In the spring of 1998 i designed, helped organize and painted what became known as the Dos Alas – Albizu/Che Mural on 105th Street & 3rd Avenue. Not4Prophet of the Puerto Rican Punk band RICANSTRUCTION and hip-hop duo X-VANDALS was also instrumental in the earliest stages of organizing and conceptualizing the mural. There were two other key artists who were brought on to the project, one was former Young Lord Carlito Rovira who has painted some really beautiful banners for a variety of causes from Puerto Rican independence to freeing political prisoners to trying to stop the execution of Mumia Abu Jamal. The other artist was Tato Torres who is also a talented musician and leads Yerba Buena a band that plays traditional Afro-Puerto Rican music.
The mural was organized by the Puerto Rico collective (a group of activists who were seeking independence for Puerto Rico) and the RICANSTRUCTION Netwerk (a group of anarchist leaning artist agitators). The mural managed to survive the weather, vandalism, and even the repointing of the brick face on the wall but was in need of a huge restoration. That’s when Marina Ortiz, Not4Prophet and Xen Medina formed the Luisa’s Liberation Artists Making Action LLAMA (llama – in Spanish means to be called). The organization was named after the great Puerto Rican anarcho-feminist Luisa Capetillo. One of the first projects to be undertaken by LLAMA is the restoration of the Dos Alas – Albizu/Che Mural.
On Thursday October 20th, the NY Daily News printed a Spanish language supplement called Hora Hispana and distributed it in the paper. The restoration of the Dos Alas – Albizu/Che Mural was a featured article on the cover of that supplement. The day before Hora Hispana was distributed on the 19th an english version of the article was posted on the NY Daily News website.
The restoration is going beautifully. Marina Ortiz, Not4prophet and Xen Medina of LLAMA have brought together a group of artists and volunteers to bring the mural back to it’s former glory. The people who have been working diligently on the mural are marina Ortiz, Not4Prophet (who was one of the original organizers and painters from 1998) David Concepcion, Fernando Ruiz Lorenzo, Carlito Rovira, Tato Torres (another original painter from 1998), Xen Medina and George Acevedo. If you’re in El Barrio then make sure to pass by the Northeast corner of 105th Street and 3rd Avenue to see the Dos Alas – Albizu/ Che Mural.