'Guerrero Chimalli' – Chimalhuacán, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

'Guerrero Chimalli'

Chimalhuacán, Mexico

This controversial, abstract sculpture is meant to represent an Aztec warrior. 

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This 197-foot-tall (60 meters) sculpture by the artist Sebastián is located in Chimalhuacán, one of the peripheral neighborhoods known as part of Greater Mexico City’s Área Metropolitana. Sebastián, born Enrique Carbajal, has gained something of a reputation for abstract, public-funded works. 

Chimalhuacán is officially located in the State of Mexico, and has a reputation as one of Mexico’s least developed areas. It’s home to the Bordo de Xochiaca, one of the capital’s largest landfills, and is an unlikely location for an abstract sculpture of this size, especially considering its cost of approximately MXN $30 million.

Sebastián was commissioned by the local government of Chimalhuacán to create a massive icon for the neighborhood. The artist settled on an Aztec warrior with a chimalli (shield) in his characteristic monochrome. With the name Chimalhuacán roughly translating to “Place of the Shields” in Náhuatl, the defensive item made sense to accompany the warrior.

The artwork was inaugurated in 2015, and only time will tell if “Guerrero Chimalli” will manage the same iconic status of other Sebastián works, like the X of Ciudad Juárez, or if its cost, disproportionate to one of Mexico’s most troubled areas, will continue to mar its appreciation