Western Aesthetics in Mexican Tourist Art

By continuing to utilize Western Aesthetics, art from Mexico has been subjugated to a cycle of tourist art, pushing the tastes and interests of an uninformed Westernized consumer for “authentic” art in the market. An interest in art that adheres to a specific cannon leaves little room for art innovation outside the West; when there is no market, there is no room for creativity. My presentation discusses the need for a development of non-Western aesthetics, with Mexican tourist art as an example. It details the ways in which artistic developments can be traced from indigenous art in the Bonampak to contemporary folk art for the tourist markets in the cities. By determining a society’s artistic development and granting validity to these stylistic elements, one can better formulate a set of non-Western aesthetics. Throughout the presentation, I discuss the cycle of artistic evaluation in the tourist market and the flaws that arise from that.
Art History panel