REFLECTIVE MESSAGES BY PAOLA DELFIN

by Ariadna Zierold

paola delfin, mural, street art, mexico, mexican, meticulous, organic, illustration, wall, walls, upper playground

By means of the meticulous use of illustration and verging on almost obsessive technique, Mexican artist Paola Delfín attempts to portray the creative aesthetic of her generation while also depicting a reflective message. Her work is mainly influenced by illustrations, organic forms and a mixture of unusual materials.

paola delfin, mural, street art, mexico, mexican, meticulous, organic, illustration, wall, walls, upper playground

“I believe that art needs to be seen everywhere possible, to bring a white wall to life, and make a story out of it. My passion is to create, be available to tell a story with my hands and make it visible to everyone though images that involve you [the viewer] in that story. That feeling is what makes me love being an artist.” Paola Delfin

paola delfin, mural, street art, mexico, mexican, meticulous, organic, illustration, wall, walls, upper playground paola delfin, mural, street art, mexico, mexican, meticulous, organic, illustration, wall, walls, upper playground paola delfin, mural, street art, mexico, mexican, meticulous, organic, illustration, wall, walls, upper playground paola delfin, mural, street art, mexico, mexican, meticulous, organic, illustration, wall, walls, upper playground

NATIVE TALES BY SPAIK

by Ariadna Zierold

spaik, mexico, mexican, mural, murals, street art, colorful, traditional, painting, paintings, mythical, native, upper playground

Spaik is a Mexican street artist who creates colorful works mainly in Mexico but also in other countries of South America. Spaik uses traditional local themes in most of his paintings as wells as mythical references from native tales. He earned a Bachelor Title in Film Studies at the Mexican Institute of Cinematographic and Humanistic Research (IMICH) in the city of Morelia, Michoacan in Mexico.

spaik, mexico, mexican, mural, murals, street art, colorful, traditional, painting, paintings, mythical, native, upper playground spaik, mexico, mexican, mural, murals, street art, colorful, traditional, painting, paintings, mythical, native, upper playground spaik, mexico, mexican, mural, murals, street art, colorful, traditional, painting, paintings, mythical, native, upper playground spaik, mexico, mexican, mural, murals, street art, colorful, traditional, painting, paintings, mythical, native, upper playground

QUIRKY MOMENTS BY ALEJANDRINA HERRERA

by Ariadna Zierold

alejandrina herrera, illustration, quirky, mexico, mexican, animals, people, situations, narrative, surreal, humor, soft palette, drawing, watercolor, upper playground

Mexican artist Alejandrina Herrera’s illustrations capture quirky moments in the life of people and animals. The minimal approach to different life situations using a mix of watercolor, drawings, and mixed media, is quite fun. Also, the soft palette combined with the dark, intricate details of the drawings are spot on.

alejandrina herrera, illustration, quirky, mexico, mexican, animals, people, situations, narrative, surreal, humor, soft palette, drawing, watercolor, upper playground alejandrina herrera, illustration, quirky, mexico, mexican, animals, people, situations, narrative, surreal, humor, soft palette, drawing, watercolor, upper playground alejandrina herrera, illustration, quirky, mexico, mexican, animals, people, situations, narrative, surreal, humor, soft palette, drawing, watercolor, upper playground alejandrina herrera, illustration, quirky, mexico, mexican, animals, people, situations, narrative, surreal, humor, soft palette, drawing, watercolor, upper playground alejandrina herrera, illustration, quirky, mexico, mexican, animals, people, situations, narrative, surreal, humor, soft palette, drawing, watercolor, upper playground alejandrina herrera, illustration, quirky, mexico, mexican, animals, people, situations, narrative, surreal, humor, soft palette, drawing, watercolor, upper playground alejandrina herrera, illustration, quirky, mexico, mexican, animals, people, situations, narrative, surreal, humor, soft palette, drawing, watercolor, upper playground

BOYLE HEIGHTS’ ESTRADA COURTS MURALS

by Ariadna Zierold

mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground

Murals became popular during the Chicano Movement of the 1970’s, when artists began telling their unique stories on walls throughout the Eastside. Chicanos at this time lacked representation in public life, with neither a strong voice in elections, nor elected representatives. Murals became a way to communicate community concerns about police brutality, immigration, drugs, gang violence and other difficulties of a life of poverty.

mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground

At the Estrada Courts housing project in Boyle Heights, the walls are time capsules of the Chicano art movement. Mexican-American artists began emblazoning drab cinder-block and stucco walls with brightly colored murals, which represented the dreams, aspirations and cultural pride of a population that might have otherwise felt trapped in their environs.

mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground

The streets of Boyle Heights are like an art gallery, with walls that act as canvases. Images of brown pride and indigenous symbols tell stories from the past, and the now faded colors of decades-old murals still brighten the community.

mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground mural, murals, chicano, eastside, estrada courts, boyle heights, mexican, colored, bright, upper playground

via Boyle Heights Beat.

COLORFUL COMPOSITIONS BY CARLITO DALCEGGIO

by Ariadna Zierold

carlino dalceggio, multimedia, painting, tribal, symbolic, cubism, mexican, abstract, upper playground

Multimedia artist Carlito Dalceggio finds himself incorporating a world view into his work- colorful and frenzied compositions inspired by tribal art motifs.

carlito dalceggio, multimedia, painting, tribal, symbolic, cubism, mexican, abstract, upper playground

His spiritual and symbolic images of things like kites, peacock feathers and masks also recall Mexican popular art, Picasso’s cubism, Rauschenberg’s abstract expressionism, and Matisse’s primitivism.

carlito dalceggio, multimedia, painting, tribal, symbolic, cubism, mexican, abstract, upper playground carlito dalceggio, multimedia, painting, tribal, symbolic, cubism, mexican, abstract, upper playground carlito dalceggio, multimedia, painting, tribal, symbolic, cubism, mexican, abstract, upper playground carlito dalceggio, multimedia, painting, tribal, symbolic, cubism, mexican, abstract, upper playground carlito dalceggio, multimedia, painting, tribal, symbolic, cubism, mexican, abstract, upper playground

MAGICAL PAINTINGS BY MARIA TOMASULA

by Ariadna Zierold

maria tomasula, oil, painting, magical, mexican, colorful still life, upper playground

Chicago based artist Maria Tomasula creates highly realistic oil paintings that add a touch of magic to still lifes and the human figure. Influenced by the bright palette and painting of her Mexican heritage, her arrangements of fruits, flowers, skulls and floating bodies that shimmer like jewels are exceptionally colorful, sensual, and even dark at times, while touching upon subjects like religion, life and death, and the beauty of nature.

maria tomasula, oil, painting, magical, mexican, colorful still life, upper playground maria tomasula, oil, painting, magical, mexican, colorful still life, upper playground maria tomasula, oil, painting, magical, mexican, colorful still life, upper playground maria tomasula, oil, painting, magical, mexican, colorful still life, upper playground maria tomasula, oil, painting, magical, mexican, colorful still life, upper playground

THE MEXICAN FOLK ART-INSPIRED ILLUSTRATIONS OF STACEY ROZICH

by Ariadna Zierold

stacey rozich, illustration, folk, mexican, humor, characters, upper playground

Stacey Rozich is a prolific artist, balancing gallery shows, commercial projects, and occasional album covers with personal projects, all while keeping her practice simple and open. Theatrically-staged landscapes made of costumed creatures and ornamental tombstones; fire and water restricted on a page as if a prop; humorous takes on the happenings of Coney Island; romance after death; such is her work.

stacey rozich, illustration, folk, mexican, humor, characters, upper playground

Based in Los Feliz, California, Rozich is known for her folk and Pop art-inspired gouaches. She explores worldly notions of death, attaching an uncannily humorous spin to her works. Her creations are vividly captivating, and a well informed portrayal of the inherent nature of death, life, and daily interaction featured in mythology. Rozich’s work is both gentle and overwhelming, her vivid palette a reflection of her natural leaning towards visual chaos.

stacey rozich, illustration, folk, mexican, humor, characters, upper playground

With a deep respect and adoration for history and craftsmanship, Rozich pulls from the world of performance and folk art, explaining her adoration for the complexity of Mexican culture: “There are so many states in Mexico with different aesthetics and materials and color palettes which are incredibly rich and deeply spirited and that they can be at once identifiable and united and also very different, that appeals to me.”

stacey rozich, illustration, folk, mexican, humor, characters, upper playground

EL MAC: A MODERN SPIN ON THE CONVENTIONALITY OF THE HUMAN PORTRAIT

by Ariadna Zierold

Miles MacGregor, el mac, mural, portrait, chicano, mexican, border, religious, spiritual, human, los angeles, the citrus report, upper playground

Miles “Mac” MacGregor is an artistic historian in his own right, capturing the influence of his culture within his works of art. The influence of El Mac’s Mexican and Chicano culture is written all throughout his creations.

He uses the streets as a way to continue the tradition of portraiture. Born in Los Angeles, the self-trained artist focuses on subjects that celebrate and reflect the cultural history of the southwest. Introduced to graffiti as a teenager, it was the materials and process involved in spray painting that captivated the artist more than writing letters.

Miles MacGregor, el mac, mural, portrait, chicano, mexican, border, religious, spiritual, human, los angeles, the citrus report, upper playground

Collaboration is a part of graffiti and it’s a practice that Mac embraces, since the city is essentially a large shared space where his work lives. Set against the work of noted artists Nuke and Kofie, the layered mural honors indigenous peoples and invisible histories that are often forgotten.

Miles MacGregor, el mac, mural, portrait, chicano, mexican, border, religious, spiritual, human, los angeles, the citrus report, upper playground

Mac like many artists learning their trade began by painting portraits of friends and family members but this output eventually progressed to conceptually heavier material. Choosing to paint a series of anonymous Mexican laborers, these paintings honored those that would not be typically featured in the history of portraiture.

His finished murals are so well regarded they are sometimes seen as unofficial monuments throughout the city. The artist knows these temporary contributions have a much more powerful impact during their life than traditional studio work. Collectively as a body, they celebrate, honor, and speak into human nature and the importance of truth and beauty.

Miles MacGregor, el mac, mural, portrait, chicano, mexican, border, religious, spiritual, human, los angeles, the citrus report, upper playground

Mac utilizes an application of spray paint that appears to vibrate and ripple on the wall. Furthermore, precise shading gives life to his subjects, ultimately transmitting an palpable energy through his work that is unlike no other. While each portrait is typically soft from a distance, the crosshatching and line work bursts outward with exuberance.

The history of Mexican and Chicano culture is a constant in Mac’s work. A student of art history, his use of Catholic iconography is unmistakable. While he portrays everyday people, the juxtaposition of a mother and child, the use of blue cloak, or an implied halo around the head of one his sitters signifies the importance of the divine and the role of the church.

Miles MacGregor, el mac, mural, portrait, chicano, mexican, border, religious, spiritual, human, los angeles, the citrus report, upper playground

“It’s a visual language that extends back to classical times.” Although not overtly religious himself, Mac sees himself as a spiritual person. He does not seek to teach biblical narratives or virtues but instead references this symbology and imparts its significance to his sitters, making the commonplace extraordinary.

After finishing his “Juarense y Poderosa” mural in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, El Mac moved up north to El Paso where he created another strong and meaningful piece. Titled “Ánimo Sin Fronteras” (Spirit Without Borders) it is another homage to the people that experienced the injustice and violence occurring regularly in the areas on the US/Mexican border. Through this series of murals, he is trying to get pay respect to these people and help them with their fights.

Miles MacGregor, el mac, mural, portrait, chicano, mexican, border, religious, spiritual, human, los angeles, the citrus report, upper playground

“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.”

Mac’s El Paso and Juárez murals are excellent examples of this energy applied to a political framework. The murals feature a different image on each side of the U.S./Mexican border and are a manifestation of Mac’s soft yet powerful voice. Each portrait addresses the violence and corruption with border politics and crime. The first portrait features a young woman whose mother was kidnapped and killed while the other is a man whose son was murdered by the police. The proud and dignified images exude hope and resilience yet simultaneously raise awareness to the awful conditions for those living on the border and the struggles these families have undergone. Mac’s ability to address difficult issues is shrouded in beauty and it makes the harsh truth palpable.

Miles MacGregor, el mac, mural, portrait, chicano, mexican, border, religious, spiritual, human, los angeles, the citrus report, upper playground

What makes El Mac’s works so memorable is his ability to put a modern spin on the conventionality of the human portrait by incorporating his detailed line work. This brings an almost distorted, fragmented accompaniment to his creations, opening the doors for varying interpretation. Challenged by creating difficult images, Mac succeeds by making more than a technically executed portrait. They instead are social and spiritual reminders of our humanity, the small details of what makes someone an individual become giant gestures to be admired.