Over Wednesday and Thursday politically motivated Mexican stencil-based Street Artists Lapiztola Stencil made their second visit to London this year and with the help of artist US born, but London based artist Liseth Amaya laid out a stunning and thought-provoking work in Shoreditch. The work, which is in Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, was placed up with support from Global Street Art as part of their ongoing Walls Project.
The Revolutionary art movement in Mexico began in the early 20th century when muralists such as Orozco, Siqueiros and Rivera began to make the streets their own and created a platform for publicly accessible visual dialogue for the Mexican people. In 2006, teachers’ strikes in Oaxaca were violently suppressed by the state. This sparked a cultural reawakening in the city, which brought together many artists, of whom many formed collectives, such as Lapiztola Stencil. Street art became a form of political protest, highlighting a range of issues which Mexican society faces, including environmental degradation, police brutality, political repression and threats to indigenous people’s rights.
Today Lapiztola is the creative force responsible for much of the street art in Oaxaca. The collectives name is a juxtaposition of the Spanish words for ‘pencil’ and ‘pistol’. Their art is striking, publicly owned and sets to offer inspiration to take action. Many of the artists images highlight issues around child welfare and focus on empathy towards children, as reflected in the subject of this stunning and intriguing work. The collective states that “Our style emerged from the need to express and demonstrate against what has been happening in our city”.
The level of depth and realism created by the stencils is most impressive on a purely aesthetic level and on this occasion complimented beautifully with the accompanying floral additions by Liseth Amaya. We aren’t sure about the inspiration behind this work, however it is very much in keeping with recurring themes within Lapiztola’s works and messages and to our mind suggests a sense of the horrors, hypocrisy and brutality witnessed by the innocent youth of Mexico as the child in the piece appears to be witnessing something bewildering, wild-eyed, with his hand held across his mouth as if in a state of shock. Nonetheless it is certainly a beautiful and powerful work and we for one here at London Calling Blog have the utmost respect for the messages in Lapztola’s work and the very fact they place them out in public, speaking up in a culture where such responses to the authorities and the cartels, can cost someone their life.