By Katherine Sweetman
Two life-like dinosaur heads were sticking out of the walls at an art opening at 57 degrees. It was as if someone had hunted them for sport and mounted their heads as trophies — this was the first work I saw by artist Adam Murillo.
The curator of the event, Guy Lombardo, introduced me to the artist and the artist introduced me to his car– a tricked out black vehicle that had been customized by the artist. Since then I’ve been trying to track him down to do an interview, and now, I finally did.
Interview with Adam Murillo (A.M.) Interviewer Katherine Sweetman (K.S.)
K.S. Adam, you seem like a Jack of all Trades. I’ve seen that you paint murals, you customized your car to look kinda like the Batmobile, you do special effects make-up, and you make very cool sculptural objects. What else do you do? And what are you working on now?
A.M. Ha ha, actually, I designed my car drawing inspiration from a 1/4 mile dragster and oval track race cars (I was on a fuel altered race team for a few years). Once I started driving it people on the street would yell out “Batmobile!” And the name stuck. Right now I’m working on a few commissioned suits of armor (medieval style) , and am currently getting my foot in the door to start a few large scale public murals around San Diego. I’ve been working in conjunction with Technomania Circus, a wild talented group of folks which I just built a old time-y working organ for.
K.S. The organ is amazing (what’s it called?). Tell me what it’s made of and how long they had been collecting the pieces. Also, is it a commissioned work– What do you mean you made it for them?
A.M. I guess it’d be called fancy calliope, (or however u spell that).. its made of steel, fiberglass, wood, plastic, Lots of screws and elbow grease. Bruce Cartier (the owner of Technomania) had been collecting old parts over about 5 years, and turned me loose on a heap of parts which in just a few days got the final shape. It is a commissioned piece: I build props for them on a regular basis, that particular one took about 3 solid days of work.
K.S. Wow, looks like a lot more than 3 days work. Is the organ is a working instrument that they will use in their shows? Tell me about your dinosaurs and Terminator figurines. What inspired you to make these sculptures and what are they made of– what’s the your process like?
A.M. I’ve always been into special effects. I can remember seeing these things in movies that were so awesome, when I found out how it was done I immediately started creating everything I could from all my favorite movies. Hover boards, prop guns, false walls, fake trees and – dinosaur heads. Over the years working with different materials from different fields of construction have allowed me the leeway to create at will.
K.S. I forgot to mention that you’re also a tattoo artist. Damn, Adam, you’re a busy guy, huh? What shop do you work out of and how did you get into that?
A.M. I started working at a place called Stonyglass n Tattoo in Bakersfield. This was during my stay up there where I was working as a waterfall builder/ apprentice stonemason; I really liked the work but hated being in the sun. My next door neighbor just happened to own a shop, we got to talking and we traded work (I built him a sign for his shop) and I’ve been doing them since then. I’ve seen a lot of bad tattoos. And well, I decided after the first one I did that it was something so new and different I just couldn’t stay away. I’ve never used a stencil (the first ones they had me work on were mostly fill-ins) and I refuse to do the same tattoo twice.
K.S. Wow, ok, so besides suits of armor, what else is in your future? Where can people contact you if they need an amazing commissioned sculpture, sign, custom car part, or tattoo?
A.M. You forgot mural or special effects.
I have a project I’m working on with body painting. Making robotic cyborg females, I’m really into the female body, and robots , and Im tired of seeing half ass body airbrushing at shows, I want it to be epic. Also I’m talking to a few photographers to team up and make a really neat book on my art. Also id watch out for public displays of art that have my signature on them. Visit kyronart.com or contact me through my Facebook/adam murillo/kyronart