Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles

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Name: Ismael Cazarez

City of Origin: Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles

How did you find yourself in the arts? I walked in Mechicano Arts Center and saw their gallery. I had never seen a Zapata standing there so proud, and Spaniards fighting with Aztecs. It stimulated so much- I cried. We were looking for answers; this was something to me that I connected to immediately. I started to talk to the artist there, and they talked to me about cosmic power and pyramid energy. I started talking with them, but in a week I became an artist. I suppose I was always an artist- I was painting my shoes and drawing things, but no one ever said, “You’re making art”. I was inspired by Joe Cervantes. They called him the crazy one. He’s from San Diego. He was the first person who every talked to me about cosmic energy.   

Where do you draw your inspiration? I would call it from the Spiritual Ethos. I look at something and it inspires me. I look at objects, and I see it. Bottom line, I’ve centered myself with being a spiritual person. I’m just at peace with the cosmos, and that I can do my art, with almost nothing, as they say. Today it’s become almost a badge of honor doing that. Basically you can’t stop me. I sacrificed all those things I could’ve been to become what I’ve become.

Describe yourself in 5 words: Dynamic, eccentric, loving, aware, and giving

What has been the most memorable response to your work?  “Wow”. “Wow” is always the best response.

When you aren’t creating works of art, what can you be found doing? Playing music, but that's art too. Contemplating life.

Who are some of your mentors? David Botello. The writings of Carlos Casteñeda

What are you current/future projects? Current projects that I’m doing is working with wooden sculpture. I do ceramics on Wednesdays. I play music; I have 3 different concerts/ ideas. I hope to restore some of my murals that still exist (CSLA and Ramona Gardens). Presently exhibiting in DTLA, and I will be exhibiting a solo show in February. I’m represented by the Terrell Moore Gallery.