23 | JUL | 2019
 Indigenous artist won't paint in Europe because of the lack of support
Joel next to a mural he painted in France in 2017 – Photo: Taken from the artist's Instagram account

Indigenous artist won't paint in Europe because of the lack of support

Mexico City
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Merino López won't be able to paint murals in Europe because he hasn't received support from local and federal organisms

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A Triqui artist, from the indigenous community in Oaxaca, has stood out in design and mural creation in recent years, among other artistic expressions, in Querétaro.

Joel Merino López hails from the northern Oaxaca mountain range but resides in Querétaro. His work in murals made him famous and it was the reason he was invited to work in France. Belgium, and Germany.

The artist explained that there is a space called “The Art Garden” (El Jardín del Arte) in Querétaro, where one of the founders saw his abilities and decided to open the space for him, so he could develop his abilities.

“I started drawing in his area, one of the founders invited me, he was the first to invite me to express myself through painting, later on, they allowed me to sell my first drawings there”, he said.

Merino López's first approach to painting was through graffiti when he was in junior high school.

Nevertheless, money issues drove him to sell artwork with his family, that's the reason why he stopped painting for a couple of years, until 2013, when the Commission for the Development of Indigenous Groups gave him the opportunity to exhibit his first pieces.

It was a motivation and a sign for Merino to fully focus on art, and explore his genius. That exhibition was a great platform, to such an extent that his work attracted attention from all over the world, and he was invited to travel to Europe, but the lack of economic resources has prevented him from doing so.

“I should have gone to Europe a month ago, but sadly, I'm still in Mexico because of economic and personal issues”, he explained.

The artists said that he tried to handle things the best way he could, he told the people who invited him to his issues and apologized for not attending, who invited him to attend in 2019.

For now, Merino López is saving up money to travel to Chicago and then Europe.

His goal is for people start recognizing the artistic work of indigenous communities in Mexico, and in Latin America, and the world, so he has created relations with artists from Chile and Argentina, to create and present projects together.


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