April 6, 2015

"Las Flores del Campo" : New mural in Puerto Rico

"Las Flores del Campo" -This is a mural I painted recently in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, near San Juan. 
This is the highest up I've painted before (A few stories higher than "María de la Reforma" in Mexico City) The challenge was not fear of heights, but the fact that it was such a prohibitive, time-consuming process to get up and down from the wall, which meant I didn't work on it with as much perspective as I'd like. It also would have been nice to have a bit more time to work on it (and maybe a few less rain showers), however overall I'm happy with how it came out. The figure almost seems to be using the wall as clothing, which felt appropriate as the tug-of-war between Nature and Civilization seems to be very visible on this beautiful island.
The mural was made possible by the Los Muros Hablan mural festival. Thanks to Emil, Paloma, Pablo y el resto del equipo LMH, Kim, Polina, David Joseph Perez, Celso + Calma, Daniel San, Alexis Diaz, Bad, etc

March 29, 2015

"Ánimo Sin Fronteras" : New mural in El Paso + video

This is the mural I painted in El Paso, Texas, titled "Ánimo Sin Fronteras" (spirit without borders). All aerosol and fatcapsIt's based on photos I shot in 2012 of a man named Melchor Flores, who's been fighting to get answers and justice for his son who was picked up and disappeared by police in Nuevo León in 2009. This mural is located in the heart of downtown El Paso, and complements the fighting spirit of the classic boxing mural next to it. This is an important mural for me, something I've been trying to make happen for a while. It is for all those who fight for justice.

Once again, gracias a don Melchor y los otros participantes de la Caravana por permitirme tomar sus fotos..and thanks to Grave y la familia Herrera, Ari BracamonteEric HeightsRicardo Fernandez, Ahern Rentals, Chris FisherMitsu Overstreet, Marina Monsisvais + KTEPThe TapCulture Strike, and anyone else that helped or supported in any way. 

Photo credits:
1, 2, 9 by: Federico Villalba
4, 5, 6, 8 by: Eric Heights
7, 10, 11, 12 by: Vallarie + Arturo Enriquez

This video was shot and edited by Eric Heights. It's always tough to hear myself talk, but I sound extra slow and out of it due to the effects of nearly two straight weeks of nonstop painting until the late hours and not enough sleep. Actually, I've probably been sleep deprived from working late for most of the interviews I've done so far...these murals are hard work

March 26, 2015

"Juarense y Poderosa" : New mural in Ciudad Juarez

After a slow year or so of health concerns and recovery that limited my capacity to take on projects or travel, I've been trying to make up for lost time by painting more murals over the last few months.. 

Last December I painted murals in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuaha and El Paso, Texas as a sort of independent binational public art project that I'd been planning for a few years with my friend David 'Grave' Herrera. 

In 2012 I photographed participants in the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity (Caravana por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad) when it passed through El Paso. The caravan was made up of people who had lost family members to the violence, corruption and injustice that has plagued Mexico for the last near-decade.
"Juarense y Poderosa", the mural I painted in Ciudad Juárez, was based on photos I took of a young woman from there named Diana who lost her mother to kidnapping. "Ánimo Sin Fronteras", the second mural, painted on the other side of the border in El Paso, was based on my photos of a man named Melchor, whose son was disappeared by corrupt police. Both Diana and Melchor represent countless others who've lost and suffered in recent years. 
I felt a responsibility to paint these murals, to create images of inspiration and empowerment. In my own small way, with my own voice and platform, I hope to honor those that have suffered the effects of this ongoing injustice.
I lived for a short time near El Paso/Juárez in the mid-90s, and developed an appreciation for that border region. I met Grave there through graffiti back then and without his help these murals would not have happened. Grave coordinated much of the logistics and ground support for these murals, and also painted the background designs for the Cd. Juárez mural. This mural is located at the CEHLIDER building: Calle 20 de Noviembre #4305, Col. El Colegio

Gracias a Diana, Melchor, y los otros participantes de la Caravana por permitirme tomar sus fotos.

Thanks to Grave y la familia Herrera, Ari Bracamonte, Eric HeightsJellyfish ColectivoRicardo Fernandez, Amor Por Juarez + Juarez Contemporary, Marina Monsisvais + KTEP, Culture Strike, and anyone else that helped or supported in any way.
All of the above photos by Eric Heights.

Photos of the El Paso mural to follow..

January 20, 2015

"To the Future" mural video

Here's a new video from Eventscape documenting the creation of "To the Future" in Toronto last year with Kwest and Stare..

August 22, 2014

"To the Future" : New mural in Toronto

This is a new mural I just painted in Toronto titled "To the Future". The background was painted by KWEST of Toronto and STARE of Montreal, two of the most talented and respected graffiti artists in Canada, it was a pleasure to work with them on this. I've painted in Montreal a few times over the years, but this is my first mural for Toronto, so I was excited to explore the city a bit and paint there. The image is an homage to one of my favorite artists, Alex Colville, referencing his iconic 1965 painting, "To Prince Edward Island". Colville, who passed away last year, was one of Canada's best artists. I've been a fan of Colville's work since I first saw it as a kid, and felt it would be appropriate to paint this mural in Toronto, the city of his birth. His work often elevated and mythologized the commonplace, something I strive for in my own art. He also put a great deal of time and subtlety into his paintings, an aesthetic I share, which is at odds with our modern culture of increasing speed and decreasing attention spans. Describing his painting process, Colville said:
"It's a very unspectacular business, laborious, as I think it is with writers too. Every day you do a little bit and you hope it'll all come into focus."

This mural was commissioned by Eventscape, and is located on the roof of their building facing the Gardiner Expressway. The owner of the business is a patron of my work and there had been discussion of this mural project for the last few years. This was the first large mural project outside of the US that I've taken on since recovering from health issues last year, and I'm grateful it finally worked out so well. Many thanks to Gareth, Celeste and everyone from Eventscape for all their kind support in making this possible. Thanks to Kwest and Stare for contributing their expert flow to this mural. Merci a mon buen compa Louis Coupal + Yves Laroche gallery for facilitating another fun Canadian mural project.

April 12, 2014

"The Anonymous Farm Worker" : New mural in Coachella's Pueblo Viejo

I just painted this simple little mural in the pueblo viejo of Coachella as part of the Coachella Walls project organized by the City of Coachella, The Date Farmers, and Medvin Sobio. It's not intended to represent any one specific person, but rather many people, especially the "anonymous farm worker". Farm workers in this country have been marginalized despite producing the very food we all need for survival. The Coachella valley is an important region for farming, and has been the setting for many of the struggles by the UFW to to improve workers' rights since the 60s..and you can feel this history there. Anytime during the day while I was painting this I could look to the park to my right and see groups of viejitos that looked similar to the man I was painting, all gathered at picnic tables gambling and laughing. One girl came by and asked if I was painting someone famous..when I said no, she replied "good, then I can say it's my tío..thank you for bringing beauty to our varrio" -This is the best kind of feedback I can hope to receive.
Thanks to the supportive gente & farmers of the Coachella valley, Medvin of Mid City Arts + the Academy of Street Art in Los Angeles, and mis hermanos del desierto Carlos & Armando of The Date Farmers for organizing this project.
Thanks also to the neighborhood kids that provided artistic commentary and Panaderia Las Tres Conchitas for the daily pumpkin empanadas.

Nice LA Times article about Coachella Walls HERE