Arts / Museums

Houston’s New Street Art Scene

Who Says Graffiti Is a Bad Thing?

BY Faith Nguyen // 11.12.15
photography Auliya Flory

Between the streets of St. Emanuel and Leeland, building walls covered with spray paint and bathed with splendid amounts of colors and patterns, dress the Houston skyline. These murals evoke an outdoor gallery, each creation by a different artist, enticing pedestrians to walk up to the buildings and take pictures with the art.

A new mural by Mario E. Figueroa, Jr., otherwise known as Gonzo247, unveiled Houston’s first — and destined to be annual — mural festival (details here). Sporting a necklace fashioned by spray-can nozzles, the artist/activist has become the unofficial spokesperson for Houston’s street art movement. A native who burst onto the scene in the ’90s well before the age of Shepard Fairey and museum-exhibited aerosol talents, his next endeavor is the upcoming Graffiti and Street Art Museum of Texas (a permanent location is in the works).

Gonzo himself is known for monumental, colorful murals in which each color reflects Houston’s diversity and melting-pot culture. The inaugural Houston Urban Experience (HUE) Mural Festival went down October 17 through 24, with daily unveilings by 90 artists, local to international, fanning out over 17 miles of the city’s urban canvas.

The Graffiti and Street Art Museum of Texas (The GASAM Texas), temporary location until January 2016: 2110 Jefferson, Suite 111, by appointment only 832.748.8369, info@thegasamtexas.org.

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