Flower and song
Regardless of which language they speak, people always use different systems to communicate with one another; be it through painting or food, we are communicating the entire time.
The language barrier is never an obstacle, especially not in music: how often have you felt goose bumps when you heard a song in a different language? It sends shivers down your spine; whether it’s in Japanese, English, or Italian, we will always be able to connect with one another.
an appreciation of the truth
Something similar happens with Flor y Canto
(“Flower and Song”), the mural by Oscar Axo — founder of the Colectivo Axolotl— who during his stay in Germany undertook an artistic intervention in Berlin’s Spandau district; “In this painting I wanted to engage with the concept of words and music because I liked a text by León Portilla about the concept of flower and song which in the indigenous world was to be transcended; about the way in which song and word were united”, he explains.
Every time I paint a mural I attempt to spotlight a theme that has some relevance to the Mexican identity
In Flor y Canto we see a young man playing the guitar while looking toward the horizon, against a background of colorful geometric shapes that interweave dynamically behind him in a way that serves to highlight the main character. The background could be seen as the deity Xoxhipilli, who in the Aztec mythology is the god of love, pleasure, and beauty. His presence underlines the joy and beauty of the song, and particularly of the Mexican music, which through the skin color of our protagonist, the brilliant colors, and the sculpture reinforce the Mexican identity in Germany.
“In the pre-Hispanic tradition, Flor y Canto represents an appreciation of the truth that the Náhua believed was only possible through poetic creation, through song”, comments Oscar Axo.
Born in Oaxaca, Óscar Axo has lived in Mexico City since the age of 15. He has a degree in Visual Arts from the Facultad de Artes y Diseño at the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM). His interest in art was awakened when he worked as a volunteer at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the UNAM and took part in a project on Mexican muralism; at the end of his time there he graduated with a thesis on “Muralismo Mexicano: productor de la Revolución Mexicana en América” (Mexican Muralism: Producer of the Mexican Revolution in America), focusing all of his artistic work on muralism in order to be able to reach a wider audience.
“I approached a number of muralist friends because I wanted to experience mural art from my own aesthetic and artistic perspective. I began to paint in 2010 and founded the Colectivo Axolotl soon after, with which I undertook various projects on the street, in museums and impressions”, he remarks.
His vivid use of color goes hand in hand with Mexican elements such as masks, traditional dress, and portraits of characters who we encounter on the streets in everyday life.
While working in Berlin, Oscar got to know a number of German muralists and others who, like him, were visiting the city: “I was surprised at how the others approached me and talked to me about their views of Mexican realism and about how we perceive reality in a different way, and were surprised at how we use pure colors, which is unusual; the shades of gray and splashes of color that end up creating this multicolored fiesta”, says Oscar, talking about his experiences in Germany.