GONZO247 Plexi-Graff© Artwork, Pickled 2012. Photo by Doris Ting
Co-Founder, Chief of Operations & Lead Artist
Mario Enrique Figueroa, Jr. also known as GONZO247 was born in Houston, Texas in 1972 and resides as a native Houstonian. GONZO247 was exposed to graffiti and began his pursuit as a self-taught artist in 1985. GONZO247’s recent list of achievements includes Curator of Grandalism at DiverseWorks Art Center (Houston, TX, 2010, 2011 & currently 2012) and Curator at Aerosol Warfare Gallery (Houston, TX, est. 2000). Exhibitions Pieced Together (National Touring exhibition, 2009), Modern Art Graffiti at Design With-in Reach (Houston, TX, 2010), Absolut GONZO Outdoor Installation at Vaughan Christopher Gallery (Houston, TX, 2010-11), Perplexed at Aerosol Warfare Gallery (Houston, TX, 2011), The Big Show at Lawndale Art Center (Houston, TX, 2011) and Street Science at PG Contemporary Gallery (Houston, TX, 2011). Commissions and events Monster Jam Tour (Texas, 2011), Downtown Public Library Parking Garage Mural (Houston, TX, 2011), M.A.R.S Office Artwork Installation (Houston, TX, 2011), Houston Arts Alliance P.O.D.A Project (Houston, TX, 2011) and Insperity Custom Putt Putt Art at Discovery Green Park (Houston, TX, 2011). GONZO’s work is in the City of Houston Art Collection. Video co-production projects Aerosol Warfare Video Magazine (National Distribution, est. 1994), DLG Ice Chronicles (National Distribution, 2003-2005) and Stick ‘Em Up! Documentary (Texas, 2011-2012). GONZO247 is co-founder of Aerosol Warfare artist collective and gallery. Today, he defines himself as an artist, curator, art collector, collaborator, public figure and community member; he manages Aerosol Warfare Studio, teaches his medium through Aerosol Warfare’s CKC StART Street & Urban Arts program and continues to create art in various ways on various levels for various projects.
My nom de can is GONZO247. I started practicing Graffiti/Street Art at 13 years of age and have been creating spray paint-based artwork since the mid-80’s. Houston, Texas has always been my home and the center for growth in my art career. As I was growing up I found myself not only attracted to graffiti, but to art in general. Graffiti was my gateway drug to the art world. I discovered inspiration in many different art forms and strived to surround myself with artists who shared the same artistic energy and positive outlooks that I really felt art was about. I devoted my time to exposing myself to many forms of art including, but not limited to Contemporary art, Ice art, Folk Art, digital and video expression, international art, fashion and other forms. These influences have translated into my versatile artistic abilities and openness to continue evolving as an artist. Many years of volunteer work for different arts organizations, supporting artists by sponsoring their first art exhibition and showing well-known artists through my gallery/studio space have made me passionate about producing exhibitions, fostering teamwork and curating shows. This versatile background, along with my many interests and travels,,has created a wholeness inside me and within my art.
My artwork reflects my fearlessness in trying new approaches, be it the application of the medium or the surface on which it is applied. My art is a constant journey and I love the moments of discovery. As I create murals, canvas work or other productions, I try to find a way to make an artistic statement through spray paint, but most of the time my statement is simply that I am comfortable with myself as an artist. I enjoy sharing a part of myself in each piece of art I create. I love utilizing spray paint to create artwork– it’s a medium that can be controlled only to a certain extent. By default, the nature of the medium gives you these variables that just happen, that you can’t completely control. I combine these aspects, trying to manipulate this medium and also allowing it to do what it does on its own, and then creating artwork based around all of that. My artwork for me is more about its creation than the end result. I enjoy releasing the artist inside of me, and regardless of how my artwork is perceived, it is most rewarding when my supporters appreciate the time, energy, the idea, the effort and the act of creating my work. When my artwork is viewed, when I am viewed and when thought is born from my art being viewed, my art becomes perpetually stimulating and motivating.
View a list of Exhibitions & Projects GONZO247 has participated in click his EXHIBITIONS page
To contact GONZO e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 832-748-8369.
“Just still trying to put some color in this black and white world. Something I started and I can’t stop.”