On May 24, 2013 one of the best Art Exhibit openings in Los Angeles took place at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights California. I know this is a little bit late, but it is always good to go back on time and relive such an amazing night for many of us Art lovers and friends of this amazing group of artists that are stamping their legacy in the history of Los Angeles Urban Art.
I must say that I was very excited to come to this show and absorb as much as I can the amazing art that was going to be on display. But like always we end up on a little adventure before getting to our final destination.
On this night our dear friend John Zender Estrada, well-known established O.G. muralist and Graff artist had an art show going on the same day so of course we had to go and show our support before heading to the main event for the night. I always enjoy going to his shows because they are family oriented and Frida (my daughter) always has a great time seeing her own circle of friends from the Art scene. The arte at their show was really good, they had some arte from Raul Gonzales as well as many other conscious artists whose subject matter is always our culture and political views.
After being there for a bit, we finally made our way to the big Show. I was very excited and concern at the same time for the location since it’s a very active area. But really, I had no idea that there was a gallery setting space at this park in Plaza de la Raza so I was very excited to be there for the first time as an art lover.
We got the venue around 10:00pm thinking we were going to only get the end of the show; the venue was packed! The parking structure was full still. So we had to park far, Pryer, Lil Frida and myself walked thru the dark park, while ducks and swans were sleeping, struggling with my high heels again we finally get closer to the parking structure, minding our own business, we hear someone yelling out the top of their lungs “Pryer, Smiles, Frida!!!!” But we just wanted to get to the venue so we ignored it, that crazy vato kept on yelling so we finally turned around to look and there he was, the one and only Mr. Crazy Loko Fate SKA, MSK AWR, haven’t seen our brother in so long, we love you vato.
As we entered the venue, it was filled with new faces and amazing art collectors and press media. I was so happy to see what a great turnout our dear friends had, Chaz, Retna, Defer, Big Sleeps, Prime, Cryptik and all the OG’s that were part on this historical moment for Los Angeles Graffiti Writers. It was so difficult to walk thru the venue to check out the art because it remained extremely packed with visitors throughout the entire time. Although we had gotten there late; the party was still going on and the night did not end until almost midnight, only by constant request of the staff there. Ha ha ha!..
As an Art historian, and a former university student, one always studies those amazing masters in the Art world, we envision and try to know as much information as how an opening show was for Andy Warhol, or Picasso and any of those amazing artists we research now in the history or art. Although the research can be endless we cannot ever relive it, know what it smelled like, what the environment was, who was there, the attitude of the artists, the food, the drinks, the laughter and the conversations on those amazing open receptions of the past. But I must say to you, with sincerity that this Alphabet Soup show reminded me of those great open receptions I have been studying about all of these years. The public was very welcoming to all of us that partake in the Graff movement. I never felt a feeling of discomfort or mistrust; we were all in great harmony standing side of side with some of the greatest and cherished art collectors nationwide. I was extremely excited to be present at this show not only because the art was breathtaking but also to witness how the public, educators, community leaders and the top press medias taking in all our culture and share this night with all of us.
As the night went along, with the moon out and bright, the tunes of the DJ’s sets consisted of salsa, reggae and cumbias which for many of you that know me, these are my favorite music tunes as well as Frida’s. My little Frida and myself danced the night away as the crowd was surprised to see such a young girl have such great moves, we love you Frida!. My lovely girls Uzi and Lea also joined the fun, mis morenazas always make any place fun. There were a lot of familiar faces that appeared and vanished during the night. Pryer’s brothers and sisters from the SKA Fam were there supporting as well such as Kalm, who by the way has some really nice and sophisticated lettering as well; my opinion is that he should have been part of this show as well. But hopefully soon, you can all get to enjoy his style of writing as well. I also got to finally meet Oiler’s and Leeyah’s little baby Oil; such a cute big cacheton boy!. Also my girls from “Mi Vida” were there, if you don;t know who they are, they are a dynamic Primas Duo that support the community as well as artists, they are also part of the NELA Art walk that takes place the First Saturday of every month.
Anyways, the night ended for us around midnight, as we stayed back until the public left so we can look at all the art work from every angle and document it as well. I got the chance to talk with one of the curators for this show, and she mentioned that it was her first time working with artists from this Graffiti medium and they were all shocked on the outcome and attendance from the public. She threw in some of the prices of the pieces as well as the pieces that were sold and I was very proud of our homeys…we are all looking forward to more amazing news and events from your now well-established careers.
Congrats to you all and let the Good Times Roll……
-Monica Smiles Tobon