"Los Tres Grandes": A Collaborative Tribute to the Great Muralistas on Calle 16

Categories: Mural City

It's about time Phoenix sees some serious mural love. In the interest of giving credit to their artists and because we're losing track of the times we've said, "Whoa, when did that go up?", we bring you Mural City, a series on the murals springing up around town -- their artists, their hosts and their inspirations.

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Photos by Claire Lawton, mural by Francisco Garcia, Joseph "Sentrock" Perez, Averian Chee, Jeff Slim, PRUF, KEISR, SINEK, Martin Moreno, Armando, DETOR, Angel Diaz, DUROK, SRVNT, and Ser. V One
If you make it out to Barrio Cafe this week, we recommend a margarita and a quick walk around the building to see the latest collaborative effort from 14 local artists.

Francisco "ENUF" Garcia's a painter who grew up in Phoenix, left for L.A., and was back in town for the holidays. He approached Silvana Salcido Esparza, who owns Barrio Cafe and spearheads a mural project along 16th Street in downtown Phoenix, with an idea.

See also:
- Calle 16: A Mural Project
- Tag, You're Art: Local Street Artists Are Tagging Over Murals and Calling It Art
- Should Artists Paint Murals for Free?

muralistascalle_500.jpg
Photos by Claire Lawton, mural by Francisco Garcia, Joseph "Sentrock" Perez, Averian Chee, Jeff Slim, PRUF, KEISR, SINEK, Martin Moreno, Armando, DETOR, Angel Diaz, DUROK, SRVNT, and Ser. V One
Garcia wanted to pay tribute to his idols, "Los Tres Grandes" -- Diego Rivera, David Siqueiros, and José Orozco -- who turned the age-old mural artform into communication and activation of public space. He had seen their artwork growing up and visited a few of their murals when he studied abroad in Mexico.

The artist says his original thought was to paint a portrait of one of the three on Barrio's back wall, and as he returned to Phoenix throughout the year, he'd continue the tribute and paint the other two faces. But his plans changed.

"I just wanted to inspire people in Phoenix to be proud of where they come from and to celebrate the culture, history, and art that makes the city what it is," says Garcia. "And I started to think of all the other great painters I know who could help me."

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