X3mex at ASI | Rock Candy

X3mex at ASI

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x3mex painting, atrium of ASI
  • x3mex painting, atrium of ASI

That headline isn't code, but the name of Mexican-born and Jonesboro-raised artist X3mex and where you can see his work: the Arkansas Studies Institute atrium. X3mex (Jose Hernandez, who formerly signed his work ChX3mex) has taken graffiti art and transformed it into work that often has a political message. Here, in his show "Raices" (or "Roots"), the artist is inspired by the history of Mexican independence. The theme is part of the city-wide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Mexican revolution and 200th of Mexican independence, which includes exhibits at UALR and the Arkansas Arts Center.

Not all the work is monumental as the piece shown above, depicting a farmworker armed with a knife and backed by revolutionaries. Some of it is painted on the back of skateboards. Not all are about armed struggle; at least one, a skateboard piece, is the image of an octopus, drawn in thick outline around stippled body and legs, in a high varnish. Crazy about it.

For a drive-by look at X3mex's artwork, see the exterior of the ACAC, at 900 S. Rodney Parham Road.

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