More than urban art: Beyond Arts Gallery show opens tonight

HARLINGEN – The eyes are everywhere, seeking enlightenment from passersby while locked in to murals spray painted by Manuel Zamudio.

“I use masks to represent the fact we don’t show our true selves,” said Zamudio, 28, whose show “Duality” opens tonight at Beyond Arts Gallery, 114 N. A St. The show’s opening is timed with Harlingen Art Night.

Beyond Arts Gallery invited Zamudio, a self-taught artist, to show his work in order to reach a wider audience, said Jessica McBride, gallery director.

“Graffiti or Urban art should never be limited to urban settings,” she said. “Manuel’s unique style has an urban contemporary expression that we felt would be a good fit at Beyond Arts Gallery.”

The show opens at 6 p.m. and is free to the public.

Zamudio, who moved to the Valley from Mexico City at age 5, has presented his work at numerous shows here. However, the McAllen resident has never had a show at Beyond Arts Gallery.

“I am very excited to show at Beyond Arts Gallery,” said Zamudio, 28. “Mrs. McBride is such a sweet person and she’s very helpful.”

While Zamudio’s known for his spray painted murals throughout the Valley, his show obviously will display smaller pieces at the gallery July 29 to Aug. 20.

“I am also an illustrator,” he said. “I do ink and I have some oils. I do watercolor and ballpoint pen.”

The show’s name “Duality” comes from the fact he’ll be showing his smaller pieces as well as 4-foot–by–4-foot pieces representing his mural art.

Being self-taught, he’s managed to develop his own unique style, combining surrealist iconography and street art.

“The surrealism mixed with the iconography is because I keep using the same symbols,” he said.

Thus the eyes, the masks, and the clowns.

Those eyes in the walls also offer enlightenment to onlookers, inviting them to consider their own identities and engage in self discovery, Zamudio said. The masks are a perfect counterweight to the eyes, addressing the habit of many to show one representation of themselves while keeping their identities a secret.