By Nancy Hahn
Bobby Magee Lopez worked on his mural in Lamar Plaza, as he explained how his life led him to becoming a muralist. Growing up, he traveled the United States.
“My father taught me to sketch before I could write. Since then I have had an affinity for art. I continued to draw my entire childhood and began training in calligraphy at age ten.”
After high school, Bobby made a choice between baseball and art. Bobby chose to play baseball in college in St. Petersburg, Fla., but still kept in touch with his artistic side. In college, he found inspiration in Salvador Dali.
“I felt a deep stirring of emotions visualizing the thin veil between waking life and dream states. I worked at the Dali Museum during college in order to immerse myself in his genius.”
After college and working in finance, Bobby came to Colorado for another round of college. This time he focused on art. Artist, muralist, and social activist, Carlos Fresquez, was teaching at Metro State. Bobby studied mural painting with him, earned a Fine Arts degree, and opened Innerspace Art Gallery in the RiNo Art District. Bobby produced and enjoyed many types of art during the time at Innerspace. He visited Santa Fe, Burning Man Festivals, and Hawaii. When his younger brother graduated from high school; the two of them decided to take a trip to travel Europe. Travel helped Bobby shape his future plans as an artist.
Bobby considered two main factors: lifestyle and location. The most important lifestyle factor was the ability to grow as an artist, while making a living as an artist. He liked the idea of traveling as an artist and he liked street art. Creating murals was a street art style that, unlike most street art, the artist gets paid for creating. Murals, also, enable him to introduce elements of calligraphy which he continues to enjoy, but Denver was not the ideal location. A location must appreciate art and have ocean beaches. Denver has none. Bobby visualized the factors of lifestyle and location twisting around each other like strands of DNA and noting connections made between the strands. New Zealand and South Africa have beautiful beaches. Nice, France has seven months of ocean swimming yearly and appreciates art. Barcelona, Spain has beaches and a history of art. Bobby decided, though, that staying in the United Stated was the best choice for a time. In 2014, he moved to the island of Maui.
Maui had advantages: no winter clothes, lovely beaches and art is valued. A disadvantage, though, was the cost to travel to create murals – for example, his travel to paint a mural in the 40 West Arts District in 2015. Bobby is still considering locations.
Check out his mural in Lamar Plaza, created during MuralFest 2017. The mural shows Bobby’s interest in calligraphy and perspective enables the viewer become a part of the scene. Share your appreciation. Maybe, Bobby will stay in the 40 West Arts District and be part of the scene.