Upon arriving to Mexico City, you decide to right away try some of the street food.
Perhaps not too fearful of Montezuma's Revenge like I wrote about here, you step outside of your Airbnb to grab some classic tacos de pastor.
Crossing the street, you see numerous street food spots and they all have some interesting artwork, designs, labels or whatever else.
Some of which might not be so PC advertising Mia Khalifa provocatively eating a taco like you can see here or other sexualized images that might piss off a feminist back home.
And other images are perhaps not so sexualized but still cool to look at.
In fact, such scenery is common in various parts of Mexico City.
And, in my time traveling to other places around Latin America, it wasn't unusual to see similar artwork outside other restaurants in other countries or anywhere else really.
Though, in contrast to what I remember in the rest of Latin America, I do think that Mexico City takes the cake for having all of this artwork, images, logos or whatever all around the city.
For those who are more curious as to what I'm talking about, here are various images that I didn't take but found online.
....Obviously the last image might piss off a feminist back home also: No fat women wanted!
And, in the second to last image, you also have the use of another brand (Jarassic Park or Jarassic Pan?) that likely would invite a lawsuit if done back home in the US similar to what you can see here.
Taco Chon Sued Minnesota
Still, as you can see in this 2022 article here, there's been some attempt to get rid of these images around the city.
Here's some key quotes:
"La polémica Alcaldesa de Cuauhtémoc, Sandra Cuevas, ha borrado al menos un mural, y las tipografías y dibujos clásicos con los que se ilustraba cada puesto ambulante en la capital mexicana. ¿La consigna? Sustituir el arte popular por pintura blanca. E imponer además un logotipo gris, su logo.
La imaginería popular mexicana en el diseño le construyó, por décadas, una identidad a la capital. Juan Carlos Mena y la editora Deborah Holtz lo inmortalizaron en el libro Sensacional de Diseño, muestrario grandilocuente “de las manifestaciones emblemáticas del auténtico diseño mexicano: misceláneas, taquerías, lucha libre y todo lo que diariamente se ve en las calles”.
While a lot of people were angry about this decision to eliminate these images, Sandra Cuevas tried justifying her decision to "clean the streets" and posted this picture here on social media.
At any rate, it's an aspect to life in Latin America but one at this is being challenged at least in Mexico City.
What is there to say?
First, I think it's a sign of elitism by some of these politicians like the chick mentioned above.
Reminds me of this image here that went viral.
I'm in agreement with the belief that said politician would be OK with having images of Gucci and other high class brands around the city but looks down on these more common forms of artwork because it's not "high class" or, as she puts it of "mal gusto."
It's another upper class Latin American that wants the city to look more like Time Square of NYC or some other place she takes her "shopping trips" to with more logos and images from big companies than by working class street workers.
Similar to politicans wanting to take homeless people and put away them "out of view" from the general public without actually doing anything to address homelessness.
Anything that isn't upper class, foreign from "the West" or whatever else is of "mal gusto."
Second, I also think too that this is a sign of the growing "modernity" that one can see in Mexico City and broader Latin America.
While most of the region isn't as "modern" (for lack of a better word) than the US, it is developing.
What I am saying though is that places that tend to develop more tend to lose some of their original appeal.
Not that the development itself makes them lose their appeal by itself but it's just a trend that I've noticed.
Things start to become "more sanitized" so to speak.
Things do become relatively more formal and rules more enforced than they were before.
Perhaps more efforts to "put away" the homeless people (not doing anything about them, just put them somewhere else).
And, in this case, clean up street art that is seen as "mal gusto."
When you see politicians trying to "sanitize" an area, it often (but maybe not always) comes with greater development in the area.
Hopefully that makes sense.
All I'm saying is that it's a trend I've noticed in my travels and I'd argue this controversy about the street food art is symbolic of this trend itself.
This is really just an extension of the first point brought up.
Third, is it really art?
Well, I guess some of it is.
Some of it all is nicely painted as you saw in the photos above.
I wouldn't call it art that provokes any serious thoughts or makes you think.
It's not art by a well-esteemed artist.
But I guess it's art enough.
And, even if you think the above isn't art, who cares?
At least it looks nice and it does add "flavor" to the streets.
On top of that, some of it is just funny like the "NO GORDAS" sign way above.
Fourth, like I said before, some of the artwork or logos shown above would technically violate copyright laws or whatever law anyway that would bring a lawsuit from a bigger company if done up there in the US.
I imagine also the "Mia Khalifa" image linked to above would MAYBE be challenged by the gal herself if that was used in the US by whatever vendor.
It's just a small detail to life regarding how more informal things can be down here.
Fifth, by trying to ban these images or logos, I imagine it's hurting some workers who make a career or at least a side hustle painting these images or logos for whoever wants them.
By trying to stop it, I suppose you are taking away potential clients from these people who use this side hustle to feed themselves.
Is that really what politicians in Mexico City need to be focused on?
Or is this all just an example of how out of touch they are by focusing on things that aren't really an issue?
Anyway, for those who like this type of street art, here's an a link here to an Instagram account dedicated to it called "Rótulos Chidos."
"Rótulos" being the word for this type of art and so you can find more examples of it online by googling that.
And, if you got anything to add, drop a comment below.
Follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.