In a fresh and exciting move aimed at art lovers of all ages, traveling artist Jorge Mendoza teams up with 6-year-old burgeoning artist Ise Biezunski, aka "Ise Ise Baby," in a new art show at Chicano Art Gallery entitled Time to Fly.
Known for his Nest Murals around Barrio Logan, Mendoza is a mentor to Ise, who is drawn to create in spray paint and graffiti style. The multi-generational show from 6-11 p.m. on Feb. 2 will be complete with drinks and music.
PACIFIC recently spoke with Mendoza, Ise and her mother, Claudia Biezunski, to learn more ahead of this weekend’s show.
What’s the story with Nest Murals and Barrio Logan?
JORGE MENDOZA: Nest Murals was birthed in the streets of Barrio Logan circa 2013. I was lucky enough to find my own little sanctuary I called “The Nest,” a small warehouse space off the beaten path that became a hub for various artists traveling throughout Logan. It was open 24/7 and gave me a chance to curate art shows and explore my craft. It’s hard to put into words, but during the years I had “The Nest” — 2014 through ’16 — there was an explosion of creativity that hit Barrio Logan and eventually spilled over into the streets and alleyways.
Where can art lovers find your work?
MENDOZA: My work exists in the shadows — literally — I definitely gravitate towards the forgotten or overlooked areas of Barrio Logan. The sides of houses, garage doors, alleyways … my colorful murals are meant to provide hope and inspiration to the people who may need it the most. Just look for out for @nestmurals and you’ll know it’s me.
How did you discover Ise was so artistic?
MENDOZA: She told me! (laughs) She actually first introduced herself to me as an artist, and I was like “Ok cool, let’s work on something together.”
How did the show come together?
MENDOZA: Designer Sew Loka (Isa’s mother Claudia Biezunski) has been a huge supporter of my work since day one, and we’ve become great friends. I saw a lot of creative spirit in Claudia’s daughter, Ise, and remember buying her a mini yellow spray paint can and letting her go wild all over an old canvas. I immediately saw the joy this brought her and thought it would be cool to include her in something that would open her eyes to something new and give her an outlet for expression. It is my ultimate hope that this experience will inspire Ise to keep going with her art.
Many kids talk about what they want to be when they grow up, but they never get a chance to put their dreams to the test. If Ise says she wants to be an artist, then I wanted to show her the reality of what it’s all about.
Favorite artist of all time?
MENDOZA: It’s definitely got to be DaVinci — in my opinion one of the greatest artists and thinkers that ever existed. Also, the very first cave painters — they really started it all and are a great inspiration for my current work. And last not but not least, nature; it’s always there, always inspiring me in everything I do.
What's next for you?
MENDOZA: My dog, Einstein, and I will be travelling in a van from San Diego to Chiapas, Mexico and painting murals along the way. I plan on visiting different galleries in Mexico, meeting curators and other interesting people and opening doors to have more exhibitions in 2020. I want to have my work shown in Mexico, Europe and the U.S. — that is my goal.
How does it feel to having an art show like a full grown up artist? Are you excited?
ISE BIEZUNSKI: Yes, I am very excited; I’ve been trying to have an art show for years and my wish finally came true.
Favorite colors to work with?
ISE: Pink, gold and teal
Favorite subject to paint?
ISE: My mom’s plants, they are beautiful, and I want my plant drawings to look like real plants.
ISE: Jorge (Mendoza), Miss Jaimee (Brant, an art teacher), Mary (Jhun @maryjhundandan), and my mom, Claudia.
Favorite work in the show?
ISE: I drew a picture of a princess with a blinking eye and long eyelashes; I like it a lot.
What did your friends say when they found out you were having a show?
ISE: I told my class in morning meeting that I was going to have an art show and they were proud of me and some even told me that they wanted to go.
How does it feel to have a young artist in the family?
CLAUDIA BIEZUNSKI: I am super proud of my baby and fully support her creative journey. I’m looking forward to the show because my entire family will be coming down from L.A. to support her.
What's next for Ise and her art?
CLAUDIA: I really hope that Ise perfects her sewing skills soon so she can help me at the shop (laughs), but as of right now, she seems to be really digging the spray painting, so I guess I will just keep buying her spray cans. The future is impossible to predict, so my only hope is that she will grow up and be a good-hearted person that never stops creating.
Time to Fly
When: 6-11 p.m. Feb. 2
Where: Chicano Art Gallery, 2117 Logan Ave. Barrio Logan
Cost: Free, but guests are encouraged to RSVP at Eventbrite
More info: https://www.facebook.com/ChicanoArtGallery/