El Monte Station, Metro Silver Line
Metro Transit System Commission
Pioneer, acrylic paint on canvas, 48" x 48"
Farmers, acrylic paint on canvas, 48" x 48"
California Poppies, oil paint on wooden panel, 48" x 48," 2006
Commission for Metro Poster series, Silver Linings
Bloom Where You Are Planted
We are living during one of the most severely tumultuous times of our lives, submerged in a pandemic, social uprising, confronting racism, and a culture of isolation and social distancing. The title of the artwork is inspired by an incarcerated artist I met at the California Institution for Men. He discovered the joy of making art while taking classes in prison. He referred to his carceral state as a desolate, unrecognized place where he can still thrive and create beauty, a state brilliantly rendered in the poem by Tupac Shakur, The Rose That Grew From Concrete. In response to Metro’s call for art that demonstrates the possibility of silver linings and to uplift the human spirit, I wanted to paint a picture of resilience that is transformative and reminds us to find moments of joy. Nopal and cacti are prominent motifs in the painting that represent the beauty of resilience. Cacti require very little but can thrive in the harshest environments, and some even produce the most beautiful flowers. Here, the cacti are flowering with lotus blossoms, a flower lily known to grow from the muddiest of waters yet is able to retain its flawless, elegant structure, untouched by the watery earth. I also wanted the image to be whimsical, exuberant, and colorful with astronaut children, bird, and rooster elated by their rediscovery of a Los Angeles landscape and huddled around a small miracle, the cactus with lotus blossoms. The astronaut rooster is a reminder of the dawn of a new day, and that we are going to bloom where we are planted.
Water Tower, acrylic paint on canvas, 48" x 48"
Owl, acrylic paint on canvas, 48" x 48"
California Oranges, oil paint on wooden panel, 48" x 48," 2006
Best Friend Mural
Mural commission for Roy Choi's Best Friend Restaurant at Park MGM, Las Vegas
All photographs of the mural were taken by Travis Jensen (@travisjensen)
The mural is a love letter to Los Angeles, the city built on Tongvaland and maintained by the labor of immigrant and working class people.