Artist of the Week

Mario Ayala

April 6, 2015

Mario Ayala lives and works in Oakland, California with his studio assistant Bubba G. He recently finished his BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute for painting.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. Hi, my name is Mario Ayala; I mostly paint and my dog’s name is Bubba Gucci. I live in West Oakland, CA.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I just finished my BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute last spring and attended Skowhegan right afterwards. Since then I’ve been living and working in Oakland, and working towards a three person exhibition at the Luggage Store’s Project space with Grant Gutierrez and Maria Dawn.

Doggy Door  26"x28"  flashe, enamel, chalk  2014
Doggy Door 26″x28″ flashe, enamel, chalk 2014

How did your interest in art begin? My father—he has always been an influence. He’s a truck driver, like one of those guys who drives those massive eighteen-wheeled Peterbuilts. As a kid, I remember him coming home late and I could always count on him bringing me back a small ball point pen drawing on the back of his cargo receipts with Cholas in tight clothing hanging out of some lowrider or some bull dog character looking real tough wearing some chain linked necklace. I think thats when my fascination for creation began.

What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? It depends I suppose, but recently I’ve been into using a mixture of chalk, enamel, airbrush, gouache. But I think it really depends on what I’m making. My process varies as well; it’s never really consistent besides knowing that I have to make some sort of preliminary before I begin to penetrate any surface as a final decision because the materials I work with can only function in a sequential order.

Versatile Venus Figurine 26"x32" flashe, enamel, chalk 2015
Versatile Venus Figurine 26″x32″ flashe, enamel, chalk 2015

What artists are you interested in right now? Forever and ever Nathan Harris <3

What’s your favorite thing about your city? It’s an easily accessible city without a car which is nice. I really like the burritos here.

Love Lock (Pont des Arts) Tourism 36"x48" enamel, chalk 2014
Love Lock (Pont des Arts) Tourism 36″x48″ enamel, chalk 2014

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? James Cordas at Et al gallery. The exhibition was called, “a, dog i’m holding under my arm with its head pointed behind me”. He spent three years living in a Ford Bronco making stories for this show. Truly an inspirational genius of our time.

What do you do when you’re not working on art? I think when I’m out of the studio I’m either work working, or on my way back to the studio from walking my dog. Or eating a burrito…

Commuter Wardrobe 36"x48" flashe, enamel, airbrush, chalk 2015
Commuter Wardrobe 36″x48″ flashe, enamel, airbrush, chalk 2015

If you hadn’t become an artist what do you think you’d be doing? Probably would have become a truck driver.

What are you listening to right now? Keith Sweat & Chris Isaak.

Mobile Arousal 22"x30" gouache, enamel, chalk 2014
Mobile Arousal 22″x30″ gouache, enamel, chalk 2014