August 20, 2015

New print: "Los Campesinos"








I'm releasing a new print adapted from my acrylic painting "Los Campesinos" on Monday, August 24th, all details at theDesertSoul.com

August 15, 2015

"Ars et Scientia" : New mural in Boston for Northeastern University

















These are photos of "Ars et Scientia". The mural was commissioned by Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. 

“Ars et Scientia" was painted at Northeastern University, in Boston. The school is across the street from The Museum of Fine Arts, where El Mac was a selected artist at 2014′s MFA Summer Auction along with Augustine Kofie and Jaybo Monk.
The mural was created with his signature spray paint technique of haloed circles and ghostly lines on the brick facade of Northeastern’s Meserve Hall. The wall has not been painted since 1893, and has seen a lot of change in that time. It began its life over a century ago as the home of the United Drug Company before eventually becoming part of the University. The subject matter and location of El Mac’s latest public work are of notable significance. His father went to Northeastern and studied engineering, during this time his father also met El Mac’s mother who was studying painting at nearby MassArt. On the building where the studies of arts and sciences converge there is clearly a deeper and much more personal artist statement that has been written on the wall.

"The focus of the piece is an allegorical image of an ethereal goddess, a sort of Greek muse, who floats in a grayscale with subtle hints of color while holding a bolt of electricity in one hand and and a paintbrush in the other. Her head is raised to the stars above and her mind seems focused as spiraling chemical reactions of muted red and blue manifest into the rhythm behind her. In this work you can find El Mac’s past, present and future. The goddess is modeled after his wife. In her hands is the source material that created him. The electricity in one hand represents both science and his father the engineer, while in her other hand she holds the paintbrush which is both art and his mother the painter. The stars above her allude to the possibilities and promise of the future, as well as the space program which spurred El Mac’s father to pursue a career in engineering which was the catalyst for the family's journey to the Southwest."

-Photos and text by Todd Mazer
Further documentation by Northeastern photographers HERE

Many thanks to everyone from Northeastern who helped make this possible, including President Aoun, Bruce Ployer, Clare, and Bree. Thanks also to Todd, Kim, Kulturez, JuxtapozCaleb.


July 14, 2015

"Icarian Flight" : New mural in Los Angeles by ELMAC + KOFIE












This is a mural I painted with my good friend Augustine Kofie in Los Angeles titled "Icarian Flight".

Thanks to the good folks at Allan Jeffries Framing, Sean, Gozer, Serena Tham, David Joseph Perez, and Belton Paints for all helping make this mural possible. 
Photos 2-7 by Eric Heights

June 13, 2015

"La Abuelita/Má'sání" : Recent mural in Los Angeles by EL MAC x KOFIE x NUKE














La abuelita, the grandmother, weaver of blankets,
You gaze upon a new day as the moon sets in the west,
its incandescent glow and light guides the spirits that once resided in this city of the Angels.
At the turn of the century when this building was built, when this city was abustle with Victorian homes and model A's and model T's.
There has always been an abuelita looking up and to the sky, praying for the souls that keep the night suspended above us. Its black cloak filled with stars, its green ghosts swirling in the early dawn air.
Abuelita, grandmother of the arts, guide our souls to rejoice in the days we create.
For we are the dawn
a dream becoming reality
weaving our stories of the past.
Weaving them into place, from order out of chaos, from plurality to singularity.
A blanket carries so much weight. It holds our dreams. But do we often wonder who weaves the blanket, or what they were thinking? La abuelita, she thinks of us when she weaves. It is not so hard to imagine that God is a grandmother.

-Joseph 'Nuke' Montalvo
March 4, 2015
On reflection of the mural created by El Mac, Augustine Kofie, and Joseph 'Nuke' Montalvo on The American Hotel in the Los Angeles Arts District. With guidance and wisdom from UTI and Earth Crew.

The portrait is painted entirely with aerosol and fatcaps, and is based on photos I shot a few years ago of an artist named Martha Gorman Schultz. She is a Navajo blanket weaver from northern Arizona, and part of a respected family of weavers including her granddaughter, Melissa Cody.

I felt this painting of Martha could be an empowering representation of beauty not often depicted in public art or media. Beauty that is feminine, elderly, indigenous, loving and powerful.
The building this mural was painted on was constructed in 1901, and you can imagine how much Los Angeles history it's seen over the last hundred years or so.
This was an especially collaborative effort- Along with the work of Kofie and Nuke surrounding the figure, SKILL UTI painted the wall to the left, integrating an already existing piece by DASH 2000(Rest In Peace). SWAN provided ground support, along with CHEE, AISE, BLK, OFIER, SELEK, CALVYRUS and some other younger members of UTI crew, which has been painting these walls for the last few decades.

Martha and some of her family were able to come to LA to visit the mural last week, which was an important occasion since this was also her first time in Los Angeles, and I was glad I could be there to meet them.
Thanks to Martha, Melissa, The American Hotel, and UTI crew. The last five photos of Martha's visit were shot by Eric Heights.


May 12, 2015

"Nuestra Gente" : New mural in Phoenix





 "ARIZONE" by Pablo Luna, Phoenix, 1986

"NAUSEOUSLY GREEDY" by Mando Rascón, Phoenix, 1998








Here are some photos of a mural I painted earlier this year near downtown Phoenix, Arizona, titled "Nuestra Gente". The background designs around the face were painted by Mando Rascón, and the outer images on the ends of the mural were painted by Pablo Luna. Mando and Pablo were known in the 90s as pioneers of graffiti in Phoenix. Pablo began painting graffiti in the early 80s and became one of Phoenix's most prolific painters, while Mando perfected a style of intricate lettering that was unique and influential. It was exciting to take time to paint something nice with them both again. I'm really proud of this mural and, at the risk of sounding ostentatious, consider it a kind of homage to and for the people of Phoenix. 
I was originally planning on painting this at another far more visible location in the heart of downtown Phoenix but the building owners commissioning the mural had concerns that the model looked "unattractive", saying that "there was hesitation about putting up a person of any noticeable ethnicity".
Because of this I decided to to paint the mural elsewhere, on nearby Van Buren Street. Not as visible or prestigious a location, but still meaningful. The mural is in walking distance from landmarks on Van Buren (all gone now) that I remember from growing up. Places like New Chance Thrift store (where about three decades back my parents bought an old streamlined refrigerator from the 50s that miraculously still works fine), Arnold's Pickle factory (the smell will stay with me forever..you could could smell pickles a block away), La Tolteca restaurant (where I enjoyed many breakfast burros & caguamas, not to mention bomb pan dulce), and one of my old schools, St. Mary's Elementary (which had a profound impact on me for being the only güerito in third grade).
It can be a hard place to like, but I maintain a great love for Phoenix. Despite the efforts of those that attempt to foster an environment of fear, ignorance, and homogeneity (and those that acquiesce), I believe Phoenix is a great city that should be proud of its diverse cultural population and indigenous history.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." -MLK Jr.
Many thanks to Pablo, Mando, and the folks at Heavy Pedal for helping make this mural possible, and thanks to those that are helping fight to make Phoenix a better place.
Thanks also to the Nitty Gritty crew, Polina, David Joseph Perez, & Howard's ACE Hardware