new works 2014-2015

February 23rd, 2015

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October 26th, 2014



Posted on August 25, 2014

We’re in the Arizona desert today where the third season of Street Artist Jetsonorama’s “Painted Desert Project” has been gently and purposefully been rolling out this summer. The wholistic blend of the political, social, and personal in these works completed in the Navajo Nation is a natural alchemy; the idea of separating them is a non-starter for this doctor/artist/organizer/activist otherwise known as Chip Thomas.


Labrona and Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona.  (photo © Labrona)

With the project and his own work Chip says he aims to amplify the voices of the people on the reservation. The invited artists roll in at different intervals through the year, giving them time to absorb the life and the environment and to respond to it in a way that is perhaps more integrated than other projects with Street Artists.


Labrona and Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. Detail. (photo © Labrona)

“Photogenic country, eh?” says the Canadian Street Artist named Labrona, who shows us today some of the works he left with his buddy Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER, who he doesn’t get to see too much of these days since OTHER moved to California. “It was a great trip and I got to spend time with Other.”

Included artists over the course of this years “Painted Desert Project” are Monica Canilao and Doodles (Nick Mann), LNY, Jaz, Hyuro, and next year Nicolas Lampert of Justseeds is already on board.  Chip and Monica also have completed a collaboration that is also being used as a poster in coordination with Justseeds to promote the “People’s Climate March” in New York next month. See a copy of the poster at the end of this posting.


Labrona and Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. Detail. (photo © Labrona)


Troy Lovegates aka OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)


Labrona and Chip Thomas The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)


Labrona and Chip Thomas for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)


Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER for The Painted Desert Project. Navajo Nation. Arizona. (photo © Labrona)


A collaborative image created by Jetsonorama and Monica Canilao for JustSeeeds and the promotion of the People’s Climate March in New York September 21.


October 26th, 2014



Labrona and Gawd’s mural in Montreal.

It’s not really a surprise if I tell you that Labrona is one of my favorite artist in the Montreal art scene… I could probably say he is my favorite. so I am really lucky to have time to catch him on several projects this summer. First, just before the MURAL festivalFred CaronKashink and him collaborated on a mural in Griffintown area. Second, he painted 3 doors during MURAL. Then there is this big wall he painted with Gawd in mid-July (above), and finally a beautiful series of portraits with Monosourcil pasted on the streets in June. Very stunning collaborations! And it’s only the beginning of the summer…


Labrona and Gawd



Mural by Labrona, Fred CaronKashink:


Kashink, Labrona, fred Caron.


details, Labrona.


dog by Caron, hands by Kashink.

2 of the 3 doors produced during MURAL festival:



And the pieces with Monosourcil…







little more, a detail of the last ceiling he is actually finishing, part of the mural he started last fall:



October 26th, 2014

Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.


Posted on October 15, 2014

It’s an unusual pairing: Street Artists who are accustomed to the grit and grime of deteriorating neighborhoods in the city translating their skills to the desert where the environment is outstandingly more natural than built.

In the third year of his experiment inviting artists to paint and wheat-paste in the Navajo Nation, organizer Chip Thomas, whose own street persona is Jetsonorama, appears to have hit a community service vein.  “The relationship with the community became deeper,” he says as he relates the integration of some of the artists work relating directly to the history and the stories people tell in this sunbaked part of Arizona. More residency than festival, “The Painted Desert Project” began as a retreat offered to artists Thomas had met through his own association with Street Art festivals like Open Walls in Baltimore.


Troy Love Gates AKA OTHER. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)

Invited to come for an extended stay, compared to the 4 or 5 days of a typical Street Art festival, these artists are encouraged to study their new environment and to fully immerse themselves before conjuring a new work. Not only does the technique avoid the often levelled charge of cultural imperialism that is associated with the big festivals around the globe, it produces work that has impact and relevance to the community who will be looking at it year round.

Even though there can be a disconnect between the art and the community occasionally, as in the case of one work by the artist Troy Lovegates that was interpreted as being out of sync with some tastes, the majority of works are so closely related to people and the life here that a sense of ownership takes hold quickly. Any cultural worker associated with larger mural projects and programs in cities will tell you corollary stories about how the public responds to the voice of the artist, and one measure of success is the level of engagement by the community. “The project has always focused on creating art that is culturally sensitive,” says Thomas of his approach to the artists and the community, and he says that this year, “I feel like the project moved to the next level.”

Here are fresh images from the third installment of “The Painted Desert Project” that took place this spring and summer, along with some details about the works and their relationship to the people and places that hosted the artists.


Troy Lovegates AKA OTHER. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)

Street Artists Troy Lovegates and Labrona stayed for a few weeks in the Navajo nation and focused most of their work on a water tank in Rocky Ridge. While Lovegates initial mural was buffed when it “was found to be offensive by members of the community,” says Thomas, their new pieces on the tank were greatly embraced. “We were hosted in Rocky Ridge by the family of Louise Shepherd where we spent the night in a traditional hogan and ate food fresh from Louise’s garden.”


Labrona and Troy Lovegates AKA OTHER  Detail. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


Troy Lovegates AKA OTHER  and Labrona. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


Troy Lovegates AKA OTHER. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


Labrona. Detail. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


“In Beauty it is finished” by HYURO. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)

Street Artist Hyuro was created only her second mural in the US here this summer; significant because her first one in Atlanta for Living Walls last year featured nudity that set fire to the passions of religious sensitivities in the neighborhood that were further fanned by showboaters.

For “Painted Desert” the native of Valencia, Spain looked closely at the customs of the community when conceiving her depiction of a prayer ritual, which when viewed in this simple animation, reflects the connection native people have to their agricultural customs and history. “Moved by the simplicity and beauty of the traditional Navajo morning prayer Hyuro positioned her female figure facing the rising sun,” says Thomas, “and she illustrated the movements of this prayer that is performed with white corn pollen.”


HYURO. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


HYURO. Local resident Sharston Woody is a storm rider on this vehicle people call a “4 track”. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


Jaz and Mata Ruda. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Kaibeto, Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


JAZ. The Painted Desert Project 2014.  Kaibeto, Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)

New to the project this year were Street Artists Jaz, LNY, and Mata Ruda, each known for their large scale murals that are interpretive of history and in the case of the latter two, advocacy of social and political causes. This building “was part of the old Bureau of Indian Affairs school system from the 1950s to the 70s, after which it fell into disuse.” Shortly after the revival of the walls, says Thomas, the community began talking about making new plans to convert it into a youth center.

“Local food during the time Jaz, LNY, and Mata Ruda were here was catered by Mrs. Woody and her family,” says Thomas.


Mata Ruda. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Kaibeto, Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


Jaz . Mata Ruda. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Kaibeto, Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


JAZ. The Painted Desert Project 2014.  Kayenta, Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)

Near Monument Valley in Kayenta, Arizona, the Argentinian Street Artist Jaz painted a mural inspired by the plight of wild horses that are starving due to overgrazed pastures, says Thomas. In the image the horses are running to escape capture, he says.


LNY. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Kaibeto, Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


LNY at work. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Kaibeto, Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)


LNY. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Kaibeto, Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)

This vast view of Machu Picchu at the top is a cultural gift from the artist LNY to the community. “He wanted to bridge indigenous cultures of his home in Equador with that of the Navajo nation,” says Chip Thomas, the organizer of “The Painted Desert Project”.


Doodles . Avant Gardener. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)

In this mural the artists Doodles and Avant Gardener including important animals that are symbolic to the Navajo like the eagle and hawk, among traditional rug pattern designs, a mountain range, and a rainbow. LNY incorporated a small circle painting in black and white of a woman holding a lamb.


Monica Canilao prepping an installation. The Painted Desert Project 2014. Arizona. Navajo Nation. (photo © Jetsonorama)

Artists Doodles and Monica Canilao “turned my backyard into a fabrication shop, running chop saws and table saws late into the night,” says Thomas of their work to rebuild a roadside food stand that had burned to the ground. Having made friends with the proprietor, Mrs. Woody, during a previous edition of “Painted Desert,” the two constructed the sides of the food stand and painted them behind his home.  As evidence of the bond created between residents and program participants, the artists spent 10 days doing this work, according to Thomas. The family of Mrs Woody came to the house often during the construction and painting to assist and to bring home made food to the artists. Since the artists departed at the end of the summer they have kept in contact with the Woodys via Facebook and Instagram.


Jetsonorama extends his most heartfelt gratitude to all the people who came together and help with donations of all kind to make this project possible, including to all the donors at

new paintings 2014

May 27th, 2014

yellow nosebeeeernewonenew paintingtwo


Labrona and Jason Botkin in Mexico

March 30th, 2014 | By  | 1 Comment 


This past February a group of Canadian artists including Jason Botkin and Labrona were invited to Mexico to paint at Fiap, International Festival of Public Art, in Holbox. While they where there, they met friends who invited them to paint in Cancun and Mexico City. In Cancun, Labrona and Botkin joined Liz Rashell, a local artist, who organized a mural (below) with the support of the CRAD, Cacun Riviera Arts Destination. The mural above, also located in Cancun, was organized by Leon Alva and painted by local artists Alva, Marisol d’EstrabeauCarlos Generoso and Canadian artistsRuben Carrasco, Labrona and Botkin.


Labrona, Jason Botkin and Liz Rashell in Cancun





In Mexico City, Labrona and Botkin had a lot of fun painting a mural, wheat-pasting and exploring the capital. The mural was done at a school. Labrona said, “It was an amazing place to paint because all the children got to see us painting and maybe some of them will be inspired to try art. Also, when we were painting, the teachers brought there kids out to watch and draw.”


Labrona and Jason Botkin in Mexico City


In progress


Jason Botkin aka Kin in Mexico City


Labrona in Mexico City


Labrona and Jason Botkin in Mexico City


Labrona in Mexico City


Jason Botkin aka Kin in Mexico City

Photo by Jason Botkin

It must be sooooooooooo hard to paint a mural in paradise.

Hollbox Island is the home of the first international public art festival in Mexico and appears to be a good location to test this theory.

Canada’s Labrona was one of the first street artists to participate this February and he characterizes the experience as “the most magical location for a mural festival ever.” Hyperbole, perhaps but look at these images, many of them provided for BSA readers by painter and FIAP participant Jason Botkin, another Montreal artist and fellow EN MASSE crew member who has also made major inroads in the mural circuit.

Says Labrona, “I painted this mural on a tranquil sand street a few blocks from a beautiful beach. I made a ton of friends,” he says.  Most notably he says were the two incredible Mexican artist-muralists Curiot and Lesuperdemon. Mexicans who are outrageously talented at murals? Stop!


Jason Botkin and Curiot collaboration. Detail. (photo © LunAzul Photography)


Jason Botkin and Curiot collaboration. (photo © LunAzul Photography)


Jason Botkin and Curiot collaboration. (photo © Events Playa)


Labrona (photo © Jason Botkin)


Labrona (photo © Jason Botkin)


Dherzu (photo © Jason Botkin)


Le Super Demon (photo © LunAzul Photography)


Jace (photo © Jason Botkin)


Omen (photo © Jason Botkin)

December 7th, 2013 | By  | 1 Comment »

Detail of the Red Faces. Photo by Space27.

This fall, Labrona spent two and a half months and a lot of energy painting an atypical mural, formed of 4 ceilings. He only had time to finish three of them, he was forced to stop by the arrival of cold  weather. He will have to wait till spring to finish the rest. But what you are able to see actually is so beautiful I found it would be a mistake to not show it now! This last project of Labrona’s was a collaboration with MU and the city public transport, the STM, that commission a few murals to the mural organism.

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Detail of The Birds. Photo by Space27.

It’s the second time Labrona has worked with MU (first mural here) and this time the space was more complicated to approach both physically  and creatively. So, the result of his work is impressive. When I asked him how it was painting hours and hours, outspreading at 3 meters above the ground, what where the major difficulties, he explains it like this: “My face was pressed up by the ceiling so I could never see the whole of what I was working on. So I worked in squares, like a grid. That way, I knew where I was. I had to move the scaffolding around all the time to reach different parts of the ceiling. Basically I spent over 2 months lying down with my arm up in the air.” Regarding the public area, here is what he says: “Also, it’s a busy place so a crowd of faces seems like a good idea. Except the faces are still unlike the busy people moving all around.” so, that was it! 3 ceilings, faces, birds, and a lot of patience!

Faces, large view. Photo by Space27.


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Detail of the faces. Photo by Space27.

Red Faces, large view. Photo by Space27.


Detail of the Red Faces. Photo by Labrona.

The Birds, large view. Photo by Labrona.


Detail of The Birds. Photo by Labrona.

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