WAYNE ALANIZ HEALY – CALIFORNIA ARTIST
(EAST LOS STREETSCAPERS)
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
I started painting murals in 1972 with a group from Mechicano Art Center. For the next two years I worked with a lot of different artists such as Rich Raya and Carlos Almaraz. Finally, I did my own in 1974, all by myself. It is called Ghosts of the Barrio. It shows some
vatos hanging out on a front porch. It’s sort of a trompe-l’oeil because people say, “How did you paint that on the steps?” It’s not the steps, it’s a blank wall of a housing unit so it has a kind of trompe-l’oeil, 3-D effect. So its cholo like cats hanging out and on the side are ghost images of Mestizos, a Revolutionary, an indigena. So, its sort of, “Where do we go from here?”
The first project I did with David Botello as East Los Streetscapers, and this was right after we had decided to do murals together, was a bank in Lincoln Heights. Daly Street and North Broadway. It is a major intersection and here is this great wall. The way we would approach a mural, and still do today, is to start out with a proposition of site specific. There are three different elements that up for “site specific.” One is architectural. Art wants to fit in the architecture, it doesn’t want to disappear in the architectural like wall paper and it doesn’t want to hand on the side of like a radio antenna. It wants to be integrated. Second, who is in that building and what are they doing? Is this a jail? A courtroom? A motel?
That function and the people who use it is a major element. And finally, where is it? And what happened here in the past and what may happen in the future that is of historic consideration? After that we have the flow lines, and we start putting peopl ein there–our work is always populated with the human form.
My own, personal work, differs from David’s or our joint work, in that I really lean heavily on draftsmanship. Ultimately, what kind of artist was healey? He was a draftsman. He was pencil and paper. The imagery that you will see in my work is pretty autobiographical and s I get older it becomes more so. Washing the car in the fron yard, or my grandmother watering the driveway, dirt driveway, in East LA. Or animals in the backyard, pgs, our neighbors had horses, steers and this is on Third and Mednick!
Music, there was always music. My uncles were all musical. Birthdays, bautismos, funerals–stuff that anybody in any part of the planet can look at and say, “yeah, I can relate to that.”