Street Art: Mexico City's Urban Furniture

Street Art in Mexico City

Street Art Exhibit A: Playing Cards Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art.
Street Art Exhibit A: Playing Cards Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art. | Source

The Iconic Streets of the World and Mexico City

We can all agree that every cosmopolitan city in the world has its iconic street, drive, square or avenue; an image that closely resembles the outward image of a vibrant world class city. Some of them even have more than one: New York for example has internationally recognizable Times Square but also Broadway and Fifth Avenue just to name a few.

Other cities have only one very clear and specific icon: Champs- Élysées in Paris, Shibuya Street in Tokio, Rodeo Drive in L.A., Der Graben in Vienna, La Gran Via in Spain..... you get what I mean.

In the case of Mexico City, we have Paseo de la Reforma, which means "Reform Drive" (reform as in making better or improve by removing faults). This iconic drive is a very broad street -quite similar to Champs Élysées in París-, characterized by wide sidewalks with big leafy trees, stone paved walkways, benches, cafes and street art.


Unusual Street Art

Street Art Exhibit B: Bi-Headed Creature Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art.
Street Art Exhibit B: Bi-Headed Creature Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art. | Source

Paseo de la Reforma: The Street Art Open Forum

Paseo de la Reforma has become a space intended to represent Mexico City's step into modernity by participating in urban, interactive and avant-garde ways to present art. It is an important avenue that has been taken by the government as a full on project to transform it into the best version of itself, by remodeling its appearance and redefining its architectural concept.

Today, Reforma has traditional and modern architecture that blends with its big, tall and stylish buildings; the constructions alternate between Victorian houses and facades -which date back to Porfirio Diaz's times-, and more contemporary designs that, like the layers of the earth, clearly indicate the different styles that have been formed over the years and post-revolutionary era.

Paseo de la Reforma is an iconic drive of great significance as it holds some of the most representative ceremonial centers –like the majestic Castle of Chapultepec and the golden Angel standing as a monument to Independence, the Independence Angel-, as well as headquarters of large multinational companies, the Stock Exchange, and one of the biggest parks in Mexico City, the Chapultepec Park, which besides being an important natural lung in this polluted city, is home to a cultural and recreational compound for all economical statuses.

In this framework, where all the inhabitants of Mexico City converge, regardless of their social status, no matter if they are employers or employees, white or blue collar, housewives or businessmen, children or adults, male or female, Paseo de la Reforma has united the wide range of citizens and become host of magnificent cultural and artistic exhibitions, as well as large public proceedings such as concerts, parades and sports events.


Bench Dialogues: an Urban Art Exhibition, part of the Street Art Project in Reforma, Mexico City

Urban Art Functionality & Symbolism

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Street Art Exhibit C: Musical Chairs. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art.Street Art Exhibit D: Couples Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Furniture.Street Art Exhibit E: Sofas set (the complete living room). Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art.Street Art Exhibit F: Asymmetrical Red Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Furniture.Street Art Exhibit G: Galactic Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art.
Street Art Exhibit C: Musical Chairs. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art.
Street Art Exhibit C: Musical Chairs. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art. | Source
Street Art Exhibit D: Couples Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Furniture.
Street Art Exhibit D: Couples Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Furniture. | Source
Street Art Exhibit E: Sofas set (the complete living room). Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art.
Street Art Exhibit E: Sofas set (the complete living room). Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art. | Source
Street Art Exhibit F: Asymmetrical Red Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Furniture.
Street Art Exhibit F: Asymmetrical Red Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Furniture. | Source
Street Art Exhibit G: Galactic Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art.
Street Art Exhibit G: Galactic Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art. | Source

Street Art: Urban Sculpture / Urban Furniture Exhibition

In the stretch of Paseo de la Reforma that goes from the roundabout of the Independence Angel to Insurgentes Avenue, there is an exceptional art exhibit which provides functionality to neighbors, visitors permanent to the area, tourists, lovers and simple admiring passers-by.

The exhibit is called "Bench Dialogues" and it is a group of unique pieces of urban furniture that witness the daily events, conversations and secrets of locals, while providing a comfortable place to relax from an exhausting walk, a long day of labor, or to sit comfortably during break time from school or work, and admire the street art.

Bench Dialogues has 70 sculpted benches, primarily made with steel and bronze by the same number of visual artists, architects and industrial designers, to enhance and augment the street art of Mexico's iconic drive.

The street art exhibition was initiated and instigated by Isaac Masri, head of Impronta Publishing, who said about the street art exhibit: since "dialogue is needed in our country", this exhibition has no claim but to offer "seats for people to sit down and talk".

The ensemble includes benches, chairs, sofas and structures of different levels, which offer visitors interactive street art and comfort, an oasis amid the urban maelstrom; a duo that allows people to rest and admire the artistic work that brings beauty to the urban landscape.

The usual sign "do not touch" apparently has no place in the sculpture exhibition of art-object "Bench Dialogues". Interactive and usable playing cards, cubes, undulating benches, couches, couples, hippos, seesaws, hand-seats, vertical condominium seats, benches that are not only opening a space for dialogue, but are also speaking to their users.

Take for example the art-piece made of a group of chairs placed together in the same disposition as used in the famous "musical chairs" game; they are also making reference to the electric chair used to execute death row inmates; pure symbolism with clear messages.


Street Art: Opening Spaces for Dialogue

Street Art Exhibit H: Bicycling Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art.
Street Art Exhibit H: Bicycling Bench. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Art. | Source

Art & Design Come Together in Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico

Street Art Exhibit I: Vertical Up & Down Bench with Leg. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Furniture.
Street Art Exhibit I: Vertical Up & Down Bench with Leg. Visit Mexico and Interact with its Urban Furniture. | Source

Mexico City's Open Air Residence for Urban Culture and Street Art

Paseo de la Reforma is now well consolidated as an open air residence for culture and street art. The benches, which have become part of the permanent urban furniture of the city, invite us to make a pause in a metropolis where time seems to become increasingly scarce, and interaction with other individuals, opportunity to chat and time to relax are becoming more difficult to come by.

If you plan to visit Mexico City, a walking tour of Paseo de la Reforma is a must. It will cost nothing and it will be full of enriching urban culture and street art such as the Bench Dialogue art-object exhibit (among many others).


Interactive Street Art: You Can Participate

Which street art piece of urban furniture do you like best?

  • Playing Cards Bench
  • Bi-Headed Creature Bench
  • Musical Chairs
  • Couples Bench
  • Sofas set (complete living room)
  • Asymmetrical Red Bench
  • Galactic Bench
  • Bicycling Bench
  • Vertical Up & Down Bench with Leg
See results without voting

Street Art Exhibition Authors

Authors of "Bench Dialogues" Urban Art Project: Leonora Carrington, Vicente Rojo, Teodoro González de León, Fernando González Gortázar, Francisco Toledo, Sergio Hernández, Alberto y Francisco Castro Leñero, Saúl Kaminer, Legorreta + Legorreta, Luis Manuel Serrano, Noé Katz, Naomi Siegmann, Manuel Felguérez, Gustavo Monroy, Vicente y Alba Rojo Cama, Eloy Tarcisio, Pedro Friedeberg, Yvonne Domenge, among others.



Interaction and Feedback

Please feel free to ask questions or leave insights, contributions, reflections, comments etcetera in the comment box bellow. Your feedback is very much appreciated, if you feel like giving your input, please use the vote up / vote down / useful / funny / awesome / beautiful / interesting buttons below.


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Comments on Street Art, Mexico City's Urban Furniture 16 comments

princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 4 years ago

Claudia

The card bench and the musical bench are very eclectic and creative. Even the couple's bench was a creative idea to bling up a simple bench. The very thought of quirky and creative urban furniture is too amusing. This hub is all the more reason for me to elevate Mexico in my must-visit places. Awesome hub!

Princesswithapen


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico Author

Hi Princesswithapen,

Thank you so much for commenting. I am glad you found this version of street art amusing; the urban furniture in this area of the city really gives it a plus. If you decide to visit Mexico, we will be glad to welcome you any time!


irene winniczuk 4 years ago

Now I just want to go and sit on them!!


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico Author

Hi Irene,

I know!!! There are benches for all tastes in this street art exhibit; some of them funny, some of them beautiful, some of them quite inviting and all of them creative.

Thanks for commenting.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

I love this hub! I've only been to Mexico City once, but I loved the art that I saw. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo (especially Frida) are some of my favorite artists. Thanks for sharing - it brings back memories. :)


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico Author

cclitgirl - I am glad you liked this Hub, Mexico has great artists and it is my pleasure to share with you some of the street art that is not so widely known. Thanks again for your nice comments and input.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

How very interesting! I will link this to my HUB on Folk Art! Voted up and interesting! :)


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico Author

Hi Suzanne, thank for your interest, comments and feedback!!! I´ll be honored to be linked through your Folk Art Hub.


Jangaplanet profile image

Jangaplanet 4 years ago

I really enjoyed your hub! Mexico city is an interesting place, and nowhere is this more evident than in the art scene! I have been to Mexico twice but never Mexico City, the next time I come down I will surely make a stop in the city! Thanks for sharing Claudia. Great photos, Up and interesting.


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico Author

Hi Jangaplanet, I am glad you enjoyed this hub dedicated to a sample of the street art you can find in Mexico City; urban furniture, and urban art in general, is rapidly conquering the streets and becoming more rich and interesting. Thanks for your interest, comments and input, they are very much appreciated.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Hello Claudia. I love this hub. I have always wanted to visit Mexico City, haven't made it yet, but some day! I love the playing card seating, so original! Excellent hub and very well written! Voted up and awesome. Thank you for SHARING! :)


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico Author

Hi sgbrown, I am glad you enjoyed the little bit of Mexican street art shown in this Hub. Your favorite piece of urban furniture is also mine, that’s why I selected it as the first photo of the article :). I hope someday you do come to Mexico! In the meantime, it is my pleasure to share the clever artistic expressions of Mexico’s streets with you. Thanks a lot for your interest, nice comments and feedback, they are very much appreciated.


Rickrideshorses profile image

Rickrideshorses 4 years ago from England

Street sculptures like this are so cool. A lot of Mediterranean countries especially Spain do this kind of thing. It makes the environment so much more beautiful. In the UK, most bits of space are used for shops!


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico Author

Hey Rickrideshorses! I am with you, street art makes the urban landscape so much interesting and creates environments with character and special charm. I´m sure the shops frenzy plague is going on in every city in the world and it is a real pity… Luckily for us, Mexico City has a big area were urban furniture and street art in general is valued and prioritized, but it isn´t all over the city; many areas are also “shop invaded” and totally commercialized.

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.


Vimural profile image

Vimural 3 years ago from Tucson

An excellent form to encourage outdoor activities and interaction.


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 3 years ago from Mexico Author

Vimural, I totally agree with you, there should be much more street art in Mexico City than there is, and it would be a happier place to live in. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

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