In most places, graffiti or street art is seen as a sort of adolescent defamation; but not in El Paso. The huge murals covering the walls of the city are a show of pride from the people, of their culture, community and heritage. Being a part of the state of Texas, but also dotted right on the Mexican border, now is a time more than ever for a celebration of that culture, in the face of Trump divisiveness.
The celebration involved in the street art in El Paso is more of an ode to important figures or notable times, such as this colourful mural celebrating the music and struggles of people in El Segundo Barrio, painted by local artist Jesus Cimi Alvarado and assisted by Victor Mask Casa.
El Paso, particularly Ciudad Juárez, was badly marred by the violence brought by drugs and the cartel wars in Mexico, which saw hundreds of innocent people lose their lives. This mural, called Pachuca Blood, is a tribute to those women who were affected by the violence, painted on the pillars of an overpass in Lincoln Park.
More classic , religious styled paintings such as the one above highlight the strong ties between El Paso and Mexico culturally, here depicting Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe on a wall of the Salazar Park Memorial apartments.
Latin music is big in El Paso, as highlighted by this painting of Steve Crosno, who introduced Latin music to the world on his radio shows. This is a more unusual styled mural, created to look like a collage of photographs by local artist Jesus Cimi Alvarez.
Here are more portrait paintings of famous figures in Lincoln Park, just on the Mexican border.
The big man showing off his strength in this slightly less colourful mural is entitled Ánimo Sin Fronteras (Courage Without Borders), which is devoted to the people who have been affected by the injustices of the border and the violence in recent years, painted by El Mac. It sits beside a tribute to El Paso’s Boxing Hall of Fame by Mr ‘Pano’ Mendoza, featuring boxing legends such Oscar De La Hoya and Juan Lazcano.
Covering the face of the Sagrado Corazón (Sacred Heart), this mural depicts various famous and important figures to the people of El Paso. Jesus can be clearly seen in the centre, with a variety of other characters incorporated into the painting, which was created by Francisco Delgado and students from Bowie high school.