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Friday, January 29, 2010

Guerilla Art: Stonemason Don Porfirio Vazquez Teams With Fledgling Graffitists

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 2:30 PM

click to enlarge No, this is not Vazquez' work
  • No, this is not Vazquez' work
Don Porfirio Vazquez, the guerrilla stone artist who just weeks ago feared seeing his Heron's Head Park sculptures ruined and his life returned to that of a disabled, unemployed manual laborer, now appears to be stacking up elements of an incipient big-time art career.

Art world mega-stars have burnished their bona-fides by producing "collabos" with young graffiti artists -- a la Warhol and Basquiat.

Nowadays, even better street cachet can be earned by linking works with themes of environmental peril.

Last year, Vazquez toiled alone for for months. Now he's working alongside members of a graffiti class taught by local artist Joseph Colmenares to create a new installation at the Hunters Point Opera House.

A few weeks ago, Vazquez told us he'd made sculptures depicting desert reptiles because they reminded him of Mexico where he's from. Now, apparently, they're symbols of a planet on the brink.

"The reason he did animals and stone work, was he wanted to represent animals on the verge of extinctions, such as snake, turtles, iguanas, and lizards," Colmenares said. "In the graffiti class, we want them to have ownership of the program. They get to participate in a sign that describes or shows what the rock installation is about... It's about extinction."

Tight rap in place, we're expecting Vazquez to skip SF MoMa and head straight to the Guggenheim.

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Matt Smith


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