In our latest installment of Step Off! Radio, we had the chance to interview Phoenix-based visual artist Edgar Fernandez also known as 8Ahau. Edgar Fernandez is a Chicano muralist and multi-disciplined artist from Phoenix Arizona. He was born in Los Angeles California in the early 90s and is the son of immigrant parents who migrated from Mexico to the United States in the 1980s. Coming of age in Phoenix, Edgar expressed himself through his love of graffiti and Hip-Hop culture which would further drive his love for creating art, eventually taking art classes Phoenix College. Edgar would continue his education at the ASU School of Art, where he transferred to after receiving the Chicanos por la Cause scholarship. Edgar Fernandez is part of the latest generation of Chicano muralist, whose art is rooted in a position that is decidedly pro-Indigenous and exuberates a strong sense of Chicano identity. His depictions of Meso-American art, culture, and folklore; intermixed with contemporary American politics, pop culture, Chicano culture, and modern art movements such as graffiti which make his art a one of kind spectacle that pushes the long and decorated legacy of Mexican and Mexican-American muralist in fine American art.
In our discussion, we had the opportunity to talk with Edgar about his early life growing up in Los Angeles, Michigan, and eventually settling in Phoenix, Arizona. His experience as a child discovering his artistic talents drawing cartoon characters, his venture into Phoenix’s graffiti scene. Likewise, we also had the opportunity to discuss his thoughts on the increasing mainstream popularity of Mexican culture within broader U.S. culture, cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation, and the role that artists play in today’s deeply partisan and divided society. With that said, we here at Step Off! Radio hope that you all enjoy our discussion with Edgar Fernandez aka 8Ahau.
Featured below is our full interview with Edgar Fernandez available through our official SoundCloud page. Apple and Spotify users can listen and subscribe to our Step Off! Radio podcast through the official Apple podcast and Spotify apps.