I have been wanting to write about this piece for a while, but up until now a clear view of it has been obscured by parked cars literally ALL the time. So first thanks to Adam Foret Photography for finally grabbing a great shot of it this morning! This complex and b.e.a.utiful mural by Daniel “WEAH” Anguilu is located on the Park St. facade of BJ Oldies Antique Shop at 1726 Westheimer Rd.
Weah is a native Houstonian, prolific artist, and is fast becoming an Artful Dodgy regular. He started painting graffiti at a young age, inspired by his Mexican heritage to create increasingly large-scale murals on freight trains and walls - eventually making the transition in his own mind from graffiti artist, to artist, period.
Weah strongly believes in freedom of expression, saying in an interview that he "felt a need to use this expression to decorate public spaces". He uses house and spray paint to create complex geometric designs that seem to become more intricate and revealing the longer you stand in front of them. He cites Houston as a perfect city for muralists because of its open spaces and numerous business owners who support public art. In his own words, Weah's work is:
"a documentation of my life, my growth spiritually and my political views.... My work in public does not belong to anyone; it is part of the belief that society is in need of therapy. Public art can be used to educate, document events, express views and ideas, and also just for the sake of creating art. I'm pushing so that we can use or take back our space".
A noble sentiment indeed, and one that sums up the need for public art both succinctly and passionately. I would tell you to go seek out his works, but if you are a Houstonian, it's highly likely that you will stumble upon them by accident regardless. So keep on stumbling folks, that's all for now...
Well I went looking for art down Washington Avenue, and as you can see, I certainly wasn't disappointed. Washington & Silver Street is undoubtedly an area that could use some love, and here we see the impact that Street Art is capable of having on even the most rundown and neglected of urban landscapes - it's amazing what a splash of color will do isn't it?
This particular building is covered on two sides by murals by Weah, Arkohs, Angel Quesada, and Article. Each work was created separately, with the exception of a collaboration between Arkohs and Weah. All pictured works were not painted on commission but have lingered at this spot since 2014 so can't be too unwelcome!
On the Silver St. facade are two works by Phillip Perez, locally known as "Article". He began creating graffiti in the early 90s aged just 12 - at first illegally and later by commission. He now works commercially as an artist and maintains a day job doing in-house work for Home Depot, but his style still speaks of his rite of passage as a raw graffiti artist on the streets of Houston. Having met the man himself on several occasions, I can tell you that this is a guy with a real work ethic, I mean he is always hard at work. One of his latest mural will be unveiled on July 4th as part of The Mural Project @ CITYCENTRE, which incidentally will also feature some other big names on the Houston scene like Angel Quesada, w3r3on3, Scott Tarbox, Empire, Clear, and Mikie Homma.
On the Washington Ave. facade Daniel Weah Anguilu collaborates with Freddy “Arkohs” Guerrero. Arkohs' three-dimensional mask creates an interesting tension next to Weah's inherently two-dimensional piece, while co-ordinated use of color keeps the collaboration cohesive. Weah's wildly colorful works have roots in Cubism, Vorticism,and an overarching obsession with geometric patterns. Arkohs on the other hand is more accustomed to working with ink than paint, but he certainly looks at home here!
Last but not least, Angel Quesada's crazy, colorful, and surreal mural. Angel (who by the way is one of the first street artists that I have encountered that actually has a website!) works under the name ArtKungfu. He has been creating artworks for over 25 years, inspired by his self-professed mission "to create moments of beauty in an otherwise dull landscape". He cites his influences as Mexican artists Rufino Tamayo, Adolfo Best-Maugard, and other Latin American Artists, and you can always spot his works by his use of bright, repetitive, and flowing lines.
If you get the chance, go and check out this hidden gem - a true testament to the power of art to transform an urban landscape. Thank you to the awesome Adam Foret Photography for these photos too!
British-born arts blogger living in Houston, Tx. A mixture of Street Art, Fine Art, Installation, and anything weird and wonderful. Follow me if that sounds like your cup of tea.