Guns, drugs, anti-authoritarian dragons give chase, destruction, death, and peace. Spray paintings, clouds of smoke, the rumble of the bass, the broken window trespassing, dark figures in the alley. These are elements of events that occurred this week, in an alley and on a wall, with my main man Vogey.
Located in the Grove neighborhood of Pueblo, the painting was the result of two days of planning, plotting, and shenanigans between Vogey and myself. It had been a while since I teamed up with my brother and got busy, but as it turns out, we still make the killer combo.
Firearms, the needles, the despair, all shown here in one illustration, one spray painting to get the story rolling, and truth be told. Our community has issues, just like all cities do. But in my community, I bear witness to much violence. With my eyes, I see gangs, rapists, murderers, thieves, liars and the whole lot of rotten apples. Seems that the orchard has terrible soil, lousy light, total neglect, the necessities stripped away. Those on the greener side see only the decay, not the need for the water to be shared.
Art is a form a storytelling, but more profoundly I believe that art is a form of therapy. Self-expression is a desire that all humans possess. I choose in much of my work to express the more brutal side of life. This painting for example has references to many of the dark things present in our city as well as many of the dark things present in my own life, as always. I find this to be a much more honest and effective way to communicate because we can all see through the bullshit. It is through facing our fears of being honest that we can begin to heal.
It is fitting that we paint paintings representing such ideas in an area called the grove. While the Grove isn’t a neglected neighborhood, it is an authentic neighborhood in Pueblo and a great place for art to be seen. And for me to refer back to my earlier metaphor it is like I’m adding a bit of water, a bit of culture to the orchard.
This is my latest painting in the village walls series of paintings. The Village Walls is a series of murals painted by numerous artists throughout the city of Pueblo. The project is a citywide art project, urban renewal project, and placemaking experiment. My goal is to make Pueblo an arts destination within the state of Colorado and US. I have been working for several years on various mural projects throughout the city. Over the course of the next two years, I plan to expand largely on the mural projects within the city as well as begin doing other public art installations. Ideas for sculptures and light projections are already underway and the work will soon start to take that shape.
The majority of the Village Walls projects have been donation based, and have served as a way to noticeably have an impact on the visual landscape of our community. The biggest driving factor for the creation of the work is to inspire the residents of this city to aspire to huge goals and to express the power of one person or a small group of persons to accomplish very large projects.
In late spring or early summer of next year I plan to hold several mural events, including tours, live painting demonstrations, workshops teaching spray painting and large-scale composing.
Make sure to go exploring the Grove neighborhood and check this new wall out. Don’t forget to stop by Blo Back gallery while you are at it. My favorite gallery in town. The painting is located on the back of the gallery at 131 spring st. in The Grove, Pueblo Colorado
Support The Shadows
The Shadows is an art therpay program aimed at helping the world to learn to express and let go of the dark parts of ourselves through art and creative processes. Donations help to further the video project, work with inmates and youth, and create art of my own to share the message.