“You either have a blank book or you have a book that something was written. And it might have been something silly that was written. But you still wrote it, and you no longer have a blank book.”
The walls of Fresno’s many buildings are the blank pages in muralist Mauro Carrera’s book. And he is filling them one by one. Lucky for us — the residents of Fresno — we get to “read” from Carrera’s book each day as we drive through our city. His many murals, some of them commissioned, some developed with full creative freedom, and a few left over from his early days as a graffiti artist, can be seen around downtown, the Tower District, Chinatown and in neighborhoods on the West Side.
Some of Carrera’s earliest works (read: graffiti) are likely to be found around the Calwa neighborhood of southeast Fresno where he grew up and still lives. But while graffiti may have been his entrance into the art world, Carrera says he transitioned away from it because he wanted to create something that added beauty to the landscape instead of damaging it.
However, his passion for creating works of art in public spaces remains. One of his latest murals can be seen if you’re heading south on Fulton Street just north of Belmont Avenue near the Tower District. Here, Carrera talks about that piece in particular, his development as an artist, and the sense of responsibility that comes with creating murals.