With his classic, painterly style Ever’s murals have always attracted attention. Part of what makes his pieces so intriguing are the subjects of his paintings.
On walls throughout the city you can find huge portraits of former lovers and his brother. More curiously you can also find portraits of Chihuahua dogs, Chairman Mao and a crack dealer from Los Angeles called Miguel, whose police mugshot on google images caught Ever’s eye.
A four metre portrait begs some questions. The most obvious being “why is this here and what does it mean?”
This is part of what we love about Ever’s work. He plays with expectations of what public art is supposed to represent. A four metre portrait of Ever’s brother usually leads people to conclude that he must be dead, and the painting is an homage. A huge mural featuring the face of Chairman Mao leads people to assume that the artist has a political agenda. And the smirking profile of Miguel the crack dealer leaves people wondering who this character is, and what he has done to merit being beautifully recreated at scale.
A recent trip to Mexico has left Ever inspired by the power of muralism, and looking for new ways to interact and communicate with the public through his paintings.
Following on from his portraits of Chairman Mao, his latest piece uses a visual aesthetic found in Chinese propaganda posters. The piece counterpoints a communist propaganda poster celebrating a new bridge and railway line with a waving golden lucky cat – a mass produced piece of plastic found the world over.
The text at the bottom of the image explains that children are observing the progress of a communist city, following the arrival of capitalism. Ever explained that he wanted to represent a clash of cultures and the contradictions it produces. China lives the contradiction of a communist regime embracing capitalism, whilst Latin America wrestles with its indigenous cultural roots and its history with Europe.
There are lots of interesting personal touches to the painting. It’s inspired by Mexican social realist muralists, but Ever has chosen to use images from Chinese propaganda because it suits the aesthetic he’s been exploring.
The text below the image is written in French, because Ever attributes his political perspectives to the time he spent in France.
And whilst this is a mural with a message, inspired by history and painted beautifully in a classic style, it’s location says “graffiti” as opposed to “institutionally sanctioned mural”. The mural is fairly well hidden by a tree, and is painted on the front wall of a squat, next door to a busy parilla.