Venezuelan “Street Wall Art” whiz, sacrifices comfort for the sake of his craft | Telemundo


Hi, my name is Gabriel Gimenez. They call me GG. I’m Venezuelan. Painting for me
is a form of expression. It’s how I express my ideas,
my feelings, my dreams… We can’t let society
create obstacles so big that they suppress creativity and keep people
from following their dreams. This is my life in real time. We tell our own stories… And we… Make our own mark. I don’t want to be a woman. This is just my way
of showing the world how I feel inside. I was thinking
of going back to Honduras because I knew I couldn’t
continue with my education. This isn’t about becoming rich. It’s about keeping
the tradition alive. The important thing is to stay
focused and move forward. I’m different,
but thanks to that, thanks to not looking
like anyone else I’m unique. I was born in Venezuela and
I came to the US when I was 11 with both of my parents. After I learned English and
towards the end of high school, I started getting a little more
involved in visual arts. I clearly remember
that last year of high school. I had so many ideas. I had to paint all the time. That developed little by little and I began to see that I could
take it to another level. I saw other artists who were
already doing it at the time. That’s how I gradually started
my career in the arts. It means everything to me. This is what I do all day,
all the time. I might not be painting
all the time, but anything I do
is usually connected to or revolves around
creating a visual language. GG IS CURRENTLY
AND TEMPORARILY RESIDING IN THE STUDIO WHERE HE WORKS. Like any job,
the arts haven’t been easy. I think the hardest part is understanding
the financial aspect. At the end of the day,
it’s also a business. It’s been complicated, but I’ve been slowly
developing ways to learn and overcome obstacles. One of the coolest stories about
things that have happened to me is that the first time
I painted this mural, that mural behind
the trucks there… I was also painting another
mural for one of my idols, Shepard Fairey. I couldn’t reach
the highest part of the wall, and one of Shepard’s assistants
lent me their lift. This is the wall
they finished that day. Being Latino influences my work,
my visual language a lot. The colors I use… the images, the pigment I use
for skin tones, the colors of the characters
I create. Everything revolves around and is influenced by being
Latino and Venezuelan. On a deeper level, my characters
carry across vulnerability. The characters are presented in
a very direct and precise way, but at the same time
they’re very fragile. To me, Latinos are the same way. We have a lot
of beautiful qualities we should be proud about. We’ve been through a lot
throughout history. I use that same concept and depict it
in the characters I create. This is the first mural
I ever did in 2010. We’re ready today. I’m going to start painting
a mural in Little Havana. It’s going to be really cool. I have all the colors ready. I have my supplies in the car. We’re ready. We’re making good progress
on these pieces, on the mural. We’re painting some characters inspired by the people
and cultures in Miami. The visual conversation
that’s started when a piece of art is on a wall is very different
from the one started when you see art on your phone, on a small piece of paper,
or in a small painting. The creative process
is very different. It gives me a chance to share
my work with a lot of people. Something interesting is that
once I step away from a mural, the mural is born at that moment and starts to take on
its own life. It’s not so important for me
for the viewer to understand exactly what I was
trying to say, but for them to just consider it and interpret it
in their own way. I was very young
when I came from Venezuela. A lot of my values, a lot
of my roots are Venezuelan, but since I spent my teenage
years in the US and in Miami, that’s what’s mostly
influenced my work. The idea that creatives
should focus on other things or the idea that they simply
don’t make money is false. It’s a taboo that will
eventually be eliminated. Being vulnerable
is a positive thing. Once we understand
that we’re all vulnerable in different ways,
that same mind frame will help us move forward and to not think
that we’re invincible.

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