Ecuadorian artist Lunar New Year. (Photo: Rodolfo Diaz)

Street artist seeks to interact with people and inspire others

Ecuadorian artist Lunar New Year (LNY) knows that his art won’t last forever. He specializes in painting free art in public spaces, and although his work might get painted over or washed away, he finds it much more rewarding than painting in a studio.

“It’s about the interaction with people,” LNY said. “Going outside and interacting with kids and families to show them a different perspective. If we change the perspective we can change a person, if we change a person we can change a society.”

LNY arrived to the US in his teens and said he grew up “between cultures and between cities” as he spent his days in New Jersey and New York. And at an early age, LNY said he admired the graffiti and street art he found in  “immigrant ghettos.”

Today, he hopes to inspire others through art and be the one to shed light on underrepresented communities.

“I see myself as a medium to the stories that are not told or the people that are not being seen,” he said.

LNY said his work is a representation of his life and a way to tell others’ stories.

“It’s about putting a black face or a brown face in a place that’s not supposed to have it,” LNY said.

Lunar New Year's mural on display at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York City.

Lunar New Year’s mural on display at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York City.

In the future, LNY said he hopes to develop “art as a social practice,” where he can continue to do art and also expand to things such as gardening or mentoring youth.

He wants his work to continue being interactive and a way for people to connect, ask questions and get inspired to see art as a way of life.

“I see myself as playing that social role more often, making statements that will benefit not only me but everyone around me,” he said. “If that happens, I’ll consider myself successful.”

LNY’s work will be on display at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York City along with ten other contemporary urban artists for the “Aqueduct Murals,” a horse racing-themed street art show.

“Part of the beauty of street art is its impermanence,” artist and show curator Joe Lurato said. “A piece might last an hour or a few years, but every artist accepts that it won’t last forever. An exhibition like this, where works of this scale are housed indoors, isn’t something you see happen very often.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public after its official opening on Nov.23.

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