Photo Essay: Color and Creativity in Oaxaca

by Ekua on October 25, 2011 in captured on memory card,Mexico,race/culture/identity

Oaxaca is a place that sees value in aesthetic expression. Time is given to details that may seem frivolous, but beautify the city and life, if you’re paying attention. It’s a city that has an apparent culture of passion and celebration, and that is reflected in the vibrancy of everyday color and creativity:

A colorful doorway and a sunny door make things brighter on even the rainiest summer afternoon.

A political poster and a festival concert poster wheatpasted onto a sky blue and yellow wall.

A teapot dangles from the roof of a building.

I love the combination of the marigold and white with the green of the flowering yucca plant in the foreground.

It looked like someone was painting over something but they couldn’t quite get it all because they didn’t want to paint over the brick. It made for an interesting pop of color.

Where did all the old VW Bugs go? Oaxaca.

Wedding preparation in Santo Domingo Square. After weddings at Santo Domingo Church, there are typically music and dance performances in the square and a wedding procession through town with these gigantic paper mache bride and groom sculptures.

Fallen petals from a flowering tree beautify the ground.

A view of Oaxaca from the roof of my hostel.

Another beautiful color combination.

When I picture Oaxaca Centro in my head, this is the kind of thing that first comes to mind — a quiet street lined with short colorful houses that leads to a vanishing point.

A bold use of color.

A slick VW Bug and some more colorful houses.

I wonder what it’s like on the inside of this triangular shaped building.

This artist set up on a pedestrian only street and crafted an image of a Centro Oaxaca street entirely out of string. Maybe I should’ve included this one in the street art photo essay.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Naomi October 26, 2011 at 12:32 am

Your posts make me want to visit Oaxaca more than ANYTHING!!


Ekua October 27, 2011 at 4:30 pm

You should go! I was feeling really wistful as I put these photos together. We’ve had a lot of beautiful days here in SF lately, but I know as soon as the weather turns, I’m gonna wish I was back in Oaxaca!


hannahinhanoi October 26, 2011 at 1:19 am

I am so lucky to have found this blog! I take pictures and look for the small details, too. They’re my favorite part of any city. You capture Oaxaca’s details beautifully. I’ve certainly been inspired by your recent posts to add it to my list of places to go.


Ekua October 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Thanks, Hannah!


This Battered Suitcase October 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Amazing photos! The colours are so inspiring. I was in Oaxaca in 2003 (my sister lived there for four years) and I would love to go back.


Ekua October 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Thanks, Brenna. Your sister was lucky to be able to live there!


Globetrottergirls October 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Wonderful photos! You captured the atmosphere of Oaxaca so well.


Ekua October 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm



Jonathan Look, Jr. November 12, 2011 at 8:59 am

I find so much of southern Mexico amazing. I don’t understand why this area is so overlooked. Vonda and I went to Romerillo in Chiapas for Day of the Dead. What a great experience!


Ekua November 14, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Mexico in general is underrated and a lot of people don’t really think about the size of it or look into what’s happening where. That’s cool that you got to go to Day of the Dead in Chiapas. I’d love to go to Dia de los Muertos in a Mexico at some point.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: