GONZO247 is an award-winning, internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist, ambassador of the visual and cultural arts, and pioneer in the graffiti and street art movement in Houston.
“Art is who I am and what I can give back.”
Artist, Mario E. Figueroa, Jr., artistically known as GONZO247, was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist with over 25 years of experience in street art, public, and private art commissions. Community involvement has been a considerable component of his activities as an artist. His experiences as a youth in the Houston community and his ancestors’ culture artistically inspire GONZO247. His early on admiration of the arts was the public art mural, The Rebirth of our Nationality (1973), by Leo Tanguma located in East End Houston, Texas, where he spent most of his childhood. He realized later on in life that the mural was the spark of his becoming a future artist. In his teens, he discovered and realized his artist identity through the visual language of Hip Hop, the graffiti art culture. The culture of Hip Hop was artistic expression by kids who were his age, and looked like him, more so than the examples he was being shown in school those days. He produced an Aerosol Warfare video series, established the Houston Wall of Fame in the 1990s (the city’s first and significant art production of its kind of that time), and has participated in projects working with top brand campaigns that speak to urban communities. He is known to be a key figure in pioneering the graffiti and street art culture as a leading underground art movement in Houston. Although he fully embraced, breathed, and participated in the Hip Hop culture, the primary element he practiced was graffiti art, and today he gives nod to his roots in his current works that have evolved overtime. In addition to public and private commissions, he strives to make time for independent studio work and on-going and longer-term collaborative endevours through Aerosol Warfare, The Graffiti and Street Art Museum of Texas, and the Houston Urban Experience (HUE) Biennial Mural Festival. He continues to educate communities through civic art engagement, leading by example, and meaningful large-scale creative activities. Internationally recognized and inspired through travels, you will find the visual and cultural arts ambassador contributing to his hometown of Houston, a true art destination, or innovating and exploring a new concept or his next artistic idea.
– Eric B. & Rakim