Willie Herrón

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Willie Herrón III (born 1951) is an American Chicano muralist, performance artist and commercial artist.


Herrón grew up in East Los Angeles and for years had been sketching the world around him.[1] He studied at Otis Art Institute and Art Center College of Design.[2]

In the early 1970s Herrón was founding members of the Los Angeles art collective, Asco, which also included Patssi Valdez, Gronk, and Harry Gamboa Jr.[3] Herrón and Valdez had been working on joint art projects since they were in high school together[4] and for a time, Valdez and Herron dated.[5] Herron was involved with Asco for about fifteen years.[6]

Herrón's first major exhibition was with Gamboa and Gronk at the Mechicano Art Center in East Los Angeles in 1972.[4] His art was also part of the Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA) exhibit that toured the United States.

Herrón's murals often incorporate the found imagery of existing graffiti into his own work.[4] One of his most recognized murals, The Wall That Cracked Open was painted in about twelve hours and was an outpouring of his feelings about the violent attack his brother suffered from rival gang members.[1] The imagery used in this mural is influenced by Pre-Columbian themes and invokes the concept of Atzlán.[1] The fact that Herrón includes graffiti is a way of tying together the art of both the mural and of "Chicano graffiti" which he saw as both deserving "mutual respect."[7]

He was a founding member of the punk band, Los Illegals.[3]

He co-owns a commercial design studio.

Herron lends his assistance to struggling artists and those who struggle with their differences in traditional communities.[8] He has been a "representative figure for the underappreciated Chicano and contemporary artist," especially after one of his well-loved murals was whitewashed.[9]


  • "The Wall that Cracked Open" 1972 [10]
  • "Moratorium: The Black and White Mural,"by Willie Herron and Gronk 1973, acrylic, Location: Boyle Height, Estrada Courts. 3221 Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90023.
  • "Asco: East of No West" 2011 [11]
  • "Luchas del Mundo", (destroyed) north side of the Hollywood Freeway at Alameda[12]


  1. ^ a b c Barnet-Sanchez, Holly (2012). "Radical Mestizaje in Chicano/a Murals". In Anreus, Alejandro; Folgarait, Leonard; Greeley, Robin Adele Greeley. Mexican Muralism: A Critical History. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. pp. 251–254. ISBN 9780520271616. 
  2. ^ "Willie Herron III". Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Kennedy, Randy (25 August 2011). "Chicano Pioneers". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c Gamboa, Jr., Harry (July 1991). "In the City of Angels, Chameleons, and Phantoms: Asco, a Case Study of Chicano Art in Urban Tones (or Asco Was a Four-Member Word)". In Castillo, Richard Griswold Del; McKenna, Teresa; Yarbro-Bejarano, Yvonne. Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-1985. Los Angeles, California: Wight Art Gallery. pp. 121–130. ISBN 0943739152. 
  5. ^ Hernandez, Daniel (6 June 2007). "The Art Outlaws of East L.A." LA Weekly. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Guzman-Lopez, Adolfo (7 September 2011). "1970s L.A. Chicano Conceptual Art Group Gets its Due". KCET. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Latorre, Guisela (2008). Walls of Empowerment: Chicana/o Indigenist Murals of California. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. pp. 111–116. ISBN 9780292718838. 
  8. ^ Slowjoe (8 July 2009). "Willie Herron: Man or Myth?". LatinoLA. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Gomez-Quinones, Juan (2014). Making Aztlan: Ideology and Culture of the Chicana and Chicano Movement, 1966-1977. University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 9780826354679. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  10. ^ http://www.sparcmurals.org/preserv/Herron1.html
  11. ^ http://lacma.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/east-of-no-west-willie-herron/
  12. ^ http://www.laweekly.com/2010-10-14/columns/muralgeddon/

External links[edit]