Work and Progress

Sketches From a Wrestler’s Journal 2004-2009

lino print and cigar box

A part of my identity is that I come from a family of Luchadores. That is, I have had relatives on both sides of the family who were involved with Mexican Wrestling.

Since I started to exhibit work based on my “Lucha influence” I have met lots of people who have grown up with a similar experience. People who knew about Masked Wrestling before they knew about Santa Claus or Super-Man.

What I love most about the Masked Wrestler is that he is an icon for perseverance and a spiritual protector  for human rights (Zapatistas). Sounds cheesy I know. Growing up in country where pop-culture villainizes Mexicans in America, the Luchador is a welcomed identity. I’m not interested in creating counter-villains out of people who are not ethnic. I am speaking on behalf of those cultures and subcultures that want to exist with dignity, and not as a marginalized underclass. I am also not saying that villians don’t exist, but they do come in all different shapes, and colors. So don’t mess with a Luchador spirit because he/she can be a bit of a vigilante. (If you haven’t already seen the Lucha movies.)   Unfortunately popular culture still associates Luchadores with Hollywood movie spoofs like “Nacho Libre,” but that is a step up from thinking its about S&M.

The following are experimental images made between 2004-2009

Lucha Cafe', Graphite, 2006

Moving back to L.A. I decided I was going to regroup my thoughts and make some paintings inspired by L.A. diner culture. This was a sketch inspired  by how I felt during a rough time.

Rolling Cig, Graphite, 2009

This is a drawing study for a painting I did. Its straight forward process I don’t usually start with. see painting: Rolling a cigarette.

Broken Arm, Ink pen

In New York City I got a chance to draw fast and often on my commute to work, at work for the man, or lounging. I grew confident and fussed less about “correctness”. It has really liberated my art school approach to drawing.

Lucha Shrine

I havn’t actually started a painting of this image but I hope to.  A good example of how my paintings occur as a thought.

Silver Point portrait, silver point, 2006

Peter Zokosky As Audez, color pencil, 2004

Santo, sanguine pencil, 2004

Santo, sanguine pencil, 2004

These were sketches done during a residency in Maine 2004.

Immigrant worker, Ink and white out, 2006

Devil Mask, Graphite sketch

Devil Mask, Graphite sketch

In 2008, I took a letterpress class at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, to force myself to print. These are Linoleum prints from that 4 week course.

Lucha Samurai, Lino-block

My process was to show up every Saturday and take the opposite approach I would normally take in the studio, That is, no references and finish one as quickly as possible (one per meeting). Japanese wood block prints are a huge influence of mine.

The Butterfly Dives at Noon, Linoleum print, 2008

My Attempt at a Lucha Poster.

Punch you in the face, Sake!, Lino-block

I think I was unconsciously  channeling  Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns.

Japenese Luchador, Lino-Print

Me (left) Joe Teran (middle) Brother (Right)

Tio Rodolpho as Blue Scorpio

Me and Los Chivos, 2009

Right after this photo was snapped Los Chivos threw me out a 2 story  window (closed) for smiling. My bad.

3 Comments »

  1. I believe the picture of you and your brother was taken in rosemead Ca with my father Joe Teran

    Comment by Benito Teran — August 22, 2011 @ 7:24 am

    • Wow. Hey Ben really is amazing thanks for the info my bro and I were never sure as to where it was.

      Comment by Work and Progress — August 22, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

    • Hey Ben in the last photo those two wrestlers (Los Chivos) also new your dad and recognized his Los Migra mask. They are a Father son combintion 3 gens running.

      Comment by Work and Progress — August 22, 2011 @ 9:58 pm


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