DAVID BOTELLO - CALIFORNIA ARTIST
(EAST LOS STREETSCAPERS)
I started painting murals with Goez [Art Gallery] but my first solo mural was Dreams Of Flight. It is based on children, and on community, on wanting to get to the moon. I wanted to do something different from what was being put on the walls at the time. The Aztec warriors were always standing straight and tall and with all their feathers and they had a spear or something and being defiant. I wanted to use an Aztec warrior but I wanted to do something different.
So I had mine flying with actual wings as a mystical creature. Flying to the moon! Touching the moon! So those are my images because I thought I could reach out to kids with fantasy. Then I thought I love flying, and this is going to be a very personal piece. So how can I illustrate that to children? So I thought of the boy on a swing, in a circle, and then another circle going from that and he is dreaming!
David and Wayne were in the third grade together. Since kindergarten in East L.A. at Hubbard Street School. That’s where we did our first mural. Because we were the best artists in class. We were third graders and it was open house and our teacher wanted decoration. She knew that we were always drawing. And it was really paint. It was crayons on butcher paper. So we drew our first mural together. And then our contact split up. I reconnected with Wayne in the summer of 1975. We came up with the name “Eastlos Streetscapers” because we got a mural job and had to come up with a name to sign the mural with. We thought of landscapers. But we’re doing our capers on the street…streetscapers. Now people use the term streetscapers a lot but I think we were the first ones to use it. Mural art is important to Wayne and myself because of the generation that we come from. The sixties. We were inspired by John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, we saw the Vietnam War, the Chicano Moratorium.
My personal art work I do is people. I love people and I do a lot of faces. I work well using photographs. I duplicate photographs likenesses very well. But culturally
I was inspired by pre-Columbian art. I like to bring some images of pre-Columbian sculpture into my art. Into the murals. I was also inspired by the impressionists, the French impressionists. The application of paint, the colors, I like classical European work. I try to bring all of that to my work.