Tlacolulokos, Empeño, 2021, acrylic paint on cotton canvas, Arte Américas. Commissioned for Boom Oaxaca with a grant from The McClatchy Fresno Arts Endowment of The James B. McClatchy Foundation. © 2021, Tlacolulokos.
Tlacolulokos (e. 2006)—Dario Canul (b. 1986, Tlacolula, Oaxaca, Mexico) and Cosijoesa Cernas (b. 1992, Tlacolula, Oaxaca, Mexico). Tlacolulokos is a collective of self-taught artists that formed during the uprisings of 2006 in Oaxaca. Tlacolulokos have shown internationally, including exhibitions in Lille, France, the LA Public Library, and MOLAA Long Beach. They currently live and work in Tlacolula.
Tlacolulokos collective are self-taught artists with a do-it-yourself attitude deeply seeded in a tradition of political rebellion and anarchy. Their work takes place on the street and within traditional art spaces, combining different styles from street art to graffiti, photography, screen printing, and other media. Through their work, Tlacolulokos offers a reflection of local reality, and the problems and challenges of their place of origin as well as the influences of migration and deportation. They often juxtapose the experience of Indigeneity, living between “traditional” and “contemporary.” Filled with references to pre-colonial Mesoamerican iconography, Tlacolulokos develops an extensive visual language that speaks to the people in what is termed “barrio logos,” or sharing didactic socio-political, historical, and religious references.
The style of their work is connected to Mexico’s contemporary Neo-muralist style that breaks from the Mexican Muralist tradition, often utilizing singular or few figures rather than densely populated murals. In this way, Neo-muralism style takes on an anarchist critique of the monolithic Mexican Muralist Movement and their tie-ins with official government processes, and instead takes back public space with the influence of quick graffiti styles and direct actions.
In this exhibition, Tlacolulokos worked with local community members to develop images and iconography that reflects Fresno and the Central Valley. You will see iconic phrases like “The Best Little City in the USA“ as well as the bold use of the color red as a nod to local gang culture.