Marcus Sanchez, like many creative kids, loved comics and finding a nook to get comfortable in and draw. His appreciation for art was met with talent; by highschool Marcus regularly expressed his creativity with a brush and canvas. Marcus talks to Austin Fusion about the inspiration behind his latest series, “Loeteria De Los Muertos”.
Marcus is in the first third of an exciting series inspired by Day of the Dead and Loteria, a Mexican card game similar to Bingo. Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a national Mexican holiday that serves as a time to pray for and remember loved ones lost. When asked who had the most influence on his latest series, he replies “My Grandmother”. Sanchez explains “As my grandmother grew increasingly ill she lived in an assisted living complex. She would play Loteria with her neighbors every day outside. When we would go visit as a family we would all play too so it became a family tradition. This art series is inspired by the spirit of the game and memories with family.”
Just like us, Marcus loves Austin. This city and it’s people inspire him, one of his paintings titled “El Borracho”, takes place outside of a local favorite, The Continental Club. He says “When I first started going in Austin I spent a lot of time with friends at Continental Club and I really liked that place. The composition of the actual card makes sense in front of the continental club and I like how the black streets look wet.” He includes other playful accents on his characters like the barnacles on the mermaid in La Sirena or the treble clef mustache in “el Musico”. His paintings are rich with color and tradition. Marcus explained that in traditional Day of the Dead processions roses are heavily used. Coincidentally his Grandmother’s favorite flower, roses appear in each of the characters in his paintings. Another consistent theme in his paintings are the open chest & sacred heart.
When he isn’t painting, Marcus is involved in philanthropy. Many of his pieces are donated to Aids Organizations. “La Sirena” is going to being donated to the Octopus Club, a grass roots, volunteer fundraising arm of AIDS Services of Austin dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the Paul Kirby Emergency Fund.
La Sirena, along with two other chacters “El Musico” and “El Venado”, really spoke to our group that collaborated on the photoshoot that accompanies this article. Marcus, the true artist that his is, painted the faces of our models and the sacred heart that is pinned to his chest. If you are interested in contacting Marcus about purchasing any of his artwork or volunteering for the AIDS services of Austin you can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were so inspired by Marcus’ art that we planned a spectacular shoot bringing his Dia De Los Muertos characters to life.
Thanks to everyone involved in this shoot: Marcus Sanchez, Melis and Dainon of Mauka Makai Photography, Sabrina Lotfi of Makeup by Sabrina, Hunter Lohse of Dapper Tramp, Tiffany Bowler – talent behind the fab hair, Models Ashley Howe, Amber Kuhaneck, & Jon Ryan Parker.
Interview by Chonie Bradley