Meet featured artist, Severiano Garza (G52cube)!
See him at a live art demonstration during SXSW 2015! He will be painting a giant rhinoceros beetle using his multiple layer stencil technique.
Date: Wednesday March 18, 2015
Time: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Location: HOPE Outdoor Gallery
(Baylor St, Austin, TX 78703)
Severiano “Seve” Garza II was born and raised in Austin, TX. His street art is signed with his tag name, “G52”. The story behind his tag name goes back 100 years beginning with his grandfather, Severiano Garza I, who was a rancher in McAllen, TX. His grandfather’s lucky number was 51—he purchased ranch lot 51 and owned 51 head of cattle that he branded with “G51”. Later Seve’s father went on to found G51 Ventures, so “G52” seemed like a natural choice for Seve.
Although Seve’s career as an artist has been short (only 4-5 years), his work has gained international recognition. His street art can be spotted all around Austin, as well as cities in Louisiana and California, and parts of Croatia and Turkey. He was a speaker at TEDxYouth, where he spoke to 700 Austin middle school and high school students about identity and the difference between street art and vandalism.
When asked what inspires him, Seve replied, “I carry a camera with me always, because I find inspiration wherever I go.” From a photograph he will use Photoshop and Illustrator to develop it into a format that he uses to create a multiple layer stencil. Most of his street art is created using spray paint and stencil, but he also works with wheatpaste, an adhesive made from wheat flour that is used to adhere paper to walls. His paintings are created using recycled materials, including wood scraps. From his website: “The ability to use free raw materials and keep waste out of landfills acts as a both a way to respect the planet while lowering the price of art.” In addition to being a street artist, Seve is also a photographer, videographer, and graphic designer.
As a college student Seve remembers being with his friends and seeing a homeless man on E. 6th Street who was clearly in need of help. He was injured and bleeding but Seve brushed him off and passed him by, like so many others that night who chose not to acknowledge him or his suffering. This incident weighed heavily on Seve’s conscience and got him thinking about how he could use his talents to bring more awareness to the problem of homelessness in Austin from a social entrepreneurship angle. From here, #PeopleOverPaint was born, the project Seve is most passionate about.
Seve paid homeless men that were willing to be interviewed and photographed $20 per hour. From the photos he would paint their portrait using his layered stencil technique. Seve romanticized homelessness in order to get people to pay attention—and it worked. One homeless man reportedly became recognizable because of his painted portrait, receiving attention and gifts from people who may have otherwise shunned his existence. And every time a portrait sells, Seve gives 10% of the profits back to his models.