11 Mexican Artists Working in Chicago To Support This Mexican Independence Day

11 Mexican Artists Working in Chicago To Support This Mexican Independence Day

Written by:
Lillie Therieau
Sep 13, 2021

This Thursday is Mexican Independence Day, and we wanted to celebrate by pointing you towards 11 amazing Mexican artists working in Chicago today to learn about, support, and even purchase some new prints from! 

Chicago has a long and rich history of Mexican art, and we’re lucky to have robust institutions like the National Museum of Mexican Art to uplift and amplify the voices of these artists. Beyond formal art institutions however, Chicago is also brimming with independent galleries, performance spaces, and tons of world-class public art and murals. That’s part of why we’re such a creative and colorful city  and why these fantastic artists have decided to set down roots and their practices here. 

We hope you’ll find a new artist (or 11!) to love in the list below, and that you’ll follow them on social media, purchase some new art, or find another way to support them this week! 

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Maria Gaspar 

Maria Gaspar is a Little Village native and multidisciplinary artist. She’s known for her conceptual, performance, and sculptural works, which often deal with issues of justice through the lens of physical space. She exposes spaces that amplify power structures, like prisons, detention centers, and military bases. Through her work, she seeks to create liberatory actions and combat histories of systemic erasure. Maria Gaspar teaches at the School of the Art Institute in downtown Chicago. 

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Sentrock 

Sentrock aka Joseph Perez is a street artist and muralist working throughout the city. His recognizable characters are playful and bright, including his iconic bird-masked man. He first started experimenting with spray-paint as a teenager, inspired by the Mexican-American graffiti art in his hometown of West Phoenix. Many of his murals are cheerful, although he deals with themes like racism, black and brown solidarity, and systemic injustice in Chicago. 

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Ruben Aguirre 

Ruben Aguirre is a muralist, painter, and friend of IPMM. He approaches his murals with a non-narrative and abstract hand, inspired by formalism and geographical forms as well as graffiti. His work is heavily focused on color and texture, as well as the interaction between different forms and swaths of color. Ruben Aguirre worked with us on our mural at PepsiCo earlier this year. 

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Arturo Fresan 

Arturo Fresan is an illustrator and Art Director, as well as an instructor at the National Museum of Mexican Art’s youth arm, Yollocalli Arts Reach. He also paints and plays in several bands! Arturo’s painting style is dense and detailed, full of bright colors, and organic Cubist-esque shapes. His illustrations are more anatomically correct, with intricate architectural details, and painstakingly rendered fantastic beasts and monsters. 

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Georgina Valverde 

Georgina Valverde is a sculptor and multimedia artist based in Chicago. Her sculptural work incorporates elements of craft like weaving, textile work, and woodwork. Her organic shapes and imagery reference nature, and she sometimes incorporates living plant life into her pieces. Georgina was born in Mexico and has exhibited internationally. She also works with curation and participatory performance art, incorporating the audience into her work and practice. 

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CHema Skandal!

CHema Skandal!’s bold, graphic, and colorful style instantly draws you in. His cartoon-y figures are playful, and his bubble letters proclaim anything from political messages to concert invites. CHema Skandal! was born in Mexico City, and lives and works in Chicago. He’s a member of the Instituto Grafico De Chicago and has won several international awards for his work. 

 

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Ricardo Xavier Serment 

Ricardo Xavier Serment is a printmaker, multimedia artist, and CPS teacher working in the Gage Park neighborhood. His work includes mosaics, papier-mache pieces, printmaking, and drawing. Serment draws inspiration from the intersections of his cultural identity as a Mexican-American, and from his experiences as a teacher. 

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Salvador Jimenez Flores 

Salvador Jimenez Flores mainly works in vivid sculptural pieces, although he also creates the occasional work on paper. He was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico, a small town, before moving to Chicago as a young man. His work reflects the extreme nature of this transition, and was originally a way for him to express himself while he learned English. Salvador Jimenez Flores’ sculpture often crosses into the surreal, futuristic, and psychedelic, and is animated by a strong sense of justice and social consciousness.  

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Antonio Pazaran 

Antonio Pazaran is a self-taught artist, working in everything from murals to paintings to prints. He most often works with woodblock printing, as he loves the process and the final appearance of the prints. Antonio Pazaran’s work employs many themes including graffiti, current events, poverty, and social justice. He focuses his kalediscopic eye on whatever may interest him, switching from theme to theme and medium to medium. He grew up in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. 

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Vanessa Sanchez 

Vanessa Sanchez is an artist, educator, and community organizer, and she currently serves as the director of Yollocalli Arts Reach. She is a printmaker, painter, and digital artist. Her work often combines politics, pop images, and bright colors, and sometimes features kittens in fantastic settings. Through her work at Yollocalli Arts Reach, she provides innovative and free arts programming to Latinx students in the Pilsen and Little Village areas. 

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Eric J Garcia 

Eric J Garcia uses sculpture, printmaking, cartoons, and murals to express his political thoughts and challenge his viewers. Through intricate political cartoons in his distinctive style, Garcia can discuss complex political ideas of historical events, such as in his mural “A Condensed History Of The US Invasion Of Mexico.” He is also an educator, working with the National Museum of Mexican Art to execute mural and mosaic workshops with CPS students. 


We hope you enjoyed our list of 11 Mexican artists working in Chicago! Be sure to peruse our Artist Interview section to get acquainted with many other amazing Chicago artists! 

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Written by:
Lillie Therieau
Sep 13, 2021

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