When you think of urban graffiti, you rarely ever make a connection to ancient civilizations. Well, after viewing the street paintings by El Curiot, your brain might start relating the two together. When I first saw these trippy geometric beasts, the thought of Aztecan or Mayan art popped into my head. For those who don’t know what Aztecan art looks like, please see below.
Now you can see what I’m talking about. Favio Martinez, aka El Curiot, seems to have grabbed his artistic inspiration from old (1525 CE) Aztecan paintings. His graffiti art, murals, and small prints are mostly comprised of strange, mythological looking creatures. The beasts, like in the Aztec painting above, are adorned with many geometric patterns and tropical, flat colors. Usually art that has complex patterns, animals, and supernatural beings is considered to be “psychedelic.” Why are these certain images so often associated with mind-altering drugs?
Many people (on the internet and in videos) say that consuming psychedelics will make you see spiritual, otherworldly shit. Certain things that grow out of the ground, like Psilocybin mushrooms, will make a person hallucinate and have intense visions. Were the Aztecs consuming psychedelics before they made art like the painting above? Chances are, yes. In the 16th Century, missionaries from Spain found indigenous people in South America consuming the potent tea-brew called ayahuasca. This psychedelic mixture is created by mixing together various shrubs and leaves that contain DMT. When consumed, it will place a person into a spiritual “trip,” which may last upwards of 10 hours. During this trip, people have been known to see “higher dimensions,” and make contact with dimensional beings. Whoa, wait a second. A dimensional being is the exact term I would use to describe what I’m seeing in all of this kaleidoscopic Mexican art. Still think those Aztecs weren’t getting high off plants? Regardless of who’s smoking what, we should be happy that the people ingesting these psyches are sharing their visions onto paper (or building).