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..