Daniel Velazquez: an artist with a mission
Like many people in his country, Daniel believes in living life simply and sustainably. The majority of his pieces and his films demonstrate this lifestyle. His message is one of conservation and a love for the world and wildlife that surround him. Many of his pieces demonstrate a level of social commentary, and often comments on how materialism and consumerism has "consumed" our society. His gas mask series is made up of mixed-media, paintings, prints, and photographs, and have obvious messages that we could all afford to heed.
I wanted to know more about Daniel, and his roots in conservation. So he agreed to an online interview with me. Here it is...
Q: Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
A: I grew up in South Gate, California, in LA county. It was a very industrialized city, with many polluting factories along the LA river. It was a crazy time my childhood, and as a child I loved hopping the train, exploring old factories, climbing trees. As a teenager we were all into hip hop and metal, at my time in the 80s we were into our music and partying. South Gate produced bands like Slayer and Cypress Hill, and Slayer used to play our back yard parties. I actually used to drink 40s with the Cypress Hill tribe. There were a lot of garage bands around at the time.
Q: How did you become interested in art?
A: As a child in school, I was a victim of the newly implemented ESD (English as a Second Dialect) system. My parents are from Mexico, so I learned English in school in order to fit in with the other kids. While learning, I drew pictures. I was good at art, and other students used to ask me to draw on their folders. The teacher would also ask me to draw something for the art contests, which I always won.
Q: How did you become interested in wildlife, conservation and rescue?
You can check out more of Daniel's video work at http://www.youtube.com/user/BelizeArts?feature=mhee, and more of his art at http://guanamon.deviantart.com/.