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

February 27, 2014

VOGUE magazine feature

Due to some health problems last year my artistic output diminished considerably. Went through some rough times, but I've been slowly getting back on my feet and getting back to painting. I'm grateful to be feeling better and making art again. Also grateful to be the beneficiary of so much ongoing support from so many people. Apologies for not keeping up with most correspondence, I mean no offense to anyone..thanks for the patience & understanding!

These are pages from the new March issue of Vogue magazine (US edition). It features models posing in front of five different murals I've painted in Los Angeles. Most of the murals were collaborations with Retna, while one was painted with Kofie. The murals are located throughout LA, in Hollywood, Culver City, Mid City, and by MacArthur Park. The Photos were shot by Craig McDean. Thanks to Vogue and the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles.