A Taste of Art
Street Art in Tulum
Tulum has a vibrant and growing mural scene with the works of both local and international artists. Murals of countless styles are popping up all over the Mexican town telling us a lot about what is happening in Tulum.
Tulum is the current hotspot for those wanting to explore the Mayan Riviera. The trendy township is awash with new murals, as urban artists fall for its laid back charm and travel from around the world to emblazon their talents on its bare walls. Tulum's street art scene only adds to its appeal as an alternative tourism hub, fit for backpackers, cultural travellers, creatives and luxury eco-wanderers alike.

Today we will take a look at some of the most prominent murals located in the town center.

R O N Ʒɔ̐

Ronald Quintero, better known as R O N Ʒɔ̐, originally is from Venezuela. Now the artist lives in Playa Del Carmen and makes the murals for different projects. Ron finds his inspiration in nature. The mural Mermaid & Diver was made in Tulum for the restaurant Las Hijas De La Tostada.
R O N Ʒɔ̐
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theanunaki/


Andrew Mack a.k.a Joux was born in Orange County, California. At 6 years old his family moved to Switzerland. Andrew got inspiration from cartoons he was watching with his sister, but soon he got his inspiration from nature, the streets, and even the artwork he was seeing on passing trains.

Andrew started painting graffiti in 2003 while also maintaining work as the carpenter. Later the artist moved back to the United States where he started to develop his life as the graffiti artist and designer. His works are characterized by the use of catchphrases and vivid colors. The realistic characters inhabit different countries, each telling their own story.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joux_co/


French-Canadian born in the province of Quebec, Monk.E is a self-taught visionary urban artist, one of the iconic figures of the art culture in Québec. Rooted in the world of graffiti and contemporary urban art since 1996, he renamed his art form under the term Calligraffiti Alchimographic. Painting, exhibiting and publishing visual art and music all over the world allowed him to accumulate an encyclopedia of techniques from various collaborators. In 2021 the artist stopped in Tulum to make great works. The most visible one is called "When the wall disappears". This is how the artist describes the story behind the mural in his Instagram.

"This painting is inspired from a picture I took in Cowdung ghetto in Kampala, Uganda. The young brothers of the football team Warrior Stars of Cowdung gathered at the wall I was painting on the side of their football field. I just stepped back from painting and took a picture of them observing my work. The power they held was undeniable. I prayed I could share that moment, that feeling with my other audiences. So I did. I decided to paint them here in Tulum, so my diverse communities can look at each other, face to face. The wall disappeared, the author too. Now it's people looking at people. Racism, xenophobia, ignorance, misrepresentation or misunderstanding are all obstacles to us being truly one. As a human family, as a oneness of action in favor of justice and goodness. The wall disappeared. Let's look at each other".
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monke_k6a/

Linda Kocher

Linda Kchr is an illustrator and graphic designer traveling between Geneva, Brussels and Mexico. After studying at the Haute Ecole d'Art et de Design de Genève (HEAD), she continued to nurture her inspiration by moving to Mexico. She makes drawings of nude characters, multiple and different, bringing a vision of the beauty of the body uninhibited, healthy and plural. Linda created the mural in the center of Tulum in 2021.
Linda Kocher
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lindakchr/


The street artist Yescka originally from Oaxaca finds inspiration in graffiti art, history and tradition, mixing up several techniques such as collage, graffiti, stencil, painting, and drawing. Successfully blending old and new practices, he screen prints and hand-paints backgrounds, subsequently adding graffiti elements . His pieces cover street walls all around the globe.

This mural was made in order to dignify the lives of migrants. This mural is dedicated to Victoria, a Central American woman, who was murdered at the hands of the police at the beginning of 2021 in Tulum.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yescka_art/


The Canadian artist MONK.E created a new piece in the collaboration with Nioor based on his term of art - calligraphy alchimiographic. Calligraffiti alchimiographic is a visual art philosophy that combines various ancient aesthetics with the modern techniques of contemporary urban art and modern calligraphy.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monke_k6a/


Spaik is a Mexican urban artist whose colourful works are inspired by Latin American folklore. He works mainly in Mexico but has also done murals in other countries in both Central and South America.

In his paintings Spaik uses topics related to local traditions and makes mythical references of traditional stories. The artist uses spray cans, rollers, brushes.In 2021 Spaik arrived in Tulum to create great works.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spaik45/


Chicago based mural artist, designer Brendan Cooney aka Cooney Works this year arrived in Tulum to produce the new murals. The mural "The gift that keeps giving" is an 8ft by 20ft spray paint mural on stucco. This piece embodies the beauty of psilocybin as the gift of sacred medicine and reaching one's "Higher self".

The artist writes in his Instagram: " Mushrooms have made massive strides in the last few years, now being accepted for medicinal use in parts of the country to help with depression and heal trauma. Mushrooms have been a big part of my life and continue to open new doors of creativity and grow my relationship and love for nature".
Cooney Werks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cooney_werks/

Emma Rubens, Felipe Cespedes and Antonia Mùnera

The mural is the collaboration work in homage to Pablo Canché Balam, Chiclero and one of the Mayan founders of Tulum Maya Cruso'ob community. The artists were inspired by his favorite portrait taken in 1988 by photographer Macduff Everton from the book Los Mayas Contemporáneos. Currently the family of Pablo continues to inhabit this territory, preserving their traditions and culture despite the accelerated expansion of tourism in the area. Collaboration of Emma Rubens, Felipe Cespedes and Antonia Mùnera.
Emma Rubens: https://www.instagram.com/emmarubens/
Felipe Cespedes:https://www.instagram.com/felipecespedesart/
Antonia Mùnera: https://www.instagram.com/antoniamunera/


Buenos Aires based street artist Nicolas Valeiras aka Nikov has been making quite a splash on the Argentinian street art scene with his artworks that incorporate bright colors throughout his compositions.

In Tulum he painted the mural called Ki Ki Kuxtal. Ki Ki Kuxtal can be translated from Maya as "Tasty Life", "Rich Life" or "Good Life". Kikov used the photo of a young photographer Brisa Sanchez picturing the life of the women in U kuuchil K Ch'i'balo'on Community Center. Through his works he tells a story of the people living around Tulum.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nico.valeiras/

Emma Rubens

One of the most popular works made by Emma is the mural 'El Pajarito', the artist painted in 2019 for the urban art festival 'F.A.T' organized by TINASAH an elderly Mayan man called 'El Pajarito' who's been living in Tulum for years. Emma wanted to represent the original people from the town.

As the artist tells in the interviews to Bleu & Blanc journal she wanted to capture someone who was really part of the town. "El Pajarito" is a man who hardly speaks Spanish, only Mayan and who has been living in Tulum forever. Although many people see him, nobody really notices him, every day he goes through the streets with a cart in which he collects cans to recycle and he always goes with a smile. Emma felt that he deserved to be painted on a wall in the place where he has spent most of his life.
Emma Rubens
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emmarubens/

Val Aurea and Alaniz

The mural "Unidad" was painted by Val Aurea and Alaniz to show the current situation in Tulum when many foreigners come to live in Tulum. The melting pot is growing and the artists choose to depict this growth in a positive manner: the union of foreigners and the local Mayan people.
Val Aurea: https://www.instagram.com/val_aurea/
Alaniz: https://www.instagram.com/alanizart/

Emma Rubens Works

Emma Rubens stands outside of other artists living in Tulum. Almost half of the murals that you see in Tulum center belong to this renowned mural and canvas artist living in Tulum. The impact that Emma's works make is far from breathtaking, the details even more so. The visual composition, the wide spectrum of colors, and the portraits of the locals are one of the characteristics for Ruben's work.

Being born in London, England, Emma moved to Tulum 14 years ago. Born into an artist family, she has been painting all her life. When she arrived in Tulum, she was making portraits of backpackers staying at a hostel where she worked as a waitress. It was in 2014 when she received the first opportunity that opened the doors to urban art.

Her fascination by the human figure and portraiture are represented in the countless pieces all over the town.
A mural in the streets of Tulum dedicated to the local kids Santiago, Cristina and Javiercito.
'Play the Wall': one of the biggest murals in Tulum painted by Emma Rubens and Valeria Navarette depicts children that live in Tulum and whose the artists know personally.

The mural expresses the freedom and joy that children can teach us, and represents the border situation we have in the world: "We will always find a way to play, despite borders".
The projects to follow:


Tinasah is an artist collective in Tulum aimed enhance Tulum's urban landscape through street art. Many of their murals tell stories of Mayan culture, day-to-day life in Tulum and the town's changes connected with the growing tourism industry.

In 2019 Tinasah organized F.A.T (Festival Arte TINASAH) where the national and international artists painted 12 murals in Tulum during 12 weeks, 1 mural a week. The objective of the festival was to promote and cultivate an environment of learning and expressing through art.

Tulum Art Club

This art space was opened in downtown Tulum in 2016 and was dedicated to arts and culture. There's a café with seating in the front, and the gallery behind it with art for sale on the walls and on sliding dividers. Most of the art (paintings, sketches, photographs, graphic art) is from an artists' residency program the owners have been running in the Hotel Zone.

Tulum Art Club hosts art rotating events: drink and draws painting; movie nights; live music, lectures.