Dallas graffiti artist mourned through public art

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by CHRIS HAWES

WFAA

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 10:48 PM

DALLAS — Dallas lost an artist this weekend. His work wasn't in museums. It's unlikely his pictures are framed in anyone's home.

But hundreds of people are now remembering the man who called himself "Minus Won" — many with artwork of their own.

"Even before graffiti came into the picture, I was that kid in elementary school," said Alvaro Angeles, the artist who died unexpectedly at age 33. He was interviewed by fellow artist and filmmaker Islam Sesalem in February.

"My thing at that given time was comic books, you know, characters. I would trace them, I would draw them," Angeles told Sesalem.

Angeles first began painting with spray cans in his early 20s. He soon becoming known as Minus Won, one of the founders of the current Dallas street art scene.

"We would get our cans together, and look at them and I would be like, 'What are you going to do with that?'" recalled fellow artist Serjio Garcia. "He would make some magic happen."

Minus painted anywhere he could get permission, and was sometimes paid for his work. His canvases included bars, strip mall walls, even churches.

That didn't cover the bills, however, so Minus also held down a day job as a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier.

"When a guy like him will work 10-12 hours, knowing he's a postman, getting out and coming back and doing a piece — that's dedication... that's love," Sesalem said.

Friends said Minus worked all day Saturday, and had just watched the Rangers game with friends when he collapsed for unknown reasons.

He died a short time later.

By Sunday, a call had gone out to other artists: Create, in honor of Minus Won.

Graffiti artists converged on a strip mall near downtown Dallas on Oates Drive. "About an hour, two hours later, this lot was full... this wall was full," Sesalem said.

The pictures continue to build, sprawl, and grow — an ever-changing memorial to Alvaro Angeles, the artist who believed the world could always use another splash of color.

A viewing for Minus Won will be on Wednesday October 19 from noon to 7 p.m at Lincoln Funeral Home, 8100 Fireside Drive in Dallas. Funeral services will be Thursday at 10 a.m. at the same location.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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