« Sueño de mi muerte”, (« Dream of my Death ») in Amsterdam, Urban Art Museum par l’artiste Cix Mugre.
The artist Antonio Triana becomes “Cix Mugre” when he grabs his brush, his tattoo machine or some color sprays. With his art, that may look like a great ayahuascan trip, he now covers walls of all around the world!
Meet Cix !
He began to paint the walls of his native Mexico at the age of 14. We are then in the middle of the 1990s and what the young man is doing is completely illegal. Buuuut, today, he is called upon by France, Austria, Egypt or Portugal to exercise his art in full recognition!
Its popularity is already well assured in the international network of street artists, and he is already on the way to being known all around the world by a wider public.
If he also is a gifted tattoo artist and a remarkable graphic painter, it is with mural painting that Cix stood out and continues to rise.
Antonio grew up in a family of craftsmen with strong Latin American Oaxacas roots and lived for a long time in San Antonio Tecómitl (outskirt of Mexico City) where Nahuatl is spoken mainly (an ancient idiom, descended from the Aztec languages). What’s more, his father is Chinantec and his mother is from the Zapotec Oaxacas populations, still very present in Mexico and also linked to the Aztecs.
Proud representative of these indigenous peoples and their polytheistic, epic and eloquent beliefs, Cix draws on it almost systematically. In other words, he doesn’t need to resort to ayahuasca to bring his psychedelic universe to life.
And what is more about this universe? how to define his graphic style? Do we really have to define it? He is often described as the founder of « Prehispanic Pop Psychedelic Art » (« Prehispánico Pop Psicodélico »), but we agree: that hardly means something …
Especially since assigning a label to what Cix does is premature; only the historians of tomorrow will be able to make him enter in a specific small box.
Antonio gives his style a name: “mine”.
Well, we can however try to say a little more about « his », or describe a little what is meant by « Prehispánico Pop Psicodélico »:
as said previously, Cix’s compositions are steeped in the so-called pre-Hispanic religious tradition (prior to European colonization) from which he extracts figures such as the flagship god Quetzalcóatl, the deity Pakal or the enigmatic character Chac-Mool).
More than a quote, these deities are often the central character of the play. Dressed in a pre-Hispanic style and equipped with their own attributes (ostentatious earrings, corn cobs, snake breastplate, parrot feathers), they are combined with futuristic shapes and a tangy palette, more commonly referred to as « pop ».
Nevertheless, these characters keep their bizarre and simple aspect, coming directly from the artistic testimonies that remain and which are visible in museums or in archaeological ruins that populate Mexico. Europeans colons mistakenly took this art for naive and simplistic forms, but it is in reality a poetic abstraction referring to the spiritual world of the gods. According to the artistic vision of these times, it would have been futile to try to associate the mystical creatures with human forms or to attempt to draw them faithfully.
Antonio says that it only to have a visual walk within the streets, people and places that exist in Oaxaca (Mexican region) to explore the potential universe of colors combination he could then use.
The frank and fresh colors fuse and thanks to this pop force, Cix seduces all kinds of very diverse audiences, ranging from the very young to the oldest among us, because we are all easily grabbed by the harmony of bright colors and absorbed in the decryption of the dozens of elements designed side by side.
The themes on which Cix draws are in particular mystical and traditional beliefs, futuristic sciences, death, the effects of time, cycles of life … while playing according to the codes of urban art which, if it is very various, often stands out for its dynamism, its bright colors and shapes that move away from the rigidity of classic lines. Monsters, pin-ups, little characters reminiscent of comics or cartoons, urban art is pop culture, modern, young, with flexible lines and bursts of color.
Moreover, the iconography of Cix Mugre is also populated by modern Mexican folklore! The Mexico of yesterday meets that of today. We can see a galaxy here, a small robot at the corner of a wall, a mechanical arm at the foot of another, and we feel that these two Mexicans reach out together to the one of the future.
The popularity of the artist and his “entertaining” art has gone far beyond the Mexican borders and the framework of the wall, since the brands Nike, Pepsi or even Doritos requested his collaboration!
Cix is seen as the representative of contemporary Mexican Muralism, but more than Muralism, urban art or street art, the enhancement of his universe between Western modernity and Aztec roots serves the foreground representation of contemporary Mexican or Latin-American art in the world.
Last but not least, the iconographies in which he takes his inspiration are those of minorities neglected by the West. Note by the way that America is not only the United States, but also and above all, the rest of the continent! Thus, to call a white man from Idaho of Polish or German origin “an American” is less legitimate than to describe Cix Mugre as an American artist.
His art therefore carries the voices of these American “minorities” which are slightly flouted in favor of the conceptions that tends to only consider the north of the continent.
Without necessarily realizing it, not only does Cix preserve Mexican roots over time by adapting them to visual forms appreciated by current looks, but he also makes them travel to France, Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, Colombia, in Brazil, in England, in Egypt, in Belgium, in Germany, in Holland, in the United States, in Portugal, in Austria…
And you, what do you think of his art ?
Paying a visit to his Instagram page : HERE