Attitude Versus Detrimentality
Raised by a working single mother that constantly moved us around the city of El Paso gave me a childhood with little supervision and a great deal of time to stumble into many things at an early age. I have learned to find humor in many of my previous experiences, whether they were good or bad. This attitude has definitely influenced much of my work. That being said, I wonder if this cheeky perspective of myself has assisted me in keeping my sanity during the Covid pandemic.
I began to explore my "drunk vision" painting style in 2013. It was directly related to alcohol consumption, its causes and effects, and how something so deadly and dangerous can be perceived as a great form of entertainment. Drinky Drinky Driver depicts a person driving while intoxicated. Smeared neon lights streak across reminding me of an amusement park attraction. Upon further inspection, the cherries and berries in the rear view mirror may be noticed. The driver's fist is clutched in a triumphant manner, much like enthusiastically shouting "Yes!" victoriously. The driver has won nothing.
Over the years I continued to explore this theme and presented it in this style as a means to understand my own heroic intake of alcohol. Overindulgence is itself a damaging behavior that greatly applies to alcoholic consumption. El Borracho is a painting in which I inserted myself as the character displayed on a Mexican Loteria card of the same title and nature. Valio Madre shows us a highly inebriated individual who has collapsed on the floor from a "fun" night of drinking. Only two cans of light beer are visible. I wonder how much fun one can truly have if they don't recall what happened. Yet I recall having many fun nights.
Estamos Agujerados depicts a bar scene with a small crowd enjoying themselves at a gathering. Everyone appears to be engaged socially with others in one way or another, perhaps having a great time. Not one person seems to notice the child who has somehow entered this bar. Safe! presents an intoxicated driver who has just arrived home in his vehicle. He is stumbling out of the car after veering hastily between the driveway pillars in the middle of the day. The title comes from America's pastime.
In the state of Texas, liquor stores were deemed "essential" and continued to operate during the 2020 quarantine, highly boosting alcohol sales. At this time I noticed something else that was purchased lavishly. Hasta que les Cayo el Veinte is a comical representation of American currency depicting a period in time where a shortage of hygienic paper was reported due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For a moment, the real value of different types of paper became clear.
Before, during, and throughout the pandemic, I have been told many times that things can't get worse. Optimistically, I reply "Yes! Yes they can get worse!" Often, it seems, only I find this funny. I now ask myself if I somehow held it together during these times. If so, did this demeanor I carry help out? Or am I just fooling myself? I am not sure how or if I will know.
Martin "Blast" Zubia is a born-and-raised El Paso painter currently producing work in the Downtown Arts District of his hometown. He began exploring graffiti art in his early youth and has since embraced elements from the street in his craft. Attending the University of Texas at El Paso in his later years refined his methods and techniques, influencing his work and ultimately harnessing a hybrid style from both fine art and the streets. His work combines realism with abstraction, combining them in a manner that makes them look and feel "real." Impressions of street culture, graffiti, alcoholism, and overindulgence are just some of the many motifs used in his work. Pioneering his "drunk vision" painting effect in 2013 is what he is most known for in his hometown. He has shared his knowledge of aerosol paint with both emerging and established artists alike, which has led to many painters adopting spray paint as their go-to medium for their work.