These two showed up since my last visit to the Old Pueblo. And there are apparently six or eight more I need to locate…
This masterpiece, near 6th Street and Stone, was painted earlier this summer by Joe Pagac, a cycling enthusiast and, obviously, a very talented mural artist. Go to his Kickstarter page HERE for more details and the thoughts behind his imagery:
Across the street from Joe’s mural is the old Tucson Warehouse building, a structure I’ve always admired for its classic signage on the roof (unfortunately, due to storm damage, missing all but the wheels of the Mayflower moving truck). As of the summer of 2016, thanks to the Tucson Mural Arts Program, it has been adorned with a new and impressive work called “Goddess of Agave”, by Cristina Perez.
We finally hooked up, Asfáltico and I. It was an entertaining and revealing experience to watch them transform an urban canvas–one of their older works, as it happened–into a new mural in just over three hours.
Who are they? Six gifted young men: José Pavez, Kevin “Sin Filtro” Suarez, Luciano “Tano” Motta, Ignacio “Nacho” Fernandez, Esteban “Látigo” Warro, and Adrian “Soto” Soto (the latter was unable to be at this session, unfortunately).
As the grupo Asfáltico might tell you themselves, rolling, brushing, and spraying paint on outdoor walls is the pure democratization of art. There is no need to pay any price of admission to see their work. The rich, the poor, the street sweeper, the politician, the lawyer, the newspaper kiosk hawker, the student, the bakery owner–all have an equal opportunity to view and interpret what they see as they walk by on the public sidewalk.
Another aspect of their art that they (and I) find fascinating is how it deteriorates over time. The rain, sun, wind, as well as other (usually lesser) graffiti artists and taggers, all extract their toll over the months and years. The original work is not static, but a dynamic statement…always changing…subject to the whims of the environment and human intervention. A dimension of history and time is slowly added with the passing days. What the Asfálticos put up originally is not what you will see two years later.
Today, I got to observe the process. The following images and commentary tell the story…
2016 Black & White Magazine, Spotlight Award Winner! (Issue: June, 2017, #121)
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