Le Super Demon mural painting on the streets of Isla Holbox, Mexico
Isla Holbox (pronounced Holbo-sh where the X makes a “sh” sound) is an island off of the Caribbean coast of Mexico, home to a quaint seaside fishing town. Most of the buildings on the island are painted with bright Caribbean colors and the streets exude an artsy vibe.
A rabbit who likes to fish!
What makes Isla Holbox a special place for artists and creative folks are the supremely imaginative larger than life murals painted all around town.
Stunning art work in the center of town at the public square
Earlier this year in February, Isla Holbox participated in Mexico’s first Festival Internacional de Arte Publico (FIAP) and invited artists worldwide to come experience this seaside fishing town and create inspired street art for everybody to see.
A brilliant rendition of a family and what looks like a snake slithering out of a black hole – definitely thinking outside the box!
With just a few days to sample the variety of activities on Isla Holbox and a week to paint, the artists who participated in the festival have created some really stunning artwork for visitors to enjoy.
Murals that make you stop and wonder what the artist had in mind as they painted this
We caught sight of some of these breathtaking murals as we drove into town on a golf cart. My curiosity was piqued and I wanted to learn more about these paintings. We spoke to the lady at the front desk of the hotel we were staying at and she gave us a hand drawn map which highlighted a few landmarks and the spots to find the most popular street art murals.
It’s tough enough painting on a flat surface, imagine painting this superb work on a curved sphere
Isla Holbox is a great place to explore on foot. Armed with map and camera in hand, I headed out to discover more street art. Some murals were easily visible just a few blocks from the center of town. Walking around the streets of Holbox, each corner and turn was soon filled with the heady anticipation of discovering a new mural.
Omen – Street Art Murals on Isla Holbox
Holbox’s street art is of very high quality and painted with boundless imagination. This enormous face with its half-closed eyes draws in the viewer with its bold colors and mysterious mood. Looking at it makes me wonder if it’s a mask or a face painting.
A human face captured in exquisite detail
Among my favorites was this stunning painting of a child, so lifelike I could see her blink as her eyes looked out, filled with curiosity. For those who prefer exploring the island by golf cart, it’s the perfect way to go all around the island and see all 30 murals rendered by artists showcasing what Holbox meant to each of them.
Flock of birds reminiscent of the pink flamingoes and pelicans that call Isla Holbox their home
Another favorite was this flock of orange, yellow and red birds set against a brilliant blue background, reminiscent of Holbox’s birds, especially the pink flamingoes. This particular mural gives “bird watching” a whole new perspective with these enormous birds looking out intensely towards the skies.
A fishing hook that’s come to life
Isla Holbox’s fishing legacy was evident in several of the street art paintings of scenes depicting everyday activities. Some showcased the blue ocean, colorful fishes and pelicans while some focused on the fisherman’s tools of trade, including an enormous fish hook that appeared to be fearfully contemplating its own sharp hook.
Look closely and the details of each element of the mural have been painstakingly created
All elements and intricate details of the murals have been painted with stunning accuracy and great skill. If you want to see the actual painting process in action, watch the embedded video at the end of this article!
A school of colorful fish come to life in this mural that captures them swimming in realistic detail with their swishing tails and fins.
Another street art mural which was both imaginative and beautiful was that of Sirena – the Mermaid. A pretty girl with a fish tail for legs swims in the ocean, as flamingoes fly above. The women sitting at the table next to the painting provide perspective on how large this mural actually is.
My favorite mural of them all. Come visit Isla Holbox to see for yourself!
Coming back to my favorite street art mural of all, this little girl’s expression leaves me wondering what she was thinking as she looked at the artist. What did the artist see that compelled him/her to capture her expression in all its intensity? Perhaps she represents the curiosity and innocence of childhood. What do you see?
If you want to view the actual street art painting process in action on Isla Holbox and get more context on the artists and the festival, check out this great video –
Are there any places / cities you enjoy exploring mainly for the street art? Let us know in the comments!