Ride the ‘border wave’ with this Mexican artist

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Austin artist, Gerardo Arellano was born and raised in Mexico, but he moved to Austin, Texas when he was 26. He began his career as a freelance artist, working with clients to create logos and designing performance sets and retail displays.

In the last few years, he’s concentrated on his painting and mixed media work. He blends expressionism and pop art to create what he calls “Border Wave,” a style of imagery that is influenced by life on both sides of the U.S. and Mexican border.

“When you live art, you notice there are no borders,” Arellano said. “I always identify myself as both sides.”

Last year, Arellano was asked to create a series of paintings commemorating 10 contemporary Hispanic and Latino American figures for National Hispanic Heritage Month. It was part of the California Endowment’s “Sons & Brothers” campaign and included portraits of former U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and “Hamilton” musical creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. This year, those paintings are on display at the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific Center.

Arellano, who recently attained his U.S. residency, says that the exhibit “is a true example that many borders can be opened.”


This story was produced by local PBS station KLRU’s “Arts in Context.” The producer was
Joe Rocha, music by Money Chicha, special thanks to Beto Martinez and Greg Gonzalez. “Local beat” is a regular feature showing the work of local PBS stations.

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