Resiclarte Project: Free Public Art Around Boyle Heights, If You Can Find It

Artist Nico Avina has been posting up public art around Boyle Heights for the past year, sending people on a journey to find the work and claim it. Photo from El Merkado Negro

The photo’s caption that went out on Instragram (@naconico) that caught @elrandomhero’s (aka Streetsblog contributor Erick Huerta) attention said: “Here it is the piece that is going up right now, stay tuned for clue number one. Remember who ever gets to it first is the new owner #resiclarte #freeart”

The photo, sent out by Boyle Heights based artist Nico Avina, showed an acrylic painting on wood was hanging on a chain link fence. In the background an LAPD automobile was parked in an alley. Huerta was certain he knew where it was.

Artist Nico Avina has been posting public artwork for the past year around Boyle Heights and using Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to send people off on a search to claim the work. Avina calls his work “Resciclarte,” which he creates from found waste. Avina has used old skateboards, and even the bottom part of a drawer to create images that vary from Zapatistas to calevera mariachis.

“It’s pretty much anything that I see and just right away like I feel I could work on it,” said Avina.

For years, Avina has been a part of Boyle Heights arts groups like Poets del Norte, El Merkado Negro, and most recently Espacio 1839, a one stop shop for clothing, books, records & community radio. Avina, a Boyle Heights native, got his artistic knack from writing on desks with friends at different neighborhood schools including Hollenbeck Middle School and Roosevelt High School. His work focuses largely on Boyle Heights culture, and images that show or combine indigenous and contemporary Latino communities.

Nico Avina, Boyle Heights-based artist, member of El Merkado Negro arts collective. Shireen Alihaji/LAStreetsblog

The first clues Avina gives are closeup photos of the artwork and only a few minor details. Like the dome from the Mariachi Plaza in the background of one clue, or the background of what looks like a bridge – as shown above it’s a bridge for the Interstate 5 Freeway.

Avina said that the vague clues challenge viewers to see how much they know about their neighborhood, and force people to recall memories about their environment.

“If somebody figures it out on clue number one . . . they know their community, they know their neighborhood.”

When Huerta first saw the clue to the Resiclarte painting, we set out immediately to the corner of Soto and First Streets, where he believed the painting to be. During the trip, he raced ahead, and as I arrived he was removing the painting from the pole. This time, we got the painting. On clue number one.

  • Aeylias

    Good stuff in the heights! Nico Avina you rock we are posting art in our way!!


    July 14, 2013 Boyle Heights, CA: ‘Brave New World‘, ‘1984’ and ‘Soylent Green’ — have written the new quatrains of the modern Nostradamus. Proving that the architects of these masterpieces are more soothsayers than authors. Within their words they unveil more horror than science fiction. Particular insightful was Soylent Green that prophesied the desire by big agro to use human (DNA) in food-all without asking “what will be the consequences for eating ourselves?” –To our morality? Are we now formally cannibals? IS there any irony in the fact that we are now cannibals too? “People hate the Ranger-core,” says 11 yr old creator Aeylias Lopez. “The average reader wants to be catered to intellectually.’ They’re accustomed to the media preparing junk food for the mind–prepackaging thoughts for free consummation. SO marketing is not just for people selling products. It is also for people peddling their views to you. Control thoughts and you control man. And think tanks run worldview do they not? The irony is much of the hate mail comes from people who haven’t read the book making it difficult to give any real context to the criticism. A tribal friend once told me ‘you can measure a man better by his enemies than his friends.” “RANGER-CORE & DARKNESS” is a saga for our fellow inmates; it’s designed to add momentum to a dialogue already in motion. It’s not for drones that want to be spoon-fed the new illusion.

    Entertainment is devoid of any thoughtful consequence –oh ‘we are not trying to send a message’ –as if having nothing to say is subject to admiration. They are changing the definition of writing into ‘random noises strung together for effect without meaning’. Our villains have a basis in realism, as their genesis is the evils that have plagued our history; Hitler, Stalin and the top 10 war criminals sought by the World Court. Forget dominating humanity, as aren’t we already under ownership? Let’s stop pretending the world is not at stake –perhaps the reality is we have already lost it.

    We trade human life because to the 1% we are a commodity. Human trafficking, GMO’S? Big Brother? We have a 21st Century book for 21st Century readers, acknowledging there are plenty of comic fans still mired in the previous century—-we are not going to shake them conscious and we operate under no such an illusion. The reality is we are preaching to the converted. It’s for the highly educated and well informed reader. It’s clear we have another holocaust on our hands–the Sudan. In Syria. Conservatively, we are up to World War 5 except we have stopped naming them with such gut wrenching titles we simply baptize it ‘Iraq’ or ‘Afghanistan’ –We identify it as a ‘coalition’ or say the word ‘allies’ and somehow now it’s no longer a world war. Always certain to quickly add, “They hate freedom” to end the dialogue before it begins. Always de-humanize your enemy. All to great effect.

    We are here for the disenfranchised–people who don’t want chocolate or strawberry-we are here for the ones that like pistachio double cream orange macaroon mixed with broken glass and barbed wire. For the ones that wear black because they are in perpetual mourning for humanity as only a few have realized that civilization is substantively dead and it’s time to grieve.

    The reason for the reboot of the sold out mini-series is simple; we always knew the story wasn’t finished and it’s our chance to complete the circle. To set the headstone and place the last nail in the coffin or up on the cross as it were. To drive the nail of disrepair into the palms of the one that could’ve saved us. Choose the red pill or the blue–we are here to force you to pick your rabbit hole. The 12 issues mini series launches Christmas 2013. The initial pre-orders have been sold out. We are bringing back truth and justice. Remember to the 1% you are ZERO. Free your mind don’t miss the revolution be the first one on your block to say; “Yeah I read that–so?“ For inquires please contact Aeylias Lopez;

    # # #

    Aeyias Lopez



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