El Mac attack. Visionary mural artist brings inspiration to Alexandria

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The final product is a woman with glasses looking south down Alfred Street. While there are some blue accents in the mural, the art is mainly drawn in black and white. It has a vibrant and flowy aspect to it as El Mac used straight and wavy lines to contour and express shadows in the woman’s face, hair, clothes and hand.

According to Dameron, the piece is a hit with the public.

“I have received a few dozen text messages about positive feedback and a lot of people will stop, take pictures and talk about it,” Dameron said.

This type of art is not a new thing for El Mac. The majority of his murals are of human characters, highlighting his belief that the average person is just as important as anyone else. He has some magnificent pieces in public places and even some similar ones such as “La Abuelita” which is on The American Hotel in the Los Angeles Arts District and “An Enduring Spell” located on Argo Hall at UCSD.

El Mac has been around art his entire life, as one of his parents was an artist and the other an engineer, according to widewalls.ch.

“El Mac has been creating and studying art independently since childhood. He was inspired at a young age by classic European painters such as Caravaggio, and Vermeer and Art Nouveau symbolists such as Klimt and Mucha,” according to the widewalls.ch bio of El Mac.

Per his website, El Mac has also been influenced by social realism, symbolism and devotional art, as well as the Chi- cano and Mexican culture he grew up around.

“I think there’s a lot of great street art here in the region like in Richmond, Baltimore and even D.C. has a bunch. Alexandria has some but it’s not to that same ex- tent,” Dameron noted when recalling why he wished to do street art instead of that original “901” sign.

“El Mac was my top choice. He is the elite of the elite in his field,” Dameron said.

Now Alexandria residents and visitors can enjoy his work too.

Dameron said that the art was quite a victory, but meeting El Mac and his family and hanging out with him was an equally special experience.

“El Mac himself is an in- credible human being, and he is amazingly humble,” Dameron said.

According to Dameron, El Mac said he really enjoyed his time in Alexandria and appreciated how kind and welcoming everyone was toward him and his family. When bystanders would address him while he was working, El Mac was always ready to come down from the lift and talk to people about his art.

The apartments at 901 King St. are set to open at the end of 2023 and beginning of 2024.

To learn more, visit https:// elmac.net

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