Hispanic graffiti artist exalts women on L.A. walls

Hispanic graffiti artist Sand One uses the walls of Los Angeles buildings as a canvas to exalt the role of women in society with depictions of big-eyed faces with curly eyelashes, and voluptuous body shapes.

Hispanic graffiti artist Sand One uses the walls of Los Angeles buildings as a canvas to exalt the role of women in society with depictions of big-eyed faces with curly eyelashes, and voluptuous body shapes.

The Mexican-Guatemalan artist’s empowerment of femininity seeks, in addition, to remind women that they do not need a man on their side as they can be self-sufficient.

“We live in a world where, usually, a woman feels restricted or feels she’s not strong enough to push herself to achieve her dreams,” the artist told EFE.

Sand One’s more than 200 murals on buildings and pick-up trucks, which can also be seen in Florida and Arizona, as well as Mexico City, try to motivate women not to resign themselves to domestic life but rather to find their own enterprising spirit and create their own opportunities for growth.

“My women, if you look at them, are very strong. They are gung-ho women, like they say, ‘I can. I’m gonna do it. I’ll get it,’” the artist said.

Sand One started her career as a graffiti artist in 2009 and since then the popularity of her characteristically exuberant “dolls” has increased.

Sand One’s attempts to enter the art market failed when dozens of galleries refused to represent her, but she did not give up.

Three years ago, she painted a woman drinking from a Pepsi-Cola can on a blue background on a wall in East Los Angeles.

Last year, Sand One got a call from Coca-Cola and soon the Pepsi mural was replaced by another one in which the “doll” drinks from a Coke can over a red background.

Other works include a female Mariachi musician painted in the California city of Bell on a commission from the Mexican Consulate, and designs for Levi Strauss and the NBA.

Most buyers of Sand One’s pieces, which include portraits drawn from photographs, are single women, “dreamers who are not interested in collecting elitist art,” she said.

Sand One has become a franchise, selling lingerie, swimsuits, socks, hats, shirts, jackets, purses, mobile phone chargers, keychains and cushions, but she is not abandoning her mural art.

In five days, Sand One will unveil a piece in downtown Los Angeles centered on the Boxy doll, what she calls a “Muñeca Cajita” (Box Doll).

The artist invites women to “take an invisible box and stuff it with their feelings, emotions and insecurities, then put on the lid and stash the box there, behind the bed, behind the toilet.”

“Throw it away,” she advises.

EFE |

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