Otis College of Art and Design’s Ben Maltz Gallery Presents: Bridging Homeboy Industries: Fabian Debora, Alex Kizu and Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez

January 15 2013 . 04:04am

Otis College of Art and Design’s Ben Maltz Gallery Presents:
Bridging Homeboy Industries: Fabian Debora, Alex Kizu, and Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez
A group exhibition of three dynamic artists who share roots in Homeboy Industries

LOS ANGELES, CA – October, 2012 – The Ben Maltz Gallery continues to present new work by
artists in the SoCal region with the three-person exhibition Bridging Homeboy Industries: Fabian
Debora, Alex Kizu, and Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez on view January 2 – March 23, 2013. Guest
Curator: Annie Buckley (MFA 2003). Reception: Saturday, January 26, 4pm-6pm

Bridging Homeboy Industries features the work of Fabian Debora, Alex Kizu, and Juan Carlos
Muñoz Hernandez, three working artists who share roots in the East L.A. neighborhood of Boyle
Heights, a close-knit community beset by poverty and violence. Though their paths and practices are
unique, each has benefited from the services of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention
program in the nation. Founded as a jobs program by Father Gregory Boyle in 1992, Homeboy
Industries continues to thrive as a network of successful businesses supported and run by former gang
members. Two decades on, Debora, Kizu, and Muñoz Hernandez all count Father Boyle—or G, as he
is fondly referred to by many—as a mentor, supporter, and friend. He is the person who saw in them
the artists they would become and who fostered a sense of hope and possibility for them during times
when these were scarce. This encouragement, combined with their own relentless passion for art, fed
their development as artists.

“During what G [Father Greg Boyle] calls the ‘decade of death’, I got into a lot of trouble, but Father
Greg, no matter what I did, was always encouraging me to do my art. … I felt hopeless, but G would
hire us to do murals and artwork, and now I realize that those acts of faith helped me to overcome
many of the obstacles that I faced as a youth.” —Alex Kizu

Fabian Debora, who is now a staff-member at Homeboy Industries, makes compellingly honest
paintings influenced by Chicano and contemporary representational art. Alex Kizu’s color-infused
canvases feature variations on the highly complex and ornate graffiti lettering he learned as a boy from
local street artists and knowledge gained as a recent graduate of the Art Department of California State
University, Northridge (CSUN). Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez’s bronze sculptures and spray paint
and marker paintings fuse graffiti with diagrammatic architectural drawings and grow out of an 18-
year apprenticeship with the sculptor Robert Graham and a background in street art. This exhibition
includes several works by each artist and a new, large-scale collaborative mural.

This exhibition is organized by the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design with Guest
Curator Annie Buckley. Buckley (Otis MFA ’03) is an interdisciplinary artist, author, art critic, and
Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at California State University, San Bernardino. She thanks OTIS
Ben Maltz Gallery, Homeboy Industries, and Alice Buckley for their support in the presentation of this

Exhibition Programs:
Public Reception: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 4pm-6pm, Free with live music by Incendio
Conversation: Saturday, February 9, 2013, 11am-12pm, Free
Stories and conversation with Father Gregory Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries, Homegirl Café,
and author of the award winning book Tattoos on the Heart (2010).

Bus Tour: Saturday, February 23, 9am-4pm, $25
Exhibition curator and artists lead a tour of Homeboy Industries with brunch at Homegirl Café, and
present and discuss two significant murals created by the artists in the neighborhood. Contact Otis
Continuing Education to register: otisce@otis.edu or (310) 665-6850.

Gallery Tour: Saturday, March 2, 11am-12pm, Free Gallery walk-through with curator and artists

Location: Otis College of Art and Design, 9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Parking & Admission: Free.Visitor parking in structure on La Tijera.
Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-5pm / Thu 10am-7pm. Closed Sundays & Mondays
Gallery Tours: 310.665.6909 to schedule tours for school, museum or other groups
Gallery Info: 310.665.6905, galleryinfo@otis.edu, www.otis.edu/benmaltzgallery

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