A pretty standard-issue paint job in central Oaxaca. The contrast of blue and yellow is one of my favourite combinations on earth. I can’t get enough of this building.
Accidental Street Art
North of the city centre, near the apartment we lived in, was this seemingly forgotten truck. We passed this scene almost daily whether we were heading to the grocery store, bakery, cafe, or our favourite taco stand. The truck never moved during our entire stay.
The Living House
With all of the brightly coloured buildings throughout the city, this was the only natural one we ever encountered. I don’t know if the owners used this as a unique form of art or as a less-expensive option to refurbish the face of the stones. Whatever the reason, it works!
If you can catch the right time of day, you can find some of the busiest streets in the city nearly deserted. If you can be so lucky, you’ll see the late-afternoon sun light up the colours in that beautiful yellow hue.
An interesting thing about Oaxaca is that it’s often a complete hit and miss when it comes to the colours. Nothing is mandatory and everything seems completely unregulated. This street for example, as you see on the right, the owner has brightened up their property, while on the other side, the walls are bland and crumbling.
Storefront of the Dead
Although the skeletons add some funky character to this building, outside of the Day of the Dead festivities, these bright aquamarine window frames remain. A perfectly simple way to brighten the entire street.
Dia de los Muertos
When we first embarked on this journey, our start date wasn’t chosen at random. We flew into Oaxaca when we did to co-align our trip with the biggest local festival of the year: the Day of the Dead. Oaxaca is known as one of the best cities to experience the festivities and displays like this were widespread throughout the city.
Pink and Green
Another example of the wild, bright, contrasting colours you’ll see around Oaxaca. While housed in this building is nothing more than a simple stationery shop, it’s fantastic colours can be seen from blocks away!
As far as we could determine from the surroundings and rooftop garden, this is someones house. The bright teal paint is a fairly common sight around town and due to some faded spots on the wall, this house has been the colour for some time. However, the pink and yellow festive artwork was clearly a much more recent addition. Some people take their holiday decorating quite seriously here.
Dance of the Dead
This one was from one of our first evenings in Oaxaca. All throughout the city, different performances and events were taking place for the Day of the Dead celebrations. Here, at Plaza de la Danza, we watched several shows, including this one. Due to language barriers, we didn’t completely understand the show but it was fascinating to see the display simply for the art and costumes.
The Cactus Wall
Kylee actually pointed it out one day as we were checking out some unexplored streets in our neighbourhood. Between the contrasting colours and all of the not-quite-perfect lines, this is my absolute favourite photo from Oaxaca. It might even be my favourite from our entire time in Mexico.
Red, White and Blue
This building is one of the brightest ones in Oaxaca, it must have been painted quite recently as the white was so crisp. However, what really makes this stand out are the contrasting red flowers, from the tree hanging over the wall.
Free the Birds
While often graffiti is in the form of bright, complex murals; other times they’re quite basic. This piece here, near a school northeast of the centre, is one of my favourites in the whole city. It’s so beautiful yet so very simple.
Even in the Back Streets
Often the colours of Oaxaca are clear and obvious; entire buildings painted in bright, eye-catching colours. Sometimes though, you’ll find it in less obvious places, sometimes intentional, other times a combination of elements.
Here on a small back street leading to a tiny morning market, a little bit of everything comes together to make a colourful scene. On the right, an intricate mural; on the left a more simple, yet colourful tag contrasting the pale yellow and orange walls. Throw in some green from the trees and purple and white from the flowers, and a rather basic back alley comes to life.