Latino Artists Represent at MOCA’s "Art in the Streets"

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Peep the lineup of Latino artists featured at the first major U.S. museum exhibition on graffiti and street art taking place at MOCA’s Little Tokyo campus. Plus, be sure to check out the Levi’s Film Workshop, which gives aspiring filmmakers access to equipment rentals, edit suites and other resources free of charge.

Os Gêmeos

By far the most famous identical twin tagging duo, Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo, started out as break dancers before breaking into painting in 1987. São Paulo, Brazil-based, Os Gêmeos incorporate their own unique culture into their work, which often features yellow-skinned characters that represent everything from Brazilian folklore to São Paulo’s social and political climate. Look out for their signature brightly-colored speakers, paintings, and a dope three-dimensional installation that transform the MOCA’s corridor.

Mister Cartoon

This legendary tattoo artist, whose real name is Mark Machado, is known for romanticizing L.A. cholo lifestyle by painting beautiful, souped-up lowriders, sexy Latinas, and religious icons like La Virgen. The Mexican-American artist got his first paying gig at 12—a mural on a gymnasium wall for $800—that went towards paying a vandalism fine. He’s since designed logos for Cypress Hill, Nike, Toyota, T-Mobile, MetroPCS and Grand Theft Auto, and has tattooed everyone from Dr. Dre to Beyoncé. Cartoon owns Joker Brand Clothing with homie-slash-collaborator Estevan Oriol, and believes this exhibit will have a positive influence on young taggers by showing them that if they work at their craft they can become as successful as Banksy.

“When I was a kid I didn’t really care about anybody else’s business or their wall,” Cartoon said. “Now that I’m older and own my own business, I’ve had kids write on my building and carve their names on my store. So I kind of get both sides.”

Lee Quiñones

Rising from the New York City subway graffiti movement of the 70s, this Puerto Rican-born legend often added poetic messages to his pieces. “Graffiti is art and if art is a crime, please God, forgive me” is one of his most famous quotes.

Chaz Bojórquez

Known for the Holy Death-inspired “Senor Suerte” skull he created in 1969, which symbolized protection from death for gangsters, this L.A. cholo-style artist is one of the first writers to employ special typographical characters and create an original synthesis of psychedelic style. Check out his Levi’s Trucker Jacket, which features Mr. Luck himself and is currently on sale at the MOCA store.

Lady Pink

You know and love her as the first mujer to gain respect in the NYC graffiti scene, now you can peep Lady Pink’s signature surreal style in L.A. or wear it in her very own Levi’s Trucker Jacket.

Estevan Oriol

Born and raised in L.A., this Mexican-American photographer was the first to capture the gangster lifestyle he saw growing up. His work has been published in Mass Appeal, The Source, Details, Vibe, and Rolling Stone, and is the creative force behind his own Estevan Oriol brand.


Born and raised in the South Bronx, John Matos started writing graffiti back in 1974. He adopted the name Crash at 14 and soon started painting subway trains until taking his art to canvas in 1978. This is only his third time being showcased in Los Angeles, and his Levi’s Trucker Jacket is on sale now at the MOCA store.


This honorary Latino took on those racist illegal immigrant crossing signs spotted on near the San Diego/TJ border by making them a normal family flying a kite. The English graffiti/political activist/film director addresses many issues with his work including police brutality, greed, poverty, hypocrisy, and alienation, and is a firm believer in anti-war, anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, and anti-authoritarianism.


And so you don’t miss any of the Levi’s Film Workshop, here’s the lineup of upcoming events:

5/26/11 – Pro Night: HDSLR Filmmaking with Jacob Rosenberg –  6:00 pm

5/28/11 – Movie Poster Making with The Art Dump – at 1:00 pm

5/28/11 – A/V SESSIONS: JUSTIN HAMMOND (MC THIS) – 7:00 – 8:30 pm

5/29/11 – Echo Park Film Center: 16MM Loop Making – at 11:00 am

5/29/11 – Levi’s Presents: Thrashin’ (25th Anniversary screening) – at 7:30 pm

6/2/11 – Pro Night: 3D Basics with Center for STEREO3D@USC– at 6:00 pm

The Levi’s Film Workshop will be around from April 17 to August 8. For more information on the upcoming dates, check out the Film Workshop’s site.