At right, a mural painted on the building at the corner of Spring and Exchange streets by Mexican-born and New York City-based artist Marka27.
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For Marka27 it’s a family affair

ITEM PHOTO BY JIM WILSON
At right, a mural painted on the building at the corner of Spring and Exchange streets by Mexican-born and New York City-based artist Marka27.

By MATT DEMIRS

LYNN — Some models don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day, but Beyond Walls artist Victor “Marka27” Quinonez paid far less for his.

All it took was an ice cream.

Marka27’s mural at 27 Munroe St. features his 6-year-old daughter, Luna, who agreed to strike a pose for her father’s work if there was something in it for her.

More than another family portrait,  Luna’s presence is packed with a deeper meaning that reflects the Latino culture highly represented in Lynn, something he learned from longtime friend and former resident Jeff Henriquez.

“It’s interesting because my daughter’s half Mexican and half Filipino,” he said. “There is a Polynesian influence with markings in her face and the wrap she is wearing has a Mayan/Aztec meaning.”

As color comes to life, he’s seen a great response from people.

“Many people are saying they’ve never in their lives hung out in a parking lot in Lynn,” he said. “They’ve told me they walked by this parking lot a million times and now I’m hanging out here.”

He added that art changes the dynamic of a neighborhood.

Marka27, who was born in Mexico, has a style of work he calls neo-indigenous, which he said is a contemporary way of expressing different heritages, like Native American to Mexican, Mayan, Aztec, and even African.

He chose to have Luna braiding her hair because it’s common in latin culture to have big braids, he said.

For Marka27, his family is never far. When he travels to do murals he brings his kids and wife.

They support his work and follow the muralist wherever he goes. And their own talents are developing under their father.

“Both of my daughters are artists by their own accords,” he said. “I can’t even keep a sketchbook because they’ll take it over.”

It isn’t a surprise since Marka and his wife, Liz Quinonez, live and breathe art, going so far to make their own pop-up gallery called Street Theory. They also curate art exhibits and have planned some public art in Boston for this summer.

They help artists maneuver through the business aspect, such as putting together a proper contract with galleries or negotiating with businesses, he said.

So far, his experience with the Beyond Walls and the 10-day mural festival overpowering the downtown has been amazing.

“We keep joking and saying ‘There’s no divas here,’” he said.


Matt Demirs can be reached at [email protected].

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