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Elle Decor Italia


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04 December 2017

A 5.000 sqm mural appears in Guadalajara, Mexico

‘Nierika’ is the latest work by Spanish art collective Boa Mistura, working with the local community on a huge, joyful project

Courtesy photo: Miguel Azanza

NIERIKA mural by art collective Boa Mistura, Guadalajara, Mexico

Nierika is a huge street art project made by Spanish art collective Boa Mistura in Guadalajara, Mexico. Three facades of the council estate buildings of the “Infonavit Indipendencia” housing unit and its inner courtyard basketball court have been transformed into a gigantic, 5.000 sqm wide mural thanks to the help of the local community including residents and volunteers, engaged in the conception (in January), and the realization (in November) of a memorable, joyful work of collective painting

Courtesy photo © Boa Mistura

On each of the three facades is written “Fui, Soy, Seré”: I am, I was, I will be – similar to powerful echoes from Gauguin, (“Where do We Come From? What are we? Where are we going?”). Here, though, the question turns into a proud statement: we were, are and will be Mexicans, but Wixàrikas as well. That is to say, the main native population of the nearby Jalisco area. 

Courtesy photo © Boa Mistura

Courtesy photo © Boa Mistura

The big symbol painted on the ground is inspired by Wixárika culture. A Nierika was a ritual artifact made of a diamond-shaped colored piece of cloth supported by a wooden cross, which is still to be found in temples and holy shrines of the Wixàrikas. Difficult to define in both its nature and aim, it combined multiple meanings: as a trans-generational mirror, it helped extend the wisdom of the ancestors into the present; at the same time, it was an amulet preserving order in everyday life; but, above all, it was a representation of the Eye of God. Because this is the meaning of the verb “nieriya”, to see. A vision that this ancient culture celebrates in two different versions: as humankind seeing the Divine under the influence of the powerful peyote cactus that, known as Hi’íkuri, is depicted on the central facades. But also as God watching humankind through a magic crevice, the nierika exactly, or tsi + kri. It is a beautiful image that of Kayumarie, the god of creation, peeking at us from this colorful, mysterious object, in order to make sure, as legend has it, that the world is exactly the way he wanted it to be.  

Courtesy photo © Boa Mistura

To realize Nierika, Boa Mistura hired the help of five Infonavit Indipendencia unemployed residents. The city of Guadalajara has contributed also through the work of volunteers from the University of Guadalajara, FIL Guadalajara, Pinturas Prisa and the Guadalajara City Council in partnership with the Madrid City Council.



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