Zender One - Urban Chicano
is John "Zender" Estrada, Zender One is my artist name, I've had that name since
1985, prior to that I wrote Phaze 52. Why I changed was that I felt that Phaze
52 was that graffiti kid that encountered Hip-Hop and graffiti from New York in
early 1982. I wanted to be a New Yorker hitting subways and mobbin' lines. After
my encounter with RadioTron and many of the early pioneers of Hip-Hop in 1984, I
evolved into what I would say a more serious artist. Zender was definitely
influenced by Zephyr and I interpreted the name to mean "The Rising Mountain".
I born and
raised in East Los Angeles and was heavily influenced by the Chicano / Cholo
culture, I had a chance to live and experience the Homeboy culture of the 1970ís
very similar to those characters in ďBoulevard NightsĒ the Movie. At the age of
10 my family moved to South Central Los Angeles where I experience a form of
culture shock, I began to have friends of many nationalities and lifestyles. But
I leaned more towards the gang life. I remained in that lifestyle until 1982
when my father was murdered in those same streets. I relocated to Maywood to
live with an uncle; there I felt like I was looking at a blank canvas, I was
doing Homeboy graffiti since 1978 so graffiti was already a part of my life.
Television and media contributed to the influence of Hip-Hop in my life, videos
like "Buffalo Gals", breaking and popping also came into the scene in 1983. My
first Graffiti piece was done in Maywood, California I painted the word "Graff",
I used the L.A. River as my own personal studio.
Street Art has a lot of
perspectives and definitions, it depends on which view you want to look at it
from, some street cultures are Tattoo art, Skater, Gang, Punk, Rock, Graff,
Party, Hip-Hop, Low-Riders, Crime and many others. I take the ones that I have
experienced in my life and merge them in my art, I call it Urban Chicano. I
spent 10 years doing Graffiti art, 10 years doing Chicano art and murals and 10
years doing Abstract Art, Urban Chicano fuses these three styles. I work in
layers which helps me fuse the three and itís also symbolic to the layers of
life experiences that Iíve been a part of. I work in all mediums from pencil to
oil and everything in between. If I had to choose a favorite medium it would be
oils, they have so much depth and I like the slow drying process, it lets me
slow down and do more reflecting on each piece.
People often ask
me who is my favorite artist and I have had several throughout my life. I will
try to mention them in chronological order, Futura 2000, Zephyr, Jean-Michel
Basquiat, Kandinsky, Gorky, Matta, Lam, and Jorge Gonzales Camarena. I also like
the work from some of the contemporaries such as Almaraz, Mear, Chaz Bojorquez,
Germs, Vincent Valdez. Hopefully I can continue to exhibit or paint with some of
theses artists. Or maybe some time in the future I would like to open a gallery
and exhibit some of these artists. Currently I spend most of my time working at
my shop MuteTheWorldShop.com and continue to exhibit where ever I can. Iím also
working with a friend on his magazine ArtTheMagazine.com, I usually post all my
events on facebook/zendersworld and for more info on my murals CreativeArtSolutions.com and www.JohnZender.com.
5615 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles CA,