Alain Gomez is a tattoo artist from Los Angeles, California. He lays down his ink at the Beautiful Truth Tattoo shop in the heart of Downtown L.A. Gomez draws inspiration from a variety of sources, whether it’s classic American tattoos or his Mexican roots. When he’s not hooking someone up with a sleeve or an intricate back piece, you can find Gomez trekking across L.A. on his bicycle.
It’s hard to miss the colorful 70-foot apartment complexes along Broadway between Chinatown and El Pueblo near downtown Los Angeles. But it’s even harder to not notice four new vibrant murals, drawn by four prominent local Mexican-American artists — Judithe Hernández, José Lozano, Miguel Angel Reyes, and Barbara Carrasco. On Sep.12, the murals and the new LA Plaza Village mixed-use complex near the El Pueblo historic district were both unveiled.
LA Plaza Village is set to usher in a new wave of Latino culture and empowerment in the historic El Pueblo District.
LA Plaza Village is a 3.7-acre, $160 million project developed by LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (LA Plaza) that marks a new era in the historic area. The project broke ground back in 2016 and after years of anticipation, it is now open for residents. The two-building complex includes 355 apartments, including 70 affordable housing units, with 43,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space. The entire project helped employ more than 3,400 employees, including almost 1,000 local area workers, and 671 apprentices, including 218 local apprentices.
“There has been tremendous growth throughout the rest of Downtown but this area was neglected,” John Echeveste, CEO of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, said at the opening. “This is going to bring new life to the area. We have a good mix of residents that are living here, we’re going to be shopping locally on Olvera Street and attending programs at the museum. It helps to just revive this entire El Pueblo area.”
The housing development is just the surface of what is expected to be a cultural hub of Latino history and food with the opening of LA Plaza Cocina, a museum and educational kitchen dedicated to Mexican cuisine. The museum is slated to open next Spring and will usher in a mini-renaissance of Latino culture in the area.
“LA Plaza Village marks the fulfillment of another major milestone for our organization that began in 2011 with the opening of our museum and will continue with the opening of our Historic Paseo Walkway in 2019 and Cocina in 2020. These projects have helped spark a new cultural and economic revival in the historic heart of downtown,” Lupe de la Cruz III, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Board Chair, said at the opening.
The heart of the project includes the work of four local muralists who have all painted original pieces of work.
All four of the muralists worked on the pieces over the last year, each putting their own special touch on each of their works. The murals are located on Broadway between the Hollywood Freeway and Cesar Chavez Avenue.
“LA Plaza Village will make a lasting and impactful statement to the historic roots and presence of Latinos in Los Angeles through the works of these four talented artists. The artists were selected based on their creative ability to capture the essence of the Latino experience in Los Angeles, and we believe their art will distinguish LA Plaza Village as one of the most captivating and inspiring developments in downtown. Much as El Pueblo pays tribute to our proud history, LA Plaza Village recognizes our bright and promising future,” John Echeveste, CEO, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, said at the press conference.
Judithe Hernández’s La Nueva Reina
Judithe Hernández, an acclaimed LA-based muralist who has been an active artist since the 1970s, is behind the tallest mural. Her 70-foot-tall piece titled “La Nueva Reina” is inspired by a mural she drew during the 1981 Los Angeles bicentennial celebration. Coincidentally, Herández’s new mural is on the site of her previous mural that she painted back in 1981.
“As a powerful cultural and historical image, the city’s patroness has for too long been absent from the city’s heart and visual experience. Therefore, it seemed fitting to honor her again. My challenge was to reinterpret La Reina as the embodiment of an ancient cultural past reaching out to embrace the unfolding future in the 21st century,” Hernandez told LA Plaza.
Jose Lozano’s Aliso Dreams
On the opposite corner of the street is Jose Lozano’s “Aliso Dreams” which stands at five stories tall. Lozano is a children’s book illustrator and has done various art projects in the LA area. The mural pays homage to the Aliso trees that once stood behind Olvera Street and the community that it brought together.
Miguel Angel Reyes’s Family Tree
At the edge of Broadway is “Family Tree” by Miguel Angel Reyes which rests at the development’s Broadway parking garage entrance. This work pays tribute to Miguel’s family and other countless immigrant families who have all made sacrifices coming to the U.S.
“I hope this mural inspires everyone to pursue an education and to put in the hours to reach their goals. An Education can be a difficult road which does not guarantee results,” Reyes told LA Plaza. ” I hope that those who take the academic road are able to stay with it and not give up your dream. Make your parents, your community and yourself proud and create a role model for future generations.”
Barbara Carrasco’s Movimiento
Barbara Carrasco’s “Movimiento” is located at the future headquarters of The Cesar Chavez Foundation. The vibrant mural represents a part of Carrasco’s life in which she played a role working hand in hand with Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and the United Farm Workers. She would create mural banners and other pieces of art to help with public events. The mural includes a portrait of Cesar Chavez and other members of the Chicano Movement during the 1960s.
Selena will forever be in our hearts no matter what anyone says. She blessed the world and us with her amazing Tejano music and truly lived as la reina. She might have been killed in 1995, but her memory lives on in our heart. There are also a few people who keep Selena’s memory alive via tattoos. How she felt about tattoos? We might never know but these fans are putting her on their bodies for life and they seem totally fine with the idea. Here are 25 Selena tattoos celebrating la reina.
That iconic movie title font is instantly recognizable.
The addition of Selena standing on top of it in her purple jumper is nice touch to really drive it home. But is it so amazing that that font is directly tied to that movie and our reina.
This iconic photo will never be old.
That is one expensive way to pay tribute to Selena, for sure. Just a regular, little Chinese character will run you close to $50 so we can only imagine how musch this rendition of the photo cost.
Nothing like some simple song lyrics to keep the posers at bay.
True Selena fans will be able to spot this tattoo coming from a mile away and what it truly means. You are probably singing this song to yourself right now, aren’t you?
Give her that virgen glo-up.
That’s right. There is nothing wrong with paying her the ultimate tribute and canonizing her. Who can argue that she is not among the angels after her tragic death.
Why not get the most recognizable lyrics on your body?
This is so damn adorable. The use of the rose to let you know without a doubt that this is definitely about Selena Quintanilla-Perez.
Minimal line work can tell a very strong story.
To most people this will just look like a rose but to a true Selena fan, this is everything. She loved roses and a touching way to remember her is to get a simple (or large) rose in remembrance.
Can’t forget about those Dinos, yo.
Selena became a name in her own right but it was because of Los Dinos that she started that climb into stardom. You should never forget the people that got you to where you are.
Turn one of her photos into a glam shot.
There is nothing wrong with tweaking her photos just a bit. It is actually a way to flatter the original since it now has a new life.
You are never too old to dig some cartoons.
This is eeeeeverything. From the sparkles to the color purple to her super cool hair. How are more people not in love with this take on Selena and her final concert?
Just the first name is enough.
Very few people have been able to reach the status that they are only known by one name. Others include Cher and Madonna. Seems like Selena is in good company.
Make it a little artistic by interpreting a lyric.
If you don’t know, that comes from “Como La Flor” hence all of the flowers over the phrase. This is such a cool idea that I might have to go out and get the same tattoo.
Día de los Muertos realness for the late queen.
Anything for Selena indeed. Some might think this is offensive but those people don’t know Mexican culture. This is how you represent loved one’s lost in the land of the dead.
On the nose tattoos are not bad.
“Como La Flor” wrapped around a rose is super literal but super classic. Got to love this take because it is probably exactly what she’d like.
Make her more of a pop culture icon.
Lotería meets Selena. We all know that La Sirena is known for her beauty and singing. Seems like exactly what we remember Selena for so…
Did we already mention Día de los Muertos?
Doesn’t matter because it is that awesome. This is what you do when you want to remember Mexican and Mexican-American loved ones when they pass.
Song titles can make the best tattoos.
We all know the significance of Apt. 512. There is a chico in there and we need to learn everything we can about him because he is the chico.
Selena adjacent tattoos are just as awesome.
It doesn’t have to be an image of the actual singer to be a touching tribute. This little tattoo of the car that saved a stranded Selena is so awesome and super relevant to her memory.
Get a pin-up Selena because why not.
This is another iconic look from the incredible singer. Why not make it more modern by giving it a pin-up feel?
The Selena fan dog whistle for the ages.
She was the biggest fan of pizzas and Coca-Cola. She was even a spokesperson for Coca-Cola so it is really a good tribute to the late-singer.
Quote her dad if you want to make a real splash.
No one will ever forget this moment in the movie when her father is totally blindsided with the super forward and progressive outfit.
This is Selena if she was going to Coachella.
Would she really go to Coachella? Probably. Selena did like dancing and listening to live music. After all, she made her start singing at fairs and festivals.
Honor her long overdue makeup line.
It sold out so quickly you probably never got to get your hands on any of it. The fact that it sold out before you could buy it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t honor it.
Zombie Selena might be a bit much.
However, who are you to tell someone how they can honor someone? Maybe they love zombies and Selena so this is the perfect homage.
Make Selena’s wax statue a tattoo.
Talk about meta. Rather than getting a tattoo of a real photo of Selena, you choose to get a tattoo of a wax statue based on a photo of the singer you are so in love with.
Juggalo Selena it kind of out there.
Hard to get behind something that seems to be way too much for any Selena fan to fully support.