular role of mural painting in this country is of historical origin. The latter was born of the fragmentation of political and social ideas that followed the revolution. After the conflict, the government decided to seek the union of the Mexican nation. Due to the illiteracy of a large part of the population, he chose to disseminate the collective history of the country through a policy of massification and promotion of mural painting. The walls thus served to carry the events historical constituents of the national identity to the knowledge of the population. As a result, the struggles of indigenous peoples against Spanish domination and the Mexican Revolution were important themes of Mexican muralism. The painters of this current conceived their pictorial works as a new representation of the Mexican condition, and insisted on mythical and popular references. It was about bringing the Mexican people together around collective values and references.