, 2022-06-14 09:49:00,
His richly colored, mixed-media work depicting Chicano low rider culture and Día de los Muertos imagery has brought numerous walls to life in the Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue arts districts. Not exclusively tethered to those ‘hoods, his murals can also be found in other Phoenix neighborhoods.
Gallery walls? He’s covered many of those, too, with his distinct work, making himself an integral and vital part of Phoenix’s art world. Carly’s Bistro, Barrio Café, and the Phoenix Suns are among the businesses that have commissioned his work. He even had a namesake gallery in the Roosevelt Row district for a period.
Currently, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum (MCAM) is honoring Cota’s work with Laloland, a retrospective of his work from the last 20 years. You can see it now through August 7.
You know an exhibition is inviting when the first thing you see is the show’s title across a bright yellow backdrop, and in front of that signage, a large-scale painted panel in the shape of a classic lowrider. Not just any sign, this one allows you to put yourself behind the wheel. It’s the perfect show selfie — you get to be a part of Cota’s art.
As you stroll through the show, it’s exciting to see the color and inspiration threads that flow through Cota’s work, yet each piece tells a clear-cut tale. La Carrera, which translates to The Race, could be a nod to La Carrera Panamericana. Also known as The Mexican Road Race, this historic auto event traces back to the 1950s. Though it only lasted a few years, it…
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