ARMOR creates beautiful realistic and surreal aerosol art on a large scale. You may remember some early SILO murals from this San Diego local, like the giant snow leopard and the ultra 3-D looking human eye on the interior wall on 16th Street. But like many brilliant artists before him, ARMOR had to overcome years of inner torment before becoming the successful artist that he is today.
ARMOR began his artistic path at a young age but only when his life seemed to spiral out of control, did his true passion for art transpire. Serious depression at age 13 lead ARMOR to a series of hospital visits for stitches and staples and eventually to extended psychiatric hospital stays. During these dark times, ARMOR discovered the importance of art in his life. “Art was the only thing that kept my mind at peace,” ARMOR reflects. “However by the age of 16 I attempted suicide in which I barely survived. The psych doctors had me sent to a program in Utah for mentally unstable and juvenile youths. This is where my passion for graffiti erupted.”
Little did ARMOR know he would soon be housing with a guy from Chicago who was one of the most notorious youth graffiti artists in the city at that time. “He taught me everything there is to know about finding your own style and encouraged me to focus on my character work. I spent one year at Provo Canyon drawing for hours every day to escape the institution. When I was released and went back to San Diego I continued to draw non stop and painted whenever I had the opportunity. Unfortunately, while I was in Provo Canyon certain memories stuck with me. After watching friends getting restrained and being restrained myself on a fairly regular basis my anger shifted from myself to authority.”
Over the next several years, ARMOR would spend half of the time in hospitals, recovery homes, and jails all while struggling with drugs and fighting. The last stay he had, was a one year sentence for graffiti. “In jail I found that my art was once again the answer to escaping the walls of my cell. I began drawing on envelopes for guys’ girlfriends and creating detailed works for other inmates to hang in their cells. In turn I received food, candy bars, and most importantly phone time.” This is when it occurred to ARMOR that he could really make something with his art and he became determined to do just that. “I focused as much as I could to develop my skills and began taking the steps I needed to change my life. After serving six months I was released in July of 2010 with a new sense of self.”
Since then, ARMOR has been painting some amazing murals whenever the opportunity unveils itself. “I have had the privilege to create murals for companies such as Adidas, Microsoft, and Case Logic.”
Photos and article by Carly Ealey
Art independently curated by Chris Konecki. For more information on art in Makers Quarter™ contact: firstname.lastname@example.org