Monday, February 8, 2010

Interview with Lead Muralist Enrico "Caso" Salinas

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In the lead up to the "Consciousness" mural blessing later this month (February 27), I caught up with Lead Muralist Enrico "Caso" Salinas to learn more about the man behind the mural. Rico has been involved with San Anto Cultural Arts since 2007 when he started helping out with the Brighter Days mural. Since then, he has gained experience and risen through the ranks of the crew system on the Trinity Street and La Musica de San Anto murals to become a lead muralist.

Enrico "Caso" Salinas


What is your previous mural experience?
My previous experience consisted only of idolizing murals I would come across on television, in magazines, and in books.

What is your previous arte experience?
I started to trace in the fourth grade, which is when my pride developed and I started to do it myself. I used to custom paint and build choppers for a motorcyle company. Also photography and tattoos.

Foto shows:
"A Walk in the Westside" at Citi Bank (with El Placazo students), Summer 2008
"Armon Art" at Bluestar, September 2008
"Presente" at Centro Cultural Atzlan, September 2008
Dia de Los Muertos Show at Centro Cultural Atzlan, November 2008
"Mariachi Exhibit" at Centro Cultural Atzlan, December 2008
"Reina Del Cielo" at Centro Cultural Atzlan, December 2008
"Soy Illegal, no Criminal" at Centro Cultural Atzlan, February 2009
"210 in Focus" at Guadalupe Street Coffee (with El Placazo students), Summer 2009
"Estilo San Anto" at Five Seven Delle Project Space, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009
"Amigos" in downtown library, August 2009

What was the inspiration behind your "Consciousness" mural?
Life. Death. My history. My path. That's really the inspiration. The things I have seen. The things I've been fortunate to encounter. The people I've been able to help, as well as the people I've received help from. The situations... the conditions and environment that we live in.

How did you feel when SACA asked you to be a Lead Muralist?
My initial reaction was intimidation, fear overcame my entire body and my mind. Kinda panicked. I immediately understood how important it was to the barrio. I knew the quality of murals SACA had produced and didn't think I could produce anything near that level.

What do you hope people will take away from looking at your mural?

What are some future goals you have for your art?
Two years ago I decided I wanted to win the Nobel Peace Prize for photography, so now I'm hunting for the perfect image.

Where did you grow up?
In the Weso of San Anto, and I had a brief stint in the Southside of Houston (H-Town, Screwston).

Where did you go to school?
I graduated from Holmes and attended the University Technical Institute in Houston, but the most important degree I received was from the University of the Hard Knocks.

Tell me about your family.
I have a ten year old daughter who is the one I breathe for. She became an art collector at nine years old, sold photography at eight years old, and writes, conducts interviews, and takes photos for El Placazo, as well as marches for MLK, Cesar Chavez, and International Woman's Day. My parents have been together for 33 years, and I have three brothers, two nephews, and one niece. I have familia scattered throughout the Weso and East LA and Las Vegas.

Que mas?
Knowledge is power, ignorance is Death! Question Everything!

Look for more about Rico in the next issue of El Placazo, scheduled to drop at the end of this month. Join Rico and San Anto Cultural Arts as we celebrate the dedication of his mural on February 27, 2010 from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. in Escobar (more information at Prepare to gain Mas Consciousness!
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