Muralist Miguel Gonzalez AKA M-LON Talks Progressive Art
Written by Jennifer Hesketh AKA Quirky Bones
Miguel Gonzalez (AKA M-LON), an artist originally from Caracas, Venezuela, is now based in Sydney. An artist whose art is inspired from his Venezuelan home. His pop surrealism flare is creating talk among interior designers wanting to add colour, depth and meaning in the home.
While Miguel's most famous work is in creating stunning outdoor murals, his work can be regularly found throughout various parts of NSW and his artworks are currently being displayed at Sydney Road Gallery within an exhibition called 'Home'.
Firstly, talk us through the process of producing one of your murals
I take murals as a collaboration project. When I get approached to create a mural, I first ask for a small brief (if there is one), then I research about the place, social / economical background, local fauna, lifestyle. Then I come up with ideas which allows me to be able to say what I need to say through a story; this usually come from the brief itself (these are often the blueprints of a building). Once the image is accepted I take it to the wall. Painting the mural is like the construction phase of the project; in which I always cross my fingers that the building looks like the sketch or way better, which will allow me to step away from the wall and be able to see the whole image.
When creating a public work, what stories are you trying to tell? and does this vary depending on the location of the piece?
Yes, they all depend on the location basically, I look for local stories, facts, events, dates, fauna; so I can then use some of these, as codes or metaphors that I could then link to any world event that is happening or happened recently, this may be environmental, social or political.
Public art is a symbol of a progressive city. What does this mean for you as a artist?
Progression means - it means more opportunities.To be accepted as an important value in society and in history; to earn a living out of it; to say something and be heard by creating awareness; to make any surrounding an element of speech, beauty and fun. It means more opportunities to continue doing more of what we love
At the beginning of the year the council has recommended a change to its local government environment plan allowing murals and artworks to be produced without need for council approval. How does this big change transform your practice when you approach making a public work?
In my case, living in a part of Sydney that is not very recognised for its street or urban art, this new law hasn't affected me that much. I guess we as urban artists here have a first purpose to "educate" the community with this matter, so then they let artists paint on their walls.
Apart from improving the public domain/ community and creating an interesting streetscape, street art brings personal stories into view - What connections have you found that have been made throughout your public work?
I'd like to say that I have connected with a bunch of amazing artists that I have admired and respected for years, and then suddenly I find myself painting with them. It's given me the opportunity to meet incredible people, all sorts of it, from the most executive all the way to the "hippiest" ones.