Meet our Featured Artist

27
Apr

The Power of Muzacz!

The Pecan Street Association is proud to present our 2018 Spring Pecan Street Festival featured artist/muralist/author/teacher:  J Muzacz, and his original artwork for this festival’s t-shirts and posters – seen above.

The Featured Artist booth is adjacent to the Pecan Street Association Booth at Sixth St. and Trinity…where you can purchase festival t-shirts and posters!

Hailing from Houston, Muzacz has called Austin “home-base” for 16 years. While a sophomore at UT-Austin, he cut his teeth on the Sixth Street nightlife by apprenticing with live spray painting-artist Carey Huckaby, painting intergalactic scenes at clubs to blaring techno music into the wee hours of the morning.

After graduating with a degree in Sociology from UT-Austin, he’s spent time traveling abroad, teaching English, working odd jobs and painting murals in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. Between that, his work in New York and here at home in Texas, he’s created a prolific number of large-scale commissions for businesses, residences and high-profile spaces in the public sector. You can read his full resume here.

His signature stained-glass painting technique in his works incorporates a contemporary abstract expressionism – “think Kandinsky with a spray can,” Muzacz says. Recent shows include “Scene Builders” at  Art For The People Gallery, PRISM at Print Press Gallery, and the Bombay Sapphire US Artisan Series Regional Showcase at Art on 5th. You can also see his amazing murals around Austin such as at Encore Records, The Monarch Food Mart, Eastside Memorial High School, Manor New Tech High School, Lustre Pearl and many will easily recognize his mural at the Dougherty Arts Center.

Watch the timelapse of his piece at Pennzoil Place in Houston, TX. (The bespeckled gent in the photo is architect Philip Johnson, who designed Pennzoil Place).

In 2013, while living in Okinawa, Muzacz published, Life Is Sweet: The Story of a Sugarcane Field is a 60-page, full-color, bilingual (English & Japanese) children’s story teaching the appreciation of nature and the value of a hard day’s work. Prior to this, in 2012, he published the bilingual, JAPAN 365: A Drawing-A-Day Project, a hand-drawn retrospective illustrating the history of Japanese art.

Besides his engaging art and publishing efforts, what also caught our eye is his work with children. He taught Urban Painting through the City of Austin’s Totally Cool Totally Art teen program – where the children developed mural concepts like the bespectacled cephalopod mural at The Northwest Recreation Center or a 40-foot long shipping container at Turner-Roberts sports field or spawning spontaneous block-dance-spray painting parties; mentored the Caminos mural painting interns at the Mexican American Cultural Center; and produced an unique art curriculum for Skybridge Academy, an alternative private junior and high school in Dripping Springs, where he now teaches two days a week collaborating with students on pop art projects, portraits and even landscape design.

STATEMENT FROM THE ARTIST:  As a street artist, I am continually trying to innovate and forge a new style that hasn’t been done before. And having traveled abroad, and always researching the cutting edge trends, this is harder than one might think to pull off. But, that journey is what eventually landed me on a stained glass style of painting, during a commission for a couple in New Zealand, mashing up Baroque stained glass with an image of a Bodhisattva (from Buddhist culture). I received great feedback on the piece, was commissioned a few more times in the style, and it is painted in a way that translates from wall murals and onto canvas paintings as well. Recently I am even branching out into actual tile mosaic and glass work in a similar vein. It allows me the freedom and flexibility to paint or depict just about any subject without branding, and yet people still know it is my work. This is the unique voice that artists’ search their whole lives for, and sometimes never really find.  This year’s Pecan Street Festival will be the first time I am attending the festival as a vendor, and I am completely floored that the board of the Pecan Street Association selected me as the featured artist out of all the incredibly talented pool they have to choose from here in Austin and surrounds. Humbled to have my original painting design on all the posters and tees, I am honored and it is super-surreal. I hope you will come by and say “Hey!” on May 5th & 6th, and perhaps take home one of my books, shirts or prints, possibly a painting, or even talk about your own ideas for a commissioned mural at your home or business. Really looking forward to meeting everyone and having an amazing weekend down on Pecan Street!