Best Painter

Paco Velez

Staff Pick

Thirty-something Velez gave Tucson an art attack last fall with his explosive paintings and installations in the Bajo La Frontera/Under the Border at MOCA. The visual cacophony of Ambos Nogales, the twin border towns where Velez grew up, crowded into his big cartoon canvases and spilled into Mexican-style shrines. Giant bunnies, Minutemen, graffiti and monster teeth--painted, scratched and collaged onto canvas--mirrored what Velez calls the visual "overload" of the border. Skewering the deadly politics of the international line, Velez re-created the hated border wall, and honored the dead of the nearby deserts by illuminating it with candles.
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