BIOGRAPHY: GEORGE YEPES

Painter/Muralist, George Yepes, was raised and educated in East Los Angeles.  Yepes' oeuvre incorporates art and architecture, ethereally beautiful women, world history, and literature presented in powerfully charged atmospheres. Imbued with a contemporary street sense, his paintings and murals combine the best of both worlds where bravado meets classical standards. With a refined renaissance bent, from religious iconography to erotica, George Yepes brings a confidence and knowledge of his craft that calls to mind the great Velasquez and Titian, and the great Mexican Muralists.
During the 1970’s, as one of the more prolific painters in the Los Angeles Chicano Mural Movement, Yepes gained his reputation as a ferocious painter when he became a founding partner in the top mural groups of East Los Angeles.  In 1974, George Yepes  was a founding member of the Public Art Center, El Centro de Arte Publico, Concilio de Arte Popular, and Corazon Art Productions in Highland Park/NorthEast Los Angeles.  During that time Yepes collaborated with Carlos Almaraz, Frank Romero, Gilbert “Magu” Lujan, Beto de La Rocha (Los Four), Richard Duardo, Guillermo Bejarano, John Valadez, Tito Delgado, and Leo Limon.  In 1977, Yepes painted along with Gilbert “Magu” Lujan and John Valadez, the 40 foot tall by 60 foot wide mural for Cesar Chavez and the 1977 Farmworkers Convention in Fresno, California.  
 
In the late 1970’s Yepes painted murals with David Botello and Wayne Healy, Los Dos Streetscapers.  Together with Los Dos Streetscapers, Yepes repainted murals at the famous Estrada Courts and Ramona Gardens Housing Projects including “Dreams of Flight” and “Ghosts of the Barrio”, and also offsite, “Read Between the Lines.  Later in 1978, together with Los Dos Streetscapers, Yepes also painted the four panoramic “Moonscapes” murals in Culver City.  To merge forces in 1979, George Yepes co-founded East Los Streetscapers with David Botello and Wayne Healy.  Over the course of six years, from 1979 through 1985, as a member of East Los Streetscapers, Yepes co-designed and painted 28 murals credited to the team, and in doing so, Yepes helped carve the name of East Los Streetscapers into the Chicano Art History books, and created iconic murals that are regarded as prime examples of the Los Angeles Chicano Mural Movement.
 
In 1985, George Yepes expanded his experience by taking bold steps to become an independent artist. With grand scale and furious momentum, Yepes has painted since then eloquent social, historical, and sacred images onto the facades of everything from churches, hospitals, guitars and freeway overpasses to movies and album covers. 
 
In 1992, George Yepes was named "El Fuego de Los Angeles" (The Fire of Los Angeles) by Councilman Richard Alatorre and the Los Angeles City Council.  In 1993, for the Los Angeles Subway project, George Yepes was partnered with Ricardo Legorreta, the AIA Gold Medal architect from Mexico City, as the duo "Lead Urban Design Team" in charge of designing seven subway stations beneath East Los Angeles.  In 1997, Mayor Richard Riordan and the Los Angeles City Council inducted George Yepes as a "Treasure of Los Angeles".  Also, in 1997, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction named George Yepes to the State Task Force on the Visual and Performing Arts for the California Department of Education.  In 1998, the Governor and Secretary of State of California, hand picked George Yepes to paint a seventy-foot vaulted ceiling mural, titled "The Promise", at the State Capital in Sacramento.  In 1999, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously adopted a resolution commending George Yepes for establishing a training program that assisted teachers to effectively implement State Learning Standards for the Visual Arts.
 
In 1992, George Yepes founded the Academia de Arte Yepes, a free mural painting academy through which Yepes (the sole teacher and funder) has taught over 2,000 students, for free, from the low-income neighborhoods of Los Angeles.  
 
Merging science, technology, and mathematics to gain a quality education and real-world applicable skills is not a new concept.  In 1993, twenty years before the STEAM Program took form in schools nationally, the Academia de Arte Yepes had already began to produce a series of ten Science and Space murals.  Beginning in 1993, to generate renewed interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and to cultivate and inspire the next generation of explorers; George Yepes and the Academia de Arte Yepes, in partnership with NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana: established and implemented a fourteen-year National Educational Model titled: "The Marriage of Art, Science, and Technology".  
 
George Yepes' paintings are in forty museum collections, and have been collected by a widely diverse audience including Sean Penn and Madonna, Patricia Arquette, Nicolas Cage, Cheech Marin, Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Josh Brolin, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez.  In 1999, Yepes' Warner Bros. album cover for Los Lobos titled "La Pistola y El Corazon" was selected as one of the One Hundred Best Album Covers of All Time by the editors of Rolling Stone Magazine.  Yepes' artwork is also on the cover of Untie the Strong Woman by bestselling author, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  Her book, Women Who RunWith the Wolves was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 145 weeks.
 
Hollywood actors Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Eva Longoria, Carla Gugino, Marley Shelton, Patricia Arquette, Jessica Alba, Lady GaGa, Rose McGowen, Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, and Jamie Chung have modeled for several Yepes paintings.  Since the year 2000, Yepes has collaborated with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino on numerous projects including Once Upon a Time in Mexico 2003; the double feature Grind House 2007; Machete 2010; and the new 2014 Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller movie, Sin City 2 "A Dame to Kill For". 
 
For 43 years, from East Los Angeles, to Princeton, NASA, Dubai, and Hollywood's Silver Screens, George Yepes has been an ambassador of Art and Culture for the City of Los Angeles. 
 
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LA WEEKLY 
"BEST INDESCRIBABLE WALL ART" - BEST OF LOS ANGELES
George Yepes.  "Muralist and Painter Yepes is Los Angeles' greatest
living Baroque artist
".

Marc B. Haefele, Writer
 
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ArtScene 

"When it comes to sheer touch that combines beautiful control over line
and brushwork, yet seemingly spontaneous expression, 
George Yepes is among the best.  His darkly romantic excess can't help
but make you think he would have been Dante Gabriel 
Rossetti's (1828 - 1882, London, England), equal among the
Pre-Raphaelites.  But these saints and sinners are hardly a throwback.  
Yepes' painting has a visual density and suggestiveness that is as
tantalizing to the intellect as it is arresting for the eye".

ArtScene  
The Guide to over 450 Los Angeles Art Galleries and Museums

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“Tikkun Olam” To Repair the World 

"Like Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto (1518 - 1594, Venice, Italy), George
Yepes has the ability to pull down from heaven the designs which God has
for humans and paint them so people can discover through the paintings what they
are deaf to in words”.

Dr. David Carrasco, Professor - Historian of Religions
Editor-in-Chief, Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures
Director, Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project
Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America
Divinity School - Harvard University
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FINE ART “Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge" 

"But for those wary of celebrity endorsement, remember this: Even if the [Chicano Visions] 
exhibit is not a definitive collection of the genre, it presents works rarely seen in Texas, like those
of L.A. Hotshot George Yepes.  That alone makes this show worth seeing”.

Katy Vine, TEXAS MONTHLY

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San Antonio Express News  
Praising the Flesh: George Yepes paints otherworldly beauties

“Artist George Yepes was a child when he first encountered his muse in the form of a statue of La Virgen Dolorosa 
at the Catholic church his family attended in East Los Angeles.  Carved out of wood, the Madonna with a heart 
skewered by daggers looked exquisitely lovely in her anguish to the 4-year-old boy kneeling before her."

Elda Silva, Staff Writer
San Antonio, Texas

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“Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge” 

'Axis Bold as Love' is a major addition to Yepes' cult of the Madonna.  This is Yepes' re-imagination of the sacred at its best, 
for which he is studied by scholars.  Yepes describes this as a portrait of his 'Axis Mundi' - Courtney Reid - the Center of the Cosmos.  
Named after the Jimi Hendrix song to which Yepes painted this piece, the image is derived from Yepes' earliest impression of the beauty, 
Our Lady of Soledad de East Los Angeles.  La Soledad is the Madonna after the burial of Christ.  She is alone, in nature (the wild), 
in a storm (from within) of agony and ecstasy, before the Resurrection (in the threshold).   
Having come full circle, (from the nature goddess - to the idolatry of church - to the woman) this Madonna calls to mind the 
naturalistic Madonnas by Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519 and Sandro Botticelli 1415-1510: close, human, mortal, yet divine.
 
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"Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge” 

"The Color of Chicano": Axis Bold as Love
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego • La Jolla, CA
Exhibition reflects the many shades of Mexican Artistry:

"On the opposing side of the spectrum, however, sits the serenely beautiful portraits of George Yepes.  
Yepes' "Axis Bold as Love," reminiscent of Gustav Klimt's "Dane," is a prime example of his art nouveau-inspired strokes 
and brilliant color in his delicately sensuous portrayals of women, a popular theme in Nouveau.”

Sarah Wilkins, Senior Staff Writer 
Daily Aztec

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“Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge” 
 
INTRODUCTION - THE CHICANO SCHOOL OF PAINTING
"The first time I stood in front of a Chicano painting -- it was George Yepes' Amor Matizado -- I had the same feeling as when I first heard a tune by the Beatles."
Cheech Marin, Actor
Chicano Visions - American Painters on the Verge
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"George Yepes is the rarest of talents. I own several of his paintings, and whenever someone walks in and sees them for the first time, I have to stand close so I can catch their jaws before they slam into the ground. George's work grabs you by the lapels and makes you feel as if you're discovering art for the first time. He's a master painter in the best sense, the art comes through him not from him. That is rare."
Robert Rodriguez, Director
Austin, Texas
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Abrams, New York in association with The Field Museum, Chicago
"THE AZTEC WORLD" :    .....Nowhere is this clearer than in the luscious art of George Yepes, whose paintings often include Mexican Americans in the forms of skulls with sad penetrating eyes, skeleton-like features coursing through bodies or deathly white color covering the bodies of otherwise living people.  Yepes's most famous calavera piece, "La Pistola y El Corazon,"  appeared on the jacket of the Los Lobos CD of the same name.  It depicts a couple in full body profiles gazing into each other's faces while the male has a huge beating red heart and the female is carrying a large red pistol in her hands.  Their elegant clothes, drawing on Mexican fashion, mix with skeletal features that also show traces of marrow and blood.  Yepes was able to communicate a combination of death, sensuality, and sexuality in this widely distributed and purchased depiction of Chicano Life.  One of the original twists that Yepes gives to Chicano death imagery appears in a painting he entitled "Adelita."  It is reminiscent of the women who played important supportive roles in the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and who were known as Adelitas and memorialized in a famous song by the name of "Adelita."  Yepes paints an attractive woman in a black, low-cut dress with her arms crossed, each hand holding a large red pistol.  Her skin is a pasty white color representing the skeletal color of death and the idea that this woman is somehow possessed by a combination of death and beauty and capable of alluring one to a confrontation with her guns.  Yepes once remarked.  "Copies of this painting have sold well and especially among women lawyers." 
 
Dr. David Carrasco, Historian of Religions 
Neil Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America 
Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford  Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures 
Harvard University   
 
"THE AZTEC WORLD" 2008 - Abrams, New York in association with The Field Museum, Chicago - Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia - Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes
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Hilton Worldwide 
GEORGE YEPES: "THE IZEL MURALS" • CONRAD HILTON HOTEL, DUBAI, UAE

Rudi Jagersbacher, area president, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide said:
"I am delighted that we have introduced The Conrad Dubai's attractive style and service to this new market as Hilton
Worldwide continues to expand our presence in the city of Dubai.  The Conrad Dubai will cater to the needs of the ever
increasing number of global, affluent travelers, and the sophistication of the hotel will perfectly compliment
the high-energy and vibrancy of Dubai."
"A jewel in The Conrad Dubai's crown is the Latin Supper Club, Izel, a carnival of Latin Artistry."

George Yepes:  The Izel Interior Mural/Paintings
Interior Architects: Wa International LLC, Dubai, UAE
Interior Architects: Fino International LLC, Dubai, UAE
Interior Architects: DEPA Interiors LLC, Dubai, UAE

The Izel • Conrad Hilton Hotel,  Level 7
115143 Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, United Arab Emirates