mexicali rose media art center
Mexicali Border Art Scene
The name of the city itself connotes a mixture of the Mexican & California cultures, yet for years Mexicali artists have been involved in the creation and underground dissemination of a creative force all their own. Not as ubiquitous or prominent on the national or international circuit as its neighboring border-town macrocosmos, Tijuana, the artistic sensibility of Mexicali’s underground seems like a welcome breath of fresh reverence towards the anarchic. There is a sense of urgency and immediacy flowing through the veins of the fiery existence in the art underbelly of this particular border. Through scant resources and proud independence, the scene and its accompanying artists seemingly move around uninterrupted, not being entirely susceptible to any form of paralyzing intrusion. The city’s remote and arid landscape is twice removed from the spotlight which institutionally provides an inexplicable detachment from the streets, something the major metropolises seem to possess. Not entirely makeshift, the Mexicali art scene has seen a united and burgeoning development of do-it-yourself (d.i.y.) spaces in its recent years. In a city, state, and nation where most of the cultural funding seems to be destined, as if by default, to bigger cities producing more sedate and reputedly polished work, the d.i.y. aesthetic and total liberty of curation find a home in these imperfect spaces and shows. Perhaps that is the reason unconventional artists seem to be flocking to this city more often; it seems more like a sanctuary of mischief than any sort of formal presentation, screening, or reception.
– marco vera/mexicali rose media art center (director)