OXXO Marks the Spot

When not planning one of his “atypical” Tijuana day trips, politely rejecting sexual advances while wearing a sequined dress in a jail cell (long story), or caught dancing the night away in seedy dives not even a Zetas trigger man would feel safe in, Ohio expat Derrik Chinn is staging art shows that find the sublime in such mundane objects as piñatas, VW vochos and now, quicky-marts.

Two years ago, an OXXO—Mexico’s answer to 7-11—sprung up in an abandoned storefront bellow Chinn’s apartment. With its rumbling generator, bright school bus yellow and red illuminated sign and constant traffic, it became a sign of gentrification he quickly loathed.

“I had to get even,” he says. The result of his vengeance is the blog Otro OXXO, which chronicles the convenience store facsimiles across town, and in a weird Stockholm syndrome kind of way became a love letter to the Monterrey-based retail giant.  

“I wound up having to drive out to parts of the city I’d never even heard of before,” he recalls. “That was part of the plan, too. An excuse to explore Tijuana’s outskirts.”

Before he knew it, hed visited and documented a dozen of them. Then a hundred. Then a hundred and sixty-five.

“They’re everywhere,” Chinn says of his unlikely and accidental muse. “Mexico’s total OXXO population I’ve heard is about 8,000, which would make one OXXO for every 14,000 people or so. That figure doesn’t sound too insane, but Ma’ and Pa’ abarrote corner stores are definitely disappearing as a result,” he says. 

Chinn’s resulting images will be part of an eponymous art show at Espacio Freelance in the city’s Pasaje Rodríguez.

“There’s that obvious anti-corporation aspect to it all,” he says of the project’s raison d’être; “but what’s more important is all that’s going on around the OXXO: a car fire, a BonIce popsicle vendor,  a five-year-old offering to guard my car; some drunk guy demanding that he be in the photo, white ladies on bikes, a Snow White mural, a pimped-out Supra. The only constant in every photo is the OXXO.”

As to what to expect in the show, el güerito tells El Zonkey Show there will be ample “Gansitos, New Mix and lots of red and yellow; but definitely no Sexo en el OXXO.”

Otro OXXO opens Friday, April 22 at 7:00pm inside Espacio Freelance.

You can see check out the Facebook event page here.

Preview imagery bellow:

One Response to “OXXO Marks the Spot”
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  1. […] Read more about the upcoming art show featuring a photo project by Turista Libre‘s Derrik Chinn on El Zonkey Show blog. […]

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