Doony Graff and Photographer David Mesa Take Mexico City

Doony Graff and Photographer David Mesa Take Mexico City

By Erica CampbellMar 14, 2024

Doony Graff has always been creative, involving himself in Mexico City’s graffiti scene before finding himself at home, making Neoperreo music (a subgenre of reggaeton). The artist, who is from Nezahualcóyotl, was the perfect subject for Colombian photographer David Mesa. Currently based in Berlin, Mesa has been traveling to different countries in Central and South America with the goal of documenting and creating visual archives of up-and-coming contemporary talent.

Mesa chose Graff for his most recent visual essay, working in collaboration with fashion stylist Artie and creative producer Brian Fontana, who he refers to as “indispensable pillars of the underground queer fashion and revolutionary epicenter of the city known as of La Tianguis Disidente.” The shoot also features grooming by Zaybernetic. The photos juxtapose Graff in over-the-top fashion against a straightforward city backdrop, highlighting him in designers like Manchado, Baby Phat and Chanel. Check out the photo essay, exclusively on PAPER, below.

Graff is currently working on multiple tracks as part of a collection called EZYA. His next release “VECINITA” is set for release on March 15, which he tells PAPER he’s excited to share with the world. When asked about his hometown, he tells us that the best part of Mexico City is “the people, the parties and the neighborhood” adding: “my environment where I live and all its people give me strength to create things the way I perceive them.” Graff has made a name for himself in Mexico City, sharing that “there is nothing better than meeting people who know me on the street and having them ask me for a photo.”

So outside of his city, what inspires Graff? “There are too many artists that have inspired me over the years,” he says. “But without a doubt one of them would be Yung Beef and the entire Boricua reggaeton scene of yesteryear.”

Photography: David Mesa