The street has been the canvas for Mario E. Figueroa, Jr., artistically known as GONZO247, for more than 25 years. Born and raised in Houston, GONZO247 found his artistic muse in his community, his heritage, and in Hip-Hop culture. Hip-Hop’s visual language is graffiti, and GONZO247 embraced this art form that spoke directly to kids, teens, and generations of younger artists. A self-taught, multi-disciplinary artist, GONZO247 has been at the forefront of Houston’s artistic youth movement. He produced an Aerosol Warfare video series, established the Houston Wall of Fame (the city’s first and significant art production of its kind), and is a leading figure in pioneering graffiti and street art culture in the city. Today, he is a visual and cultural arts ambassador for his hometown.

The piece, titled “Arte Sin Barreras” (Art Without Boundaries), speaks to the theme of setting off on an uncharted journey and having the vision to go beyond even one’s own expectations. The design incorporates plenty of motion, representing the twists and turns of life. On the bottom left-hand corner is a depiction of an old train bridge. This was the bridge where Mario’s great grandparents, grandparents and parents crossed from Mexico into Texas in search of a new life. The sun rises behind the bridge, symbolizing a new day, a new beginning. In the top center of the design is the artist’s interpretation of a rose, an homage to the lone mural from his childhood neighborhood in the East End which first inspired him to be an artist. The spray can nozzles in the design pays tribute to graffiti, GONZO’s artistic vehicle, while an astronaut on the top right represents his life and career as an “artistic astronaut” who set off on a creative journey into the unknown and had the faith and vision to take his art to new heights.

      

      

The street has been the canvas for Mario E. Figueroa, Jr., artistically known as GONZO247, for more than 25 years. Born and raised in Houston, GONZO247 found his artistic muse in his community, his heritage, and in Hip-Hop culture. Hip-Hop’s visual language is graffiti, and GONZO247 embraced this art form that spoke directly to kids, teens, and generations of younger artists. A self-taught, multi-disciplinary artist, GONZO247 has been at the forefront of Houston’s artistic youth movement. He produced an Aerosol Warfare video series, established the Houston Wall of Fame (the city’s first and significant art production of its kind), and is a leading figure in pioneering graffiti and street art culture in the city. Today, he is a visual and cultural arts ambassador for his hometown.

The piece, titled “Arte Sin Barreras” (Art Without Boundaries), speaks to the theme of setting off on an uncharted journey and having the vision to go beyond even one’s own expectations. The design incorporates plenty of motion, representing the twists and turns of life. On the bottom left-hand corner is a depiction of an old train bridge. This was the bridge where Mario’s great grandparents, grandparents and parents crossed from Mexico into Texas in search of a new life. The sun rises behind the bridge, symbolizing a new day, a new beginning. In the top center of the design is the artist’s interpretation of a rose, an homage to the lone mural from his childhood neighborhood in the East End which first inspired him to be an artist. The spray can nozzles in the design pays tribute to graffiti, GONZO’s artistic vehicle, while an astronaut on the top right represents his life and career as an “artistic astronaut” who set off on a creative journey into the unknown and had the faith and vision to take his art to new heights.