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Arts & Culture

From the artist: UNO reflects on his murals painted beneath Lancaster bridge

Lancaster mural.JPG
David Moreno
/
Fort Worth Report
Fort Worth artist Victor Manuel, under the name UNO, stands beside one of nine pillars he painted under Lancaster Bridge on Trinity Park. More of his murals are behind him.

After being spotted by a representative from the Graffiti Abatement Program, UNO painted 36 murals on nine pillars, for free, beneath Lancaster Bridge from September 2019 until July 2020.

From the Artist” video series

Fort Worth artist Victor Manuel, under the name UNO, looks at a blank canvas and begins every painting with a line.

He believes sketching, freedom and playing with lines sparks creativity when he paints; the color palette is an afterthought. This ideology functions as the basis for his work.

The Graffiti Abatement Program provides labor assistance to remove graffiti as requested by affected property and city areas, according to the city of Fort Worth website.

Even though the program focuses on removal of graffiti, it also helps property owners cover up graffiti by painting murals at no charge.

“That project took about 400 hours,” UNO said. “I didn’t sketch. I experimented right there on the spot.”

Born and raised in Mexico City, UNO immigrated to Brooklyn, New York, in 1987. Living in Brooklyn, UNO’s interest and curiosity for art came from the bright and colorful graffiti he saw throughout the city, he said.

“I started going to museums and educating myself,” UNO said. “Coming from Mexico City, I didn’t want to fall into traditional Mexican art. Art is a universal language.”

In 1991, UNO moved to Fort Worth and began to make his own art.

UNO believed the best way to start his career was by sculpting the human figure. He sculpted for over 10 years, but saw it as an excuse and a limitation to creating, he said. This led to his transition into painting, drawing influences from his time in New York.

“I just love color. That’s the thing that I love about creating art,” UNO said. “I want my work to be famous, not me.”

In the accompanying video, UNO sat down with the Fort Worth Report to discuss his work and share his experience painting the murals in Trinity Park.

Our new video series showcases local artists across Fort Worth and Tarrant County. It highlights each artist’s career, diving into their inspirations, creative process, artistic style and contributions throughout the city.