BUILD BRIDGES PAINT WALLS
Exhibition / Reception
Friday, May 3, 2019 // 7 – 10 pm
The Rendon Gallery and the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese are pleased to present BUILD BRIDGES, PAINT WALLS, a multimedia exhibition featuring murals, graphic art, and photography celebrating Latinidad and the international cultural exchanges that make Los Angeles great.
An architect and street artist since 2004, DJLU uses stencil and other techniques such as stickers, posters, mural painting, publications, and stamps. His series Street Pride consists of large-format, multi-layered stencils. His character portraits, based on photographs that he has taken, pay homage to the anonymous people who inhabit public spaces, challenging commercial stereotypes. He has participated in over 100 collective and 10 solo exhibitions in Colombia and abroad.
El Care Barbie (Bogotá/Los Angeles)
LA-based El Care Barbie makes Colombia blush with collages combining the people and artifacts seared into his homesick memory and the cultural memory of his birth country. His work uses wordplay, satire, and seemingly-unrelated images to challenge his viewers to rethink current events, history, and one’s own positionality. His posters and stickers grace the walls of Bogotá, Tijuana, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Van Nuys.
Erre is a visual assault against the grey backdrop of the urban metropolis. Combining techniques like illustration, stencil, posters, and stickers, her style reinterprets the codes of modern urban art with a personal twist; a hybrid of slang, music, and youthful vigor. Erre is a palindrome that entangles languages, rescues the gaze from indifference, and reveals possible aesthetic alleyways towards resistance. Stencil-making for over ten years, she has created artistic interventions of all sizes in the streets of cities from Bogotá to Berlin.
Since 2001, Toxicómano has worked with graffiti, street art, stencil, and murals. His style consists of high-contrast images almost always combined with a critical, ironic, or assertive message. His work is attention-grabbing, as it plays with elements of popular culture, current events, and highly symbolic content which generate new possibilities for meaning.
The exhibit will include pieces from Colombian street artists DJLU/JuegaSiempre, El Care Barbie, Erre, and Toxicómano, alongside work from the Los Angeles-based Las Fotos Project, a nonprofit organization that inspires teenage girls through photography, mentorship, and self-expression.
The exhibition/reception on May 3 will celebrate the vibrant, provocative, in-your-face aesthetic of Bogotá street art with a performance by California punk band Deseos Primitivos and a DJ set by Skwirl Sauce, who spins ska, punk, reggae, and música Latina. The corner dive bar, Licha’s Bar and Grill, will be serving beer from Angel City Brewery and Topo Chico mineral water. Sus Arepas and Memije’s Tacos & Catering will have food for sale on-site.
The BUILD BRIDGES, PAINT WALLS exhibition at The Rendon Gallery is part of a series of events designed to strengthen bonds across languages, borders, and disciplines through the arts and education. The exhibition is the culminating event of a series organized by the UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese. BUILD BRIDGES, PAINT WALLS received support from the UCLA Arts Initiative, which aims to foster deeper connections between the university and the Los Angeles community by supporting and enriching the public’s understanding of the arts.
100% of donations will benefit Las Fotos Project.
COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Angel City Brewery // Cartwheel Art // Graphaids Art Supplies // Memije’s Tacos & Catering // Picture Perfect Music // Smile South Central // Sus Arepas // Topo Chico USA // UCLA Arts Initiative
“Build Bridges, Paint Walls is a clear example of what can happen with a common interest—we can build great things. From a small seed like street art, we can build bridges like the ones that today are taking us to exchange culture and knowledge, opening the minds of everyone involved in the project.”
“Painting a wall is like sealing a relationship. You forge a bond that lasts forever. Painting a wall is always a new chance to learn, teach, and create networks. Painting a wall is definitely building a bridge.”
“The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is uniquely positioned to engage deeply with the Latinx community of Los Angeles, and we aim to do so by building bridges and painting walls. We will build bridges between the UCLA community, artists from Colombia, the local arts scene, and organizations working with Los Angeles’s underserved youth. Additionally, the Arts Initiative will support mural projects that will enrich the campus’s connection to the diverse communities of Los Angeles through the work of some of Latin America’s most important street artists.”
— Kristal Bivona, BUILD BRIDGES, PAINT WALLS Project Director
Cine y Arte Callejero // Documentary Screening
April 29, 4-6 pm
Lorrine Rona Lydeen Library
Rolfe Hall 4302, UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095
This series of independent short films depicts the urban art movement in Bogotá, Colombia. They will be followed by a panel discussion in Spanish with artists DJLU, Erre, and Toxicómano from the Bogotá Street Art Collective.
Taking It to the Street: Politics, Aesthetics, and Representations of the Street
April 30, 9 am-6 pm
Royce Hall 306, UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095
The 16th Annual Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Student Conference will examine the street as a site of creation and political contestation. Keynote addresses by DJLU, Erre, and Toxicómano (Bogotá Street Art) and Erica Peçanha do Nascimento (Universidade de São Paulo). Presentations will be in English, Spanish, and Portuguese with simultaneous interpretation by ANTENA.
With the support of Smile South Central, an organization working to bring more art to South Central Los Angeles, Colombian muralists DJLU, Erre, and Toxicómano will paint murals in South Los Angeles.
Workshops at Las Fotos Project
Build Bridges, Paint Walls will offer two private workshops at Las Fotos Project: a workshop on stencil-making taught by DJLU, Erre, and Toxicómano, and a workshop on applying to college taught by the UCLA student group, First Gen Latinx. The works created at the stencil-making workshop will be on display at The Rendon Gallery along with original photography by Las Photos Project.
For more information, photos, or interviews, please contact Cindy Schwarzstein at
949-463-7454 or email@example.com