If you've ever thought there was no art in Orlando, the image above should show you how drastically incorrect you are. Fortunately, it's not the only example of artistic talent you'll find in town. The images you see here are all at 630 W. Central Blvd. in downtown Orlando, thanks to the Pintura Project.
I discovered this event because of Carolina, a face painter who decided to follow me on Twitter. Carolina was one of many artists there. She was painting faces (very nice lady, by the way). This is the kind of event I would've never heard about outside of Twitter. There are some pretty cool things happening in town and learning about them is just a matter of following a diverse crowd of people who happen to live in the same area. Carolina also paints at the Orlando Farmer's Market, so now I have a new excuse to go check out what's happening there one weekend.
In addition to the graffiti art, Pintura Project also had some DJ's playing and a bunch of break dancers doing things that make my spine hurt just to think about it. I'm impressed with the talent and acrobatics, but the main thing I noticed was that there were no girls doing any of those moves. Sorry, but I can't be staring at a bunch of dudes wriggling around on the ground. Women, yes. Next time this happens, please ask some women to break dance. I'll take pictures.
There was plenty of art on canvas inside the building. Some of it just blew me away, like this piece:
By the way, whoever modeled for that piece, I'd love to meet your for a photoshoot sometime. You can wear the same outfit (or less).
Most of the artists were busy working, so I didn't want to bother them. After all, it was a damn hot day and they were finishing up. These guys deserved a cold drink and I wasn't going to get in their way. Fortunately, I did get to talk to one of the artists, Know7. He showed me how they work from a concept drawing and then translate it to the wall. I'm seriously impressed, because I can't draw a stick figure without having an extra stick in an inappropriate spot.
Yet another nice guy. Seriously, almost everyone I met was smiling and friendly. Being a white dude, I honestly didn't know what to expect walking into a graffiti art project surrounded by rap, hip-hop and things that just aren't part of my world. What I found is something that I've generally believed – people are friendly everywhere. Be nice to them and they're nice to you. This was a great multicultural event with people of every ethnicity there, everyone having a good time.
Of course, a couple of the brothers did fuck with me a bit. After talking that picture of Know7, I was heading back up the sidewalk when a guy came up and put his arm around me. He pointed out another black guy coming up the sidewalk, asking me what's going on with him. The man looked batshit crazy and mean. I just told the guy that he looked friendly to me, and they both busted a gut laughing.
I don't know if this is the first time we've had a graffiti art project in Orlando or not, but I'd definitely hit up the next one that comes around. In the mean time, head over to 630 W. Central Blvd (between Division & Parramore) and check out some beautiful local art.