Dayron López (@dayronelsalvaje) / X

Dayron Lopez, a Monson Arts Resident in the fall of 2023, co-founded the art collective Chachacha! in the Azcapotzalco neighborhood in Mexico City in 2010. Dayron started Chachacha! with his best friend, Raymundo Rocha, in an effort to bring art into their community by offering tools for human development and identity building. Their community workshop methodology “combines auto-ethnography, informal education, observation of urban visual languages, graphic identity creation, drawing, painting, and muralism.” He is currently an artist-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California. 

1) What was the best part for you about being at Monson Arts? 

There were incredible parts of being in Monson. Meeting other people, other ways of seeing the world, meeting such talented artists and sharing food and space.

The proximity of my studio to the lake was incredible. They gave me different views of my own work and process. I mainly liked investing my time in the documentation of my project and I consider that well spent time even without the nightly walks from the studio to the house. But without a doubt for me, the most special thing was seeing snow fall for the first time, it will be nice to remember that spectacle related to my first residence in the United States.

2) What’s your focus with your work now that you’ve left Monson Arts?

My focus is still on the card game I worked on at Monson, developing a system of drawings for an educational card game for children and adults about the political, biological, social, technological, religious, and economic organization of the native peoples of Azcapotzalco, Mexico and its application. I am interacting with new murals both by other artists and Chachacha! in the neighborhoods where this game is developed and, additionally, organizing community bicycle rides to see these historical places.

3) Name 3-5 writers/artists and/or books/works that continue to inspire you. 

I like Ai Weiwei work in general, but there is one in particular called Sunflower Seeds, which blew my mind when I saw it.

I like the interventions of Minerva Cuevas, a Mexican visual artist, her work is multidisciplinary. I admire her courage to speak to the capitalist system and its social consequences.

I love the work of a Mexican artist named Daniel Manriquez. He founded a group called Tepito Arte Acá. in response to the government for wanting to expropriate territories in their neighborhood.

Francisco Toledo, who was a social activist, environmentalist, and cultural promoter, organized a protest so large that it prevented McDonalds from settling in the city of Oaxaca. He was a draftsman, painter, sculptor and ceramist.

Jacobo and Maria Angeles are a couple of artists that I admire for their particular vision of how to take craftsmanship to another level of production that works for an entire people. They created a visual communication system honoring their traditional form of art, in addition to contributing to their community, creating jobs, environmental support, developing artisanal techniques with sculpture, painting and ceramics. They are the family that Disney took as a reference for its movie Coco.