Los Angeles, May 28 (IANS/EFE) Benjie Escobar began as a graffiti artist hiding from the authorities, but today he shares his talent in a space for imparting artistic knowledge plus entertainment called Casa Indio in the US.
“Like many people my age, I never had access to art galleries, I didn’t have the money to buy paintings, so I painted with what I had anywhere I could,” Escobar told EFE.
“That’s why I moved on from being just a rough kid, a simple street kid painting on anything anywhere, to being able to make a living at it and help inspire other kids to do the same – for me that’s something wonderful,” he said.
Escobar has created an eight-piece mural inspired by the Aztec culture as a backdrop for the Casa Indio stage in Los Angeles where fledgling musical groups put on their shows, and which has been open to young Angeleno adults from last weekend until June 8.
“With minorities, especially in the Latino community, I feel that any effort to promote the arts or any other interest that helps people find out what they can do, and at the same time helps keep them out of trouble, is always wonderful,” Escobar said.
Casa Indio will also make presentations from July 19-28 in Chicago, Sep 6-15 in Austin, Texas, and Oct 25-Nov 3 in San Francisco.
Casa Indio is financed by the Mexican brewer Indio.
Last weekend it presented the Mexican electronic group Los Macuanos, who got everyone moving on a dance floor decorated with pennants in the style of a Mexican neighbourhood party, with Indie films projected on the wall.
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