Irving Herrera: A strong voice in the new visual revolution of Oaxaca

By Marcela Del Campo

Gail Lusby, the curator of the the Chichimeca Collection (, brings to this edition of the San Antonio Open Studio Walk, a selection of works by the young Oaxacan artist Irving Herrera, all of which were recently exhibited in countries as diverse as Spain, Japan, and Brazil.

Open Studio Walk: San Antonio Artists’ Community Open Studio Walk. Sun, Feb 26, 12-5pm. San Antonio Neighborhood.

Art: Irving Herrera. Sun, Feb 26, 12-5pm. Lavinia’s Art Frames, Refugio Sur 25

This is a unique occasion for San Miguel art lovers to see for the first time one of the most promising young artists of Oaxaca, and to discover a new side of the city’s art scene.

An unexpected urban feel permeates the work of many young (under 30) Oaxacan artists, Although it is a real trend, it has not yet received the attention it deserves, and it is palpable in some of the pieces that will be on display.

Irving Herrera, whose work is shown at Lavinia’s, was born in 1984 in Huajuapan de Leon, in the State of Oaxaca. He studied both etching and painting with well known artists, such as Shinzaburo Takeda, Per Anderson, Gilberto Aceves and Fernando Castro Leñero, and shows, at the tender age of 28, an easy fluency in both media.

Street action is also part of Irving Herrera’s already well-rounded artistic education. He became at 22 a founding member of ASARO, a prolific group of young artists who covered Oaxaca with stencils and etched posters during the conflict that overtook the city in 2006. This provided him a solid experience in the urban medium of stencil. It also made him conversant with the idiom of street art and gives some of his work a very contemporary sensibility, which is seldom associated with Oaxaca.

Owing to their outstanding quality, every single etching showed at Lavinia’s won prizes last year in Spain and Japan and some were selected for shows in Brazil. The urban feel vividly comes through in several-stenciled cut out portraits of young women. A recent painting displays the artist’s equal talent with this medium as well. Irving’s seeming effortlessness with three very different techniques – painting, etching and stencil – is remarkable. His mastery and draftsmanship are already getting noticed internationally, and public collections in Mexico, Japan, Argentina and the United States are starting to acquire his work.

This is a small show well worth seeing that will give the public a completely new perspective on a little discussed trend in Oaxacan art, a trend that could soon become mainstream and revolutionize the artistic image of the city.

Without a doubt, Irving Herrera is playing an important part in it. Watch out for him!


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