Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez | Notes on Looking

Monster Drawing Rally 2012

LA’s fifth annual Monster Drawing Rally, which inaugurated the relationship between Outpost for Contemporary Art and Armory Center for the Arts took place last Sunday, June 17th at Armory Center for the Arts.  100 amazing artists participated. Artists included: Danielle Adair, Steven Bankhead, Joe Biel, Elonda Billera, Holly Boruck, Richard Bott, Brian Bress, Heather Brown, David Burns, Andrew Cameron, Juan Carlos Muñoz-Hernandez, Matthew Carter, Xavier Cázares Cortez, Lorraine Cleary Dale, Luke Davis, Jeseca Dawson, Michael Dopp, Veronica Duarte, David P. Earle, Ariel Erestingcol, Allison Fisher, Diego J. Garza, Paul Gillis, Aimee Goguen, Justin Greene, Margarete Hahner, Lia Halloran, Robert Herbst, Gregory Michael Hernandez, Sergio Hernandez, Onya Hogan-Finlay, David Hughes, Kim Kelly, Olga Koumoundouros, Aitor Lajarin, Daniel Lara, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Jeff Levitz, Kristi Lippire, Patricia Liverman, Karen Lofgren, Nick Lowe, Justin Lowman, Lisa Madonna, Oscar Magallanes, Dana Maiden, Melissa Manfull, Melise Mestayer, Rebekah Miles, Dylan Mira, Melanie Moore, Nikko Mueller, Tracy Nakayama, Hazel Mandujano & Nancy Cahill, with Tucker Neel, Christine Nguyen, Chris Oatey, Gina Osterloh, Michael Parker, Zack Paul, Julia Paull, Alia Penner, Jennifer Phelps, Nancy Popp, Gala Porras-Kim, Max Presneill, Vincent Ramos, Christy Roberts, Jean Robison, Steve Roden, Brett Cody Rogers, Kimberly Rowe, Simone Rubi, Yoshie Sakai, Kristofferson San Pablo, Shalini Sanjay Patel, Finishing School, Jeannie Simms, Jennifer Smith, Niko Solorio, Meriel Stern, Amelia Symes, Brendan Threadgill, Elizabeth Tremante, Chris Trueman, Hataya Tubtim, Carrie Ungerman, Mark Verabioff, Keith Walsh, Matt Wardell, Carrie Whitney, Rosten Woo, Jacob Yanes, Amanda Yates, Carrie Yury, Bari Ziperstein, Weronika Zaluska & Jeff...

La vieja y la nueva generación: Ernesto de la Loza in Estrada Courts, new mural in Venice, Os Gemeos, and Fabian Debora at Homegirl Cafe

A few weeks ago in Boyle Heights, Ernesto de la Loza unveiled his restored mural Organic Simulus on one of the lucky buildings of Estrada Courts.  In the audience were artists, iconic muralists, activists, historians, journalists, residents and community members.  Everyone was mesmerized by de la Loza’s flowing landscape of organic forms and colors, once again bright and energetic after withering away for 37 years.  Two months ago de la Loza started the restoration process sponsored by Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA) and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA). Ernesto’s sister, artist Sandra de la Loza (who you might remember from the PST show Mural Remix at LACMA) , presented her older brother at the unveiling.  She reminisced and reminded the crowd that she was only seven years old when this mural was painted.  She said that her brother painted Organic Stimulus because he wanted to give balance to the neighborhood.  During his speech, de la Loza revealed that he felt like his career was just beginning when he was working on this mural and exclaimed, “Everyone should follow their dreams because dreams do come true.” Estrada Courts is not just a low-income housing project but also “an open-air museum with approximately 54 surviving murals, many of them reflecting the culture and traditions of the area.  This is the place that gave birth to the 1970s Chicano Mural Art Movement”, said MCLA’s executive director Isabel Rojas-Williams.  It is amazing to walk around and look at all of these murals while listening to them speak out to the residents of the neighborhood. Many of these murals are trying...

New mural in Culver City for Siqueiros, Papel y Madera, Fabian Debora at Homeboy, Frida Kahlo está en Wonderland, Carolyn Castaño’s Narco Venus & Mi Familia

On a quiet Sunday morning two weeks ago, about 30 muralists got together to create a meaningful and beautifully designed mural in Culver City titled Siqueiros: La Voz de la Gente! as an homage to iconic Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros.  Lead muralist Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez, along with a team of artists which included Raul Gonzalez, Anna Siqueiros (great-grand niece of Siqueiros),  Willie Herrón and Ernesto de la Loza, creatively enhanced a calm, dull alley behind some apartment buildings near the art galleries.  Anna Siqueiros was able to secure the wall and these five main muralists collaborated and discussed ahead of time on how they would bring this mural to life.  It was a word-of-mouth event, and those lucky few who had heard about it got to witness LA history take place.  Thanks to United Painters and Public Artists (UPPA) and a donation from Chiquele Studios, this mural was able to be created.  It is this exact attitude of collaboration which is at the soul of La Voz de la Gente!; these muralists came together to paint and give each other support because they know a new chapter of muralism in LA is now beginning to happen. As I entered the alley and approached the wall, there were at least three scaffolds and many of the artists busily painting.  Some of the muralists that I saw in action included Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez, Anna Siqueiros, Carlos Callejo, Fabian “Spade” Debora, Cale, Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo, Blosm, Raúl “Chose” Gonzalez, Cesar “Slye” Hernandez, Duke and Vox.  Other artists who participated include: Kopye, Randy “Relic” Legaspi, Defer, Rock, Judo, Above, Luke, Chubs,...

Go Tell It on the Mountain, Papel Tejido, JC Muñoz Hernandez, East LA Photos, Paper Fashion, Ave 50 Chicanos & Brinco

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the studio of artist and curator Nery Gabriel Lemus.  Lemus, who was raised in Los Angeles by Guatemalan parents, combines fine art with social and political beliefs and bi-cultural issues.   Through his use of drawing, painting, installation and video, Lemus is able to discuss issues of stereotypes, immigration, poverty, domestic violence, and prejudice. Many of the works he shared with me revealed the division between African-Americans and Latinos, such as in his series Black is Brown and Brown is Beautiful which focuses on the prejudices Latinos have toward African Americans, and in his barber shop series Fallen Nature and the Two Cities, in which Lemus documents a stylized haircut shared between African Americans and Latinos. In his series Friction of Distance (which was shown at Steve Turner Gallery), Lemus juxtaposed and appropriated images to make the audience compare and contrast birds and humans as a way to challenge the issues of immigration. Fortunately you can check out Lemus’ current show, which he has curated at Charlie James Gallery.  But you have to hurry as it ends February 18th. Go Tell It on the Mountain appropriately opened during the weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as the show stems from the inspiration Lemus found in James Baldwin’s 1953 novel Go Tell It on the Mountain.  The novel reveals the double-sided role of the Christian church for African-Americans.  On one side, the church could be viewed as hypocritical and a vehicle to oppress people, whereas on the other side the church could be seen as a place for community and social awareness. ...