In celebration of the Mexican-American culture and presence in Los Angeles, Major League Baseball (MLB) presented an art mural during its All-Star Week in the California city.
The mural was created by L.A.-based artists Mister Cartoon and his son, Lefte. The project, which was presented in part by Remezcla, was titled “L.A. Keeps It Local” and occurred at the fan-centered activation called Play Ball Park. Surrounding the hand-lettered phrase, “L.A. Keeps it Local” are L.A. Cultural cues and iconic Mexican-American visuals that represent the various lifestyles in the city.
“It feels great to see the mural live,” Mister Cartoon told Remezcla at the event presenting the mural. “There’s one thing being in the studio, and my son and I chipping away at it. To see it with the actual pictures mounted on it, it’s amazing.”
Lefte, who began his artistic endeavors during his freshman year of high school, said he created the mural with the culture of L.A. in mind. What was especially enjoyable about the creative process was getting the opportunity to work on the mural with his father, who he considers his role model.
“Just to see it all done puts a smile on my face,” Lefte said. “To see it finished, see it here at L.A. Live; that’s so dope. And I’m so grateful for everything that’s happened, and I can’t wait for more.”
For Mister Cartoon, there are parallels he recognizes between athletes and artists. This includes “excellence, determination, focus, detail, and repetition.” They are traits the legendary artist has always tried to instill in his son over the years.
“I think it’s a parent’s dream to see their kids walk in their footsteps,” he said. “It feels great to see the process grow and see him grow along with it. He’s a changed man after that mural because it takes so many hours. There’s a lot involved, so to see it here. It’s the bomb.”
Those parallels mentioned are also reflective in the piece, with design elements that reflect the L.A. Dodgers. Paying homage to the game of baseball and the concept of home base as something the local community can be proud of, the mural featured an official MLB home plate in the middle of the mural that was signed by both artists and baseball legends Fernando Valenzuela (Mexican six-time MLB All-Star pitcher) and Jaime Jarrín (Ecuadorian-born sportscaster known as the Spanish-language voice of the Dodgers).
Hosting these legends around the mural was a product of Lefte’s inspiration for the art. As he tells us, “‘L.A. Keeps it Local’ was more about the backbone for L.A. It’s about the legacy that it holds in our culture and what L.A. means to everybody in the city.”