Published On: Sun, Sep 30th, 2018

Oaxacan muralist recognized in European art scene

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The image of a little girl dressed in the traditional garments of the Triqui people watches over bystanders from a street in Paris.

The girl is painted on a mural that portrays the early years of Mexican singer Lila Downs and it was recently made by an artist from Oaxaca called Joel Merino López as part of his tour through five countries in Europe.

Born in San Juan Copala, a Triqui community from the Santiago Juxtlahuaca municipality, Joel has gained recognition in the art scene due to his fierce defense of the traditions and essence of Mexico’s indigenous peoples, which he shows in his work. Now, the 29-year-old artist from Oaxaca is touring Europe, leaving beautiful murals in iconic cities.


In only two months, he has left his mark on the walls of Belgium, France, and Spain. His next stops include Germany and Italy. In a phone interview with EL UNIVERSAL, Joel told that the first time he gave a tour in Europe with his art was in 2016 and that he constantly tries to promote his craft and his people’s legacy.

In other countries, and even in Mexico, people tend to think that the traditions and worldview of indigenous peoples is a thing of the past, when in reality, they are far from disappearing.

Through his murals, Merino López seeks to promote his country’s broad and multicultural diversity, specially regarding the life and work of indigenous peoples.

In order to bring his art to different countries, Joel decided to self-manage and avoid depending on government support. Thus, his interventions in public places depend on the resources obtained through the sale of his art and craft, as well as personal invitations from artistic groups.




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