Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Graffiti no es de las pandillas": An Afternoon with Rei Blinky

On Sunday, May 25th, OYE opened its doors to welcome nationally renowned urban and graffiti artist Jorge Pineda, more commonly known as "Rei Blinky." Accompanied by two of his associates/fellow artists, Rei led a theoretical and practical workshop on urban art and graffiti for 13 of OYE's art participants.

According to Rei, "El arte no solo es la creación de cosas, sino que es el pensar que con esas cosas podrías transformar el mundo." (Art is not only the creation of things, but also the thought that with these things you can transform the world, translation mine.) After graduating from high school, Rei received a scholarship to study in Puerto Rico. Returning several years later as an arquitect, he found the streets of his home changed; morale was low and values practically absent. Upon this realization, he decided to spread a message of unity in the streets through his art. "In one single word, unity is the message," says Rei. You can read more from this interview with Cristian Aguilar HERE.

Atenas Hernández, a Honduran blogger wrote of Rei's work: "Utilizando colores cálidos y brillantes inspirados en la flora, fauna y clima tropical de su San Pedro Sula natal, Rei ha empezado a alegrar las paredes grises de diferentes ciudades de nuestro país gracias a sus Crazy Birds (Pajaros Locos) y murales de rostros femeninos que pinta junto a un colectivo de jóvenes artistas y que buscan concienciar al país contra el alto índice de violencia hacia la mujer." (Using hot and bright colors inspired by the flora, fauna and tropical climate of his home San Pedro Sula, Rei has started to beautify the gray walls of different cities throughout our country thanks to his Crazy Birds and murals of women's faces that he paints with a group of young artists who are looking to raise the nation's awareness on the high incidence of violence against women, translation mine.) To see beautiful photos of some of Rei's works, check out Atenas Hernandez's blog post HERE (article in Spanish).

This is not OYE's first encounter with the urban artist. In October of 2012, Arte La Calle participants collaborated with Rei to paint a mural at KM2 Solutions, an international call center in San Pedro Sula and our number one corporate sponsor in Honduras.

Collaborative mural at KM2 Solutions; Jorge Pineda, aka "Rei Blinky" and OYE Arte La Calle.

This time around, Jorge Pineda came out to OYE in El Progreso, accompanied by two of his fellow artists, Rafael Valladares and Ángel Torres, to lead a workshop on urban art and graffiti, specifically focusing on spray paint techniques. They targeted the common misconception that graffiti is gang-related, declaring that graffiti is art and a way to give color to the city's walls.

After sharing a bit of his personal history as well as the emergence of urban art in Latin America, Rei demonstrated the basic spray paint techniques and at the same time exhibited his personal graffiti style.


Fellow artist Ángel Torres then gave a short demonstration of creating graffiti letters and then gave the OYE participants the chance to practice for the first time.

Ángel showing the art of graffiti letters.
The rest of the workshop was dedicated to practice. Thanks to a generous donation by Pinturas Comex, there was plenty of spray paint to go around. The art students divided into groups and tried their hand at spray painting as the invited artists wandered from group to group, providing helpful tips, answering questions and painting alongside them. The results of the workshop were quite impressive, especially considering all had little to no previous experience with spray paint.

Group shot after the workshop.
All of the Arte La Calle participants were thankful for the opportunity to learn from Jorge and his fellow artists and look forward to incorporating spray paint into their city mural projects.


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