New print release this Thursday, July 20th. Details will be posted at http://elmac.net
. 'Winter in America': It seems that much of this country, if not the world, has been experiencing a growing climate of fear and confusion. Daily tragedies overwhelm and desensitize as we grow accustomed to hearing constant reports of killings by terrorists, criminals, and police. We face obscene and ever-worsening economic inequality alongside countless social and environmental problems. A dismal and surreal political atmosphere have contributed to a collective feeling of frustration and powerlessness.
I started working on this portrait of a woman in despair late last year as a response. This piece is also an homage to the great German social realist Käthe Kollwitz, who was known for her melancholy drawings and prints depicting the struggles and suffering of the working class from poverty and war. She was born 150 years ago in July of 1867, and her work is still just as powerful and relevant today. The figure was modeled after my wife's grandmother, and like most of my paintings it was not intended as a specific portrait of just one person but a representation of many people. It is a simple, direct expression of grief and fatigue in troubled times.
. "It is mid-winter in America; a man-made season of shattered dreams and shocked citizens, fumbling and frustrated beneath the crush of greed of corporate monsters and economic manipulators gone wild (...)
We must all do what we can for each other to weather this blizzard. Now more than ever all the family must be together; to comfort, to protect, to guide, to survive..."
-Gil Scott-Heron (1975)
Life can be filled with so much suffering, it's a gift when we can brighten it by helping each other and sharing real love.
Saichai had a warmth, creativity and vitality that shone through despite the hardships life had given her. In her last few years it was inspiring to see her find joy in making art, gardening, or exploring the city on public transportation. I don't think she considered herself an artist but she really was. She lived in service to others. She had a beautiful spirit, and I'm thankful we were friends. God bless her.
My bodyguard holding it down in front of 'Kosoom by the Mekong' in Saigon, Vietnam back in 2010. Portrait of my wife's grandmother outside the old Sàn Art/Propeller Group headquarters .. Made possible in part by @the_propeller_group @tuan.andrew.nguyen @mc_lucero @phunamenon .. Another collaboration is in the works.. @seewhatyouthink
Showing my most recent acrylic brushwork painting in this new group show curated by my good friend Oscar Magallanes at Residency in LA:
Opening reception block party on Saturday, October 7, 2017 1 pm – 6 pm
September 23 - December 16, 2017 "The Chicano movement in Southern California, born out of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, gave rise to art, murals, west coast handstyle graffiti, tattoos, and literary works along with lowrider culture and fashion as forms of self identification and cultural pride in the midst of oppression and segregation. This unique style has spread to many countries but in Los Angeles it has faced persistent attacks whether in the form of criminalization or steep fines placed on unsanctioned murals. This has created an erasure of the cultural markers that speak most clearly in opposition to systemic racism. There is a heightened urgency to preserve and document this work in the midst of rapid gentrification. This exhibition brings together artists that not only continue to use Chicano aesthetics but also uphold the use of art as a means of challenging dominant narratives. "
Aaron D. Estrada
Miles “El Mac” MacGregor
John Carlos de Luna/ Barrio Dandy
Curated by Oscar Magallanes
This exhibition expands on ¡Murales Rebeldes!: Contested Chicana/o Public Art at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Los Angeles.
Residency Art Gallery
310 E. Queen St.
Part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
I will be joining forces with the San Jose Museum of Art and my good friends from the acclaimed art collective The Propeller Group out of Vietnam, along with award-winning children's author Christopher Myers to create a new permanent public mural in San Jose. The mural's message will be one of hope and empathy.
I'm planning to offer a small, very limited edition print to assist the SJMoA's drive to raise supplemental funding for this project. The image is adapted from a pencil drawing I made during early stages of planning for this mural and is based on the daughter of two inspiring San Jose artists.
Many thanks to everyone who has already supported this project. Less than 24 hours left to back the SJMoA kickstarter campaign, link in bio or: kck.st/2wcafp2
Fuerza y bendiciones para México + Puerto Rico!
Finished + closer shot of "The Mother Creator II" without the (awesome) 80s Toyota van in front. Many thanks for all the positive responses, very much appreciated
More devotional public work for the great city of Los Angeles. Putting some serious time, soul and energy out there for the people. Striving to create good public art in these strange, troubled times. This is a companion mural to last year's 'La Mère Créatrice' in Montreal, my homage to feminine creative force. It's a tribute to artistic mothers, and their capacity to not only make people but art as well. I am an artist largely thanks to the influence of my mother, who is a great, inspiring artist. My mother-in-law, who passed away recently, though she probably wouldn't have considered herself an artist was as prolific and creative as any. The figure in this mural is based on my reference photos of Jane Choe, the fiery artistic mother of my friend David Choe. It was a pleasure working with my talented young crewmate, brother and local neighborhood resident @aiseborn who assisted with the extra Alphonse Mucha-inspired acrylic embellishment on the halo designs..
"The Mother Creator II" .. Finishing up some more devotional work for the great city of Los Angeles. Putting some serious time, soul and energy out there for the people. Striving to create good, uplifting public art in these strange, troubled times. This is a companion mural to last year's 'La Mère Créatrice' in Montreal, my homage to feminine creative force. This one's a tribute to artistic mothers, and their capacity to not only make people but art as well. I am an artist largely thanks to the influence of my mother, who is a great, inspiring painter, and my mother-in-law, who passed away recently, though she probably wouldn't have considered herself an artist was as prolific and creative as any. The figure depicted in this mural is based on my reference photos of Jane Choe, the fiery artistic mother of my friend David Choe. It was a pleasure working with my talented young crewmate, brother, and local neighborhood resident @aiseborn who assisted with the extra Alphonse Mucha-inspired acrylic embellishment on the halo designs..
"Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done! "
-excerpt from abolitionist John Brown's last speech after his trial and conviction in West Virginia in 1859 after raiding a federal armory there. His unsuccessful attempts to begin a liberation movement among slaves ultimately sparked the Civil War.
Spring of 2009, south central/mid-city Los Angeles. Working on 'The Knight' with @retna while young @delfin watches.
It's been amazing and inspiring to see Delfin and his equally talented brother @kohshinfinley progress and grow as artists over the years, taking on classical portraiture and figure painting and finding their own voices with it. Congratulations to Delfin and the Finley fam on the new exhibition in Santa Monica! Looking forward to seeing more beautiful, powerful work from these talented brothers in the years to come..
Photo: Yuri Hasegawa @candidho )
Close-up detail of 'Juarense y Poderosa' in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua 2014 @ Juarez Contemporary .. Photo: @maintainstudio .. Made possible with assistance from @3rdshifters @arielbrac @ericheights @jellyfishcolectivo @amorporjuarez @ricafer80 @juarezcontemporary @culturestrike
Life drawing on the NYC subway in 2015. "What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." -Augustine of Hippo